Sunday, August 14, 2016

Sunday 14th August 2016...a wonderful Castle!!!!

It seems I am in a great routine now spending my mornings taking care of the animals, some breakfast and going for walks with Dudley and Maddy and some laundry I then go on a little road adventure and today was no fist place to visit was...

History of Hill of Tara

The Hill of Tara has been a sacred site since prehistoric times, with the earliest known monument (the Mound of the Hostages) built between 2500 and 2100 BC. After that, the site remained in regular ceremonial use for thousands of years.
In the Iron Age, roughly spanning the 1st through 5th centuries AD, the Hill of Tara was the ceremonial center of the Celtic high kings of Ireland. Roman artifacts dating from the 1st to 3rd centuries have been found on the site and it is said that St. Patrick visited Tara in the 430s AD after lighting his "Paschal fire" on the nearby Hill of Slane. The kings appear to have abandoned the site in the 6th century.
In more recent history, Tara has been the site of important political events, indicating its continuing significance for the Irish people. In 1798, rebels of the Irish revolution fought British troops on the Hill of Tara, and in 1843, a peaceful demonstration of some 750,000 people protested against Ireland's union with Britain.
Today, the Hill of Tara is an important archaeological site and a major center of Irish spiritual and political heritage. Most of it remains unexplored by archaeologists, so there is still much to learn. Only two main areas have been systematically excavated: the Rath of the Synods in the 1950s and the Mound of the Hostages, in which Bronze Age burials were found. In recent years, the latest technology of photography has been used to discover underlying formations without disturbing the site.

This was a site that really was best visited for it's historical significance as opposed to the visual sights as this  shot from one of the information board shows..
 My shots..

From here I went about 15 km to one of the nicest towns I have visited in Ireland, Trim.
A lovely quaint town now famous for it's medi evil castle!!

Trim Castle

Trim Castle is the largest, best-preserved & most impressive Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland Trim get its name from the Irish áth Truim, meaning ‘The Ford of the Elder Trees', indicating that this was an important fording point on the River Boyne. Such was the significance of this crossing point that by the fifth century a chieftain's dún (fort) and an early monastery were sited here. Trim Castle In 1172, shortly after the arrival of the Anglo-Normans in Ireland, King Henry II granted Hugh de Lacy the Kingdom of Meath, along with custody of Dublin. The King feared that Strongbow (Richard de Clare) might set up a rival Anglo-Norman kingdom in Ireland.
For strategic reasons, de Lacy decided to make Trim, rather than Drogheda, the centre of his newly acquired lordship. De Lacy converted a ringfort into a wooden castle with a spiked stockade. This structure was seen as a threat by the Gaelic Irish and in 1174 Rory O'Connor, King of Connacht (and last High King of Ireland), attacked and it was destroyed. The following year work began on a more permanent stone replacement and over the following decades Hugh de Lacy (d. 1186) and his son Walter constructed the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Europe. Initially a stone keep, or tower, replaced the wooden fortification. The keep was remodeled and then surrounded by curtain walls and a moat. The wall, punctuated by several towers and a gatehouse, fortified an area of about 3 acres. Most of the castle visible today was completed by 1220.
The unique twenty-sided cruciform design of the keep (with walls 3m thick) is an example of the experimental military architecture of the period. It served as both the domestic and administrative centre of the castle. By 1500 much of Ireland was back in the hands of Gaelic Chieftains and the territory under English control had been reduced to an area around Dublin, known as ‘The Pale'. By this time Trim Castle was in decline; however, it remained an important outpost protecting the north- western frontier of The Pale.
Over the centuries Trim Castle was adapted to suit the domestic needs of its owners and the changing political climate. However, much of its fabric has remained unchanged since the height of Anglo-Norman power in Ireland. Even today when standing within the walls of the castle visitors can get the sense of security that would have been felt by the de Lacy family in a hostile landscape. Although, standing outside the walls you can sense the intimidation that must surely have been felt by the native population.

For 3 Euros they were offering a guided tour around the castle and it was one of the best informative tours I have been on...enjoy these shots of the castle, river and surrounding area!!!!

What I have not told you that in recent years the castle is famous for it's role in the wonderful movie Braveheart with Mel Gibson!!!

There were some tourists here but not mobbed just a great afternoon...
It is now 11.30 pm and I am watching life tennis from's final one game each so enjoy i off back to the tele!!!!

Yashi kochi!!!

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