Tynte’s Castle is a late fifteenth century urban tower-house that stands in the main street of Youghal, county Cork. It is the only remaining example of several such buildings that were formally to be found in the town. Tower-houses were a feature of the infrastructure of Irish towns and cities of the 15th and 16th centuries. It is thought that these particular fortified buildings were constructed by merchants and their families, especially in coastal towns such as Youghal, where they would have been involved in trade.
‘They were not part of the town’s defences and were located on the main street or at important junctions. These tower houses afforded secure storage for goods, good residential space for the period and an impressive edifice that enhanced the trade of the merchant. These merchant families were a growing urban elite that was coming to the fore in urban politics in 14th and 15th century Ireland. These affluent families became civic office holders in the governing corporations of the towns, positioning themselves to benefit economically and politically from such positions as Mayors and Burgesses. By living in towns, they forged business links and created civic cohesion in a time in which central government was erratic at best.’
Source: Tynte’s Castle