Thursday Doors – The Wall

Continuing with Trim Castle and its features, Thursday Doors takes a good look at the wall this week.

A castle’s wall running between two towers or bastions was called a curtain wall. Built for a defense purpose, usually a moat or ditch ran around the outside. These were mostly very high walls and extremely thick, often seven feet or more.

On top of the walls were battlements from where the defenders could shoot with relative safety, except when a cannonball came hurtling in their direction. However, behind the parapets there was a walkway, allowing movement from one place to another.

As you can see from the photos, the wall and its towers surrounding Trim castle have shrunk in height and in places disappeared completely.

Shortly after its builder, de Lacy, left Ireland entrusting the castle and lands to one of his chief lieutenants, the last High King of Ireland, RuaidrĂ­ Ua CanannĂ¡in, destroyed it.

He probably used something like this to complete his task;

Thanks for coming along on another tour of Trim Castle this week. Dan has some very interesting doors waiting for you over on his blog. Next week I’ll be leaving the castle and its wall behind but there will be another nice selection of the towns ruins to explore on my Thursday Doors post.

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Thursday Doors – The Keep

The Keep at Trim Castle is in the heart of its grounds and on this week’s Thursday Doors we’ll have a really good look at it.

This is quite a unique structure in that along with a square tower on each corner there is another square tower on each side wall, too, thus making it a 20 sided building. This may have been an experimental design to test its security in the event of an attack from the native Irish Gaelic kings and their tribes. The function of a keep is to offer a last place of refuge if the castle walls are breached, which makes it a fortress in itself.

By the early 1500s most of Ireland was back in the control of the Gaelic chieftans, except for an area surrounding Dublin called The Pale or The English Pale. However Trim castle, which was allowed to fall into decline, still maintained a military presence as a form of protection.

No wonder Mel Gibson chose it as a location for some of the scenes for the movie Braveheart.

We couldn’t get in to have a look inside as guided tours were not operating at the time but here’s a drawing of what it used to look like in its day.

Thanks for coming along this week and if you’d like to see more, my next post will feature the remainder of the structures within the castle walls. For some amazing elevated views of Trim Castle check out the link at the end of this post.*

If you’re still in the mood for a bit more exploring after our tour around the Keep, Dan has a great selection of links to Thursday Doors from around the world over on his blog.

Aerial view of Trim Castle*

Posted in castles and ruins, Historical buildings, History, Ireland, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Thursday Doors – The Castle Grounds

This week on Thursday Doors we explore the grounds behind the walls of Trim Castle. I would definitely have felt much more secure living inside rather than out. Those houses on the opposite side of the moat look a bit too vulnerable to me. As we go through the great arched entrance there is a stairway to the left leading up to the Gatehouse.

Once inside the castle walls, we get a better view of the Gatehouse. A lot of it is still intact but is closed off from the public for safety reasons.

To the left of the entrance the wall runs along to what remains of the Great Hall.

My apologies for what looks like a blurred spot in some of the following images. I must have had a mark on the camera lens and didn’t notice at the time. This one looks like a surprised face. The next image shows us what the Great Hall looked like in its day.

Any issues relating to the Lordship were discussed at meetings in this building. Courts, parliaments and feasts were held there, too. Next week, we’ll see some more of the castle grounds and in the meantime Dan has a feast of Thursday Doors over on his blog.

Posted in Blogging, castles and ruins, Historical buildings, History, Ireland, Thursday Doors | Tagged , , , , , | 16 Comments

Thursday Doors – Trim Castle

Trim Castle, featured on this week’s Thursday Doors, is Ireland’s largest Anglo-Norman castle and was constructed on the site of an earlier wooden fortress. This is how it looks from one of the main roads leading into town and I’m sure a knight in armour sat on his horse at some point in time in the same place that the motorcycle rider has parked his modern day steed. Hugh de Lacy and his son, Walter, were granted the Liberty of Meath by King Henry II in 1172 and about 1176 commenced the buiding of the castle, which took more than thirty years to complete.

The castle and its thick walls look even more impressive from across the river.

There’s a lovely park with picnic tables and benches outside the castle walls.

Well, that’s enough photos of the exterior so let’s make our way over to the main entrance.

You’ll have to wait until next week to walk through Trim Castle’s big old archway but if you head on over to Dan’s blog there’s a great collection of Thursday Doors just waiting to be found.

Posted in Blogging, castles and ruins, Historical buildings, History, Ireland, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

Thursday Doors – Colourful Trim

Still in Trim, County Meath for this week’s Thursday Doors and I’m starting off with a colourful one. Sure how could I pass up a door that’s so vibrantly red?

When you can’t find a red door, a red house will do nicely.

Or an orange one.

This one is probably my favourite of the forty shades of green we have here in Ireland. Forest green comes to mind. The sign on the door depicts the arm of a knight pointing to the entrance. That’s a hint as to what next week’s post will feature. It might not be as colourful but it will definitely be in Trim and in the meantime, there are lots more Thursday Doors over on Dan’s blog to explore.

Posted in Blogging, Ireland, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , | 17 Comments

Thursday Doors – A Very Old Bridge

This week on Thursday Doors I thought we might look at some of the heritage buildings and one very old bridge in the centre of Trim, County Meath. This first one is the courthouse and was built about 1810 to the design of Richard Morrison. Grand Juries commissioned courthouses in various towns and cities of Ireland between the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Designed by Richard Morrison, the size and quality of this courthouse makes it one of the the town’s most impressive public buildings. It sits on a juncion of three streets, so you can’t miss it.

