Ardglass Castles

Map Reference: J560371 (3560, 3371)

Ardglass had at least six castles and remains of four of them can still be seen. The most noticeable structure is Jordan's Castle. This 15th century tower-house is four storeys high and rectangular in plan. It is vaulted above the ground floor. Small towers project northwards from the north-east and north-west corners. The entrance is at the base of the north-west tower and leads to a spiral stairway which ascends to roof level. It is protected by a machicolation at roof level. The projecting towers are connected by a high-level arch which also functions as a machicolation. Simon Jordan is celebrated for having defended the castle for three years during the Tyrone Rebellion until relieved by Lord Mountjoy in 1601. In 1911 the Belfast antiquarian, Francis Joseph Bigger, bought the castle and restored it. He subsequently bequeathed it to the State.

A short distance away is Margaret's Castle. This small tower-house was probably built in the 15th century. Only two storeys still exist but there is evidence that it was at least three storeys high. It is vaulted above the ground floor. It is a rectangular tower with projecting turrets in the north west wall. The doorway between the turrets was protected by a murder-hole. A spiral stairway rises within the west turret. The castle is enclosed on the north and west by modern buildings which hide most of the details.

On the other side of the road, at the entrance to the Golf Club, is Cowd Castle. This small two-storey tower may date from the late 15th or early 16th century. The doorway is in the west wall. A straight mural stairway (now blocked) led to the upper level.

The Golf Club-house nearby is built on the site of the 15th century Ardglass Castle. This was probably a row of warehouses. The western half of the building was incorporated into a house built by Lord Charles Fitzgerald in 1790. Large sections of the original building can still be discerned within the modern club-house.

For details of some other Tower Houses click on the following links

Ballynalacken, Co Clare Ballyportry, Co Clare Cratloemoyle, Co Clare Gleninagh, Co Clare Smithstown, Co Clare Ballinacarriga, Co Cork Carrickadroichid, Co Cork Dunmanus, Co Cork Buncrana, Co Donegal Audley’s Castle, Co Down Kilclief, Co Down Narrow Water, Co Down Dunsoghly, Co Dublin Ardamullivan, Co Galway Drumharsna, Co Galway Feartagar, Co Galway Lydacan, Co Galway Ballymalis, Co Kerry Ballybur, Co Kilkenny Burnchurch, Co Kilkenny Foulksrath, Co Kilkenny Rockstown, Co Limerick Castlerea, Co Longford Ardee, Co Louth Killincoole, Co Louth Dunmahon, Co Louth Roodstown, Co Louth Termonfeckin, Co Louth Kildavnet, Co Mayo Kinlough, Co Mayo Rockfleet, Co Mayo Donore, Co Meath Lynch’s Castle, Co Meath Clonony, Co Offaly Shrah, Co Offaly Ballyfinboy, Co Tipperary Ballyvada, Co Tipperary Grallagh, Co Tipperary Graystown, Co Tipperary Lisronagh, Co Tipperary Moycarkey, Co Tipperary Tombrickane, Co Tipperary Syonan, Co Westmeath Tyrrelspass, Co Westmeath Kilcloggan, Co Wexford Rathmacknee, Co Wexford Taghmon, Co Wexford Threecastles, Co Wicklow

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