Winding track

Dun Dealgan/Castletown

Norman Motte

This enormous circular motte is situated on a ridge to the west of Dundalk town. It is also known as Cúchulainn's Castle which suggests the motte may have been built on top of an earlier earthworks. The steep-sided mound rises to a height of about 10 metres and has a wide fosse and high earthen bank surrounding it. It was probably built in the late 11th century by Bertram de Verdun. There are signs of a small D-shaped bailey at the northwest. Earlier records show a larger bailey to the east of the fosse. There is a souterrain set into the motte about halfway up the track leading to the top. This may have been part of the earlier earthworks. a prominent

Blocked entrance to the souterrain

Entrance at the top

Located on the flat topped motte is an eighteenth century castellated house known as 'Byrne's Folly'. It was built in 1780 by a local pirate named Patrick Byrne. The track cut into the southern side of the mound gave access to the house. The Normans delimited the top of the motte with a wooden palisade and would have built a tower within it. The motte may have appeared very similar when it was originally built, with a wooden tower instead of the stone structure.

Situated: Heading North on the M1 take the Dundalk exit 17. Turn right for Dundalk. After 1 kilometre turn right at the crossroads. 200 metres up here on your right is the entrance with stone pillars and steps over the wall. Follow the track up to the left.

Discovery Map 36: J 0288 0833. Last visit July 2013.

Longitude: 6° 25' 49" W

Latitude: 54° 0' 50" N

Google Map

Photos: Jim Dempsey.

The view looking west.

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