Friday, November 26, 2010

Adare Castle, Co Limerick.

 I have given a glimpse of this Castle also known as Desmond Castle here, on a walk through the village of Adare. Sorry that there is a lot of writing but I have left out a lot and there are quite a few pictures in this.
This Anglo/Norman Castle beside the river Maigue was built just before 1200 and would have been just the Tower and the inner walls and the tower would have been a lot smaller in the begining. The outer curtain walls were built later in the 1200's, it is thought that they replaced timber palisades.There were subsequent additions until it was finally demolished in 1657 by parlimentary troops.
It changed hands a number of times during its lifetime and is liked to some interesting history, first mentioned owner was Geoffrey de Marisco who had a few castles around Ireland*. He was appointed Justicular of Ireland by King John and was accused of financial irregularities,resigned, was reappointed, then was implicated in the assassination of King Henry 3rd where he fled the country. He was also excommunicated for keeing church grounds. 
Then the FitzGeralds the Earls of Desmond got possesion of the Castle, it would have been one of many that they held throughout the country* as they were a powerfull clan. It was they who built on all the extensions the grand hall . They held the castle for 300 years until they went against the reformation of King Henry 8th after a series of rebellions the 15th Earl was defeated and their lands were forfeit to the Crown.
After loosing the castle the followers the Geraldines  or the Munster Geraldines/Desmond Geraldines staged bloody sieges on the castle, in the years  1579, 1581 and 1600. This pretty much left the castle in ruins and the parlimentary troops deismantled it enough to make it useless. This was

Click on image for better view
Gate from inside with portcullis, both of which are new but built in the original style by the Office of Public Works. Like some of the walls etc that have been restored around the site.
A view in side the grounds with a view of the bridge where the inner drawbridge would have been.
A view out the windows of the outer walls.
A view from one of the river from what would have been the guard area.
A view of one of the spiral stairs, as I might have mentioned before spiral stairs usually curve around clockwise to make it harder to attack and easier to defend if you were a right handed soldier .
Another stairs, this would have been used by servants, hence it being straight.
An oven, if memory serves me its a bread oven, there is a well to the right of the oven.
Part of the Grand hall that would have been used to have parties and entertain guests, built by the Desmonds.
The windows along the wall of the hall.
A well on the castle grounds.
Part of the moat that circled the inner walls. Where there is growth now, it once was a cesspit of everything foul that was thrown from the castle including human waste.
If you look at the picture above you might have missed this narrow slit(right side), this is the window of the the dungeon. It not alone let in a sliver of light, but for any unfortunates locked up they got the added pleasure of inhaling the putrid stench from the moat.
Last picture with our Norwegian friend, inspects the moat.
A Guardrobe, where we get our wardrobe, this walk in served two purposes, practical and disgusting. Obviously it was used as a place to store the guards uniform when they were not on duty, there was also a trough where the guards used to urinate. This was practical in a horrible way, as the ammonia was used to kill the fleas on the uniform.
Inside the inner ward, the Yew tree would have been there from the start as the Yew was used for arrows as the branches grew quite straight.
The base or the Yew tree.
The walls from the inside, this is where the guards would have lived and kept watch.
The original stairs to the Dungeon, which would have been naturally dark and creepy and made sure that no light entered bar that little slit from earlier.
Luckily for us they opened this doorway or we would been in trouble seen as the stairs is blocked, but it gives an idea of the thickness of the walls.
A view from what remains from castles main room, from here you can see the original height of the castle, the family would have lived above this room.
*There would not have been a family staying here full time, the families moved from castle to castle. The castles used to get invested with fleas and vermin and they smell after a time. so the family would move on to the next castle while this one would be cleaned out. Those at the time that were lucky enough to sleep in a bed usually slept sitting up so any beds from this era were about 4 or 5 foot in length.
If this amused you click on this link from a great BBC kids program  Horrible Histories Youtube
A view out at the outside walls from the Castle.


The Retired One said...

Amazing photos...and history to go with it...guess the fantasy of living in a castle long ago was quickly squelched by your accounts of human waste and deplorable conditions....but very interesting!

Paz said...

thank you on the photo comment and sorry to upset your fantasy , but this castle was a great way to show the good the bad and the ugly. The woman that brought us around told us all these things and it reminded me of something.
Theres a great kids program on one of the BBC channels on Sunday afternoons, thats a secret pleasure called 'Horrible History' where they go into great detail on the disgusting things they don't teach in class, kids love it (so do I).
check out some of their stuff here