Rock of Dunamase

Map Reference: S530982 (2530, 1982)

The Rock of Dunamase was an Early Christian fort which was eventually taken over by Strongbow after the Anglo-Norman invasion. William Marshall built a castle there about 1216. This was enlarged and rebuilt in the middle of the century by William de Braos. Ownership changed many times during the succeeding centuries until 1650 when the castle was largely destroyed by Cromwell’s generals, Hewson and Reynolds. It was partly rebuilt in the 18th century. The castle is set on a large rocky outcrop.

A number of defensive earthworks lead to a D-shaped gatehouse with the remains of a curtain wall. Beyond this is an inner rectangular gatehouse also in a curtain wall with a corner tower. This gatehouse is two storeys high and has a chamber on each side of the gate-passage.

On top of the hill is a large rectangular two-storey keep. The southern half of this is almost completely destroyed. The remaining portion has been greatly altered since its erection in the early 13th century. It has a good doorway and some good windows.

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