Sweetman's Castle/Mullin's Castle

Fortified House

This four storey tower house was built in c.1350. It was known as Sweetmans Castle, but is now known locally as Mullin's Castle. The fortified house is beautifully situated on the banks of the River Nore. It is easy to assume these tower houses, built by river crossings, main purpose was to control the rivers and collect tolls. Archaeologist Ben Murtagh believes Sweetman's Castle may have been originally used for storing goods transported by barge along the river. Murtagh uses the term 'Bridge Castle' to describe this type of structure. The ground floor chamber was entered from the riverside.

Since the Anglo-Norman invasion there has been trade between Thomastown and England, see Thomastown High Cross. Dundry stone was also imported from Bristol in England and used in the construction of many abbeys and tower houses in Ireland. It was easier to transport the stone along the our waterways. The stone is present in the tower houses in Thomastown and nearby Inistioge. Riverine Tower houses can also be found at Leighlinbridge, Athy, Ardglass, and Thurles. Sadly the tower house is suffering badly from neglect.

Situated: Very easy, the tower house is located at Mullins Bridge in the centre of Thomastown.

Discovery Map 67: S 5847 4177. Last visit Feb 2019.

Longitude: 7° 8' 18" W

Latitude: 52° 31' 27" N

Google Map

Photos: Jim Dempsey.

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