Dunsany Castle (Caisleán Dhun Samhna)

Dunsany Castle


Location: Dunsany, County Meath

Constructed: 1180 by Hugh de Lacy


Dunsany Castle is a medieval citadel in Dunsany, County Meath in Ireland. Dunsany Castle was erected in 1180 by Hugh de Lacy.


Dunsany castle and fiefdom stand on the land of Dunsany between the towns of Trim and Dunshaughlin. Nearby there is a small village Dansani Cross with post office, shop, Catholic Church, school, club, bar, local authorities. Dover house is not far away. Together with the village of Kilmessan, Dunsany township forms one Catholic parish.


The history of the castle Dunsany

The first castle Dunsany was built immediately after the Anglo-Norman conquest of Ireland in the style of Motte-and-Bailey " in 1180-1181 years. To the left and right of the present castle can be seen the foundations of ancient buildings. The four main towers have survived from those ancient times, but the interior, the old kitchen were completed in the XVIII-XIX centuries. The current Dunsany castle is three times the size of the original castle.

Dunsany castle, together with Killeen castle, was given to the knights of Cusack by the feudal Lord de Lacy. Owing to marriage in the early XV century castle devolved in ownership family Plunkett. At first Dunsany castle and Killeen castle were part of the same estate, but then Killeen castle went to the eldest son, and Dunsany castle to the youngest son-Christopher. The estate was divided. The castle was the property of the barons of Dunsany continuously, until the time of Oliver Cromwell. In 1641 a rebellion broke out for Irish independence, the barons of Dunsany supported the rebellion. Castle kept the defense from the attack of British troops. The defense was led by lady Plunkett. For this, the lands and castle were confiscated from them by Oliver Cromwell, and they were evicted to Connacht. They died on the way to Connacht. After the restoration of the monarchy, the castle was returned to the cousins of the owners-Saint and Oliver Plunkett.

The Dunsany estate was reduced in area due to the policies of the then British government and land acts in the late 19th century. But the castle remained surrounded by the lands of the primeval fiefdom. In the castle lived and worked writer Lord Dunsany – much of his literary heritage was written precisely in one of towers of the castle.

Since 1990, work has been carried out on the restoration of Dunsany castle. Another castle Plunkettiv - castle Trim lies in ruins and transferred to the ownership of the state.


Features of the architecture

The entrance to the castle is from the porch, then there is a passage to the Central corridor, the main staircase, the vaulted ceiling, the second hall. On the ground floor is the main dining room with portraits of the Plunkett people and other paintings. There is a billiard room, kitchen-both ancient and modern. On the ground floor there is a library and a living room, which has a decoration of 1780. The library is decorated in neo-Gothic style. On the second floor there is a secret passage, which was used for ancient Catholic plots. On the third floor there are bedrooms.



The mansion is surrounded by a wall, most of which was built during the Holodomor of 1848 for the sole purpose of giving people jobs and means to survive. The main gate of the estate of the middle Ages, there is a so-called "pilgrim's cross", there is a house of the estate guard-the gate house. There are locks on the river, the locks have a house and a tall white gate. The third lock had an interesting black house, but it was barbarously destroyed in the 1980s. Nearby near the estate there is a Church of St. Nicholas of Myra (which is called by locals "Abbey"). The Church was built in 1440 on the site of an older Church that had stood here since at least 1305. Now it is a monument of history and architecture of Ireland of national importance. Near the Church there is an ancient cemetery. The Church went out of use - a new Church was built.

There is a large garden of over 3 acres. Garden as in ancient times gives people fruits and vegetables. Preserved house gardener, there is an apiary. The estate has numerous stone outbuildings, ice storage houses, stables. Around the estate there are swamps, fields, forests. There is a railway station on the Dublin-Navan line nearby. The river scone, a tributary of the river Boyne, flows through the estate.

The castle can be visited only on certain days of the year and then for a fee. The castle was used during the filming of many films, including the film "Braveheart".