Middletown Motte and Bailey

Situated to the immediate south Ardamine graveyard is a 12th century Anglo-Norman motte and bailey. The eight metre high motte is believed to have been built, by the Barry family, on the site of a much earlier burial mound. There are remains of a 10 metre long by 10 metre wide bailey on the south-east side of the mound. The top of the motte offers superb views of the east coast from Tara Hill in the north to Cahore in the south. Traditionally it is said to be Ard Ladhran, the burial place of Ladhra, the first man to die in Ireland.

According to the Four Masters, Noah refused his son Bith and Bith's daughter Ceasair, a place on the ark, because they had abandoned the true God. After consultation and without knowing about the great flood, Bith, Ceasair, Fintan, Ladhra and fifty damsels put to sea. Forty days before the deluge they landed at Bannow Bay in County Wexford. After dividing the damsels between them Ladhra settled in Ard-Ladhra where he later died. Bith is said to have died at Slieve Beagh in Fermanagh, Fintan near lough Derg in County Clare and Ceasair was buried on the banks of the Boyle River.

Situated: At he southern end of Ardamine graveyard. From Courtown take the coast road south through Riverchapel until you come to St John's Church and graveyard.

Discovery Map 69: T 1974 5475. Last visit June 2016.

Longitude: 6° 13' 52" W

Latitude: 52° 37' 51" N

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Photos: Jim Dempsey.

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