Nov 12, 2010
There are so many ruins in Ireland you could just drive by them and not notice them, especially those lying in the midst of modern settlement, like Clough Castle. Our hosts, Alister and Eileen McReynolds, stopped their car on a busy road to allow us to get out and take a look.
Clough Castle is an earthwork Norman structure built for defense. I suppose all castles were built for defense, but this one employed an elaborate earthwork. We had to climb to get to the ruins.
In the picture above you can see that timber buildings were thought to be part of the structure. An excavation of the site showed that a palisade had stood at the top of the motte. The castle was originally built in the 11th century, added to and changed in the following centuries and the stone keep that remains was built sometime in the 13th or 14th century. A hundred or so years later the stone keep was rebuilt into a tower house.
I think it's interesting how modern towns have grown around these ruins. Most of the ancient sites are protected, of course, but these ruins are just part of the landscape now, something that just amazes me, an American tourist.
Below is the view from the castle. It was definitely worth the hike!