Downmacpatrick Castle

Map Reference: W625409 (1625, 0409)

Earthworks and trenches across the narrow neck of the Old Head of Kinsale may be part of the defences of a pre-Christian promontory fort. A medieval wall with two mural towers follows closely the line of one of the trenches. In the middle of this is a tower-house. It is a three-storey building which stands to full height except at the east which does not survive above the first floor. There are gaps in the east and west walls and the ground floor is accessible. There are no stairs available to first floor level but a spiral stair in the south-east corner rises from first floor to the wall walk.

Doorway at first floor leading to the spiral stairs

There is a wicker-centred pointed vault over the first floor.

This stops short of the east wall and the gap was probably covered by lintels. The castle may have been built by the de Courcey family in the 15th century.

View of the spiral stairway from outside the castle

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