Next we have a bank that dates from 1910 and was designed by L. A. O’Donnell. Unlike most of the other buildings of the town, which tend to be limestone or rendered, this one is redbrick and really stands out from the rest with its warm tones.

Before we cross this bridge, let’s have a look at its history. A wooden bridge stood here until it was swept away by floods in 1330. This more solid one was built in its place using local stone. It has had only minor changes in its lifetime and claims to be Ireland’s oldest bridge that has been unaltered and in continuous use for almost 700 years.

There’s another bridge in the distance but we’ll cross that when we come to it in a week or so.

The walk on this side of the river gives the best aspect of the bridge. I think it’s doing remarkably well considering the weight of modern day traffic. Thanks so much for stopping by this week and crossing a very old bridge with me, there are lots more Thursday Doors posts waiting for you over on Dan’s blog.

Posted in Blogging, Historical buildings, History, Ireland, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 23 Comments

Thursday Doors – Trim

The title of this week’s Thursday Doors isn’t referring to a door trim but the town of Trim in County Meath. In Irish the name is Baile Atha Troim, meaning town at the ford of elderflowers. It is situated on the Boyne river and the elderberries growing along the riverbank were the juiciest I’ve ever tasted. Having featured our lovely accommodation on my last post I thought I would bring you on a wee tour of the town centre to give you a sense of its historic nature. I would be very tempted to book a few nights in the Bounty Bar (first image) judging from what I can see on the outside alone. Those shutters and the stonework go so well together. The flowers are the icing on the cake, for me.

We didn’t have enough time to give the Judge & Jury a trial but maybe on my next visit to the town I’ll investigate it and give my you my verdict. Sorry, I just couldn’t resist those puns. If you can come up with any more I’d love to hear them.

Hanging baskets and boxes featured everywhere in the town and they really brightened up the buildings.

Even a tiny shed peeking through some shrubbery had a couple of nice planters complimenting it. Some doors were only two dimensional, as you’ll see from the following images.

I thought the three women in the above photo had followed me back to my accommodation when I opened my bedroom door and saw these strange looking characters.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s post from Trim and if you carry on over to Dan’s blog you’ll find lots of links to interesting Thursday Doors from around the world.

Posted in Art, Blogging, Historical buildings, History, Humour, Ireland, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

Thursday Doors – September Weekend

In September I met up with my sisters and mother for a weekend get together and collected so many Thursday Doors shots it will keep me going till the end of the year, I think. We rented self-catering accommodation in the Knightsbrook Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort situated in the heritage town of Trim, County Meath. The Courtyard Homes consist of three en-suite bedrooms and sleep up to eight people. As there was only five of us we had plenty of room.*

Each house has a small private garden and we also had use of the hotel’s spa treatments and swimming pool. An added bonus was three days of sunshine. The morning dew lit up the cobwebs on some of the shrubbery and the details in their design was amazing.

We had a few unexpected surprises when we took a walk around the complex on our first night there.

I think my favourite has to be this little beauty. It was only half the size of the other cars with just enough room for the driver but maybe not the best vehicle to travel in on a rainy day.

Dan has some wonderful photographs of a beautiful railway museum over on his blog this week. My next Thursday Doors of our September weekend will continue with a tour of Trim town, hope to see you there.

Knightsbrook Hotel *

Posted in Blogging, Ireland, nature, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , , , | 21 Comments

Thursday Doors – Cootehill Finale

For the finale of Thursday Doors from Cootehill I’ve saved quite a mixed lot of buildings. This first one is a former Methodist church, built in 1870, which is now a Freemason’s Hall. It replaced an earlier Meeting House, dating from 1797. The founder of Methodism, John Wesley, visited the town many times. Just in behind the church is The Manse, seen through the trees and shrubs. It was built around the same time as the church and would have been occupied by the minister/clergy of the day.

I couldn’t find any information on the next row of buildings. They look like domestic or labourers homes attached to a coach house or stables, possibly part of a large estate house. Bellamont House is near the town and was built in the early 1700’s with similar stonework and redbrick trim.

The roof has fallen in on most of these buildings but the centre one is still intact.

It looks like someone is living in that one. I love the way it stands out from the rest, showing us how they must have all looked originally. Hopefully, the electricity supply has been upgraded.

I couldn’t find any information on the next building either. It looks historical but I can’t tell from what era. Maybe late Victorian?

Dan has a great selection of links over on his blog this week. Thanks for coming along on this grand finale of Cootehill Thursday Doors.

Posted in Cavan, Historical buildings, History, Ireland, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 15 Comments

Thursday Doors – More from Cootehill

Nice wee gate lodge being renovated.

More from the County Cavan town of Cootehill on this week’s Thursday Doors. I’m sorry I’ve been absent most of this month, I’ve had a very busy September. The plus side of all the traveling I’ve done has been a nice collection of interesting Thursday Doors that I will share with you over the coming months.

The White Horse Hotel on the main street.

Opposite the hotel stands the town’s courthouse, which was built in 1833. In front of the building a peace garden has been installed with memorials to soldiers who died in both world wars and subsequent conflicts.

At the top of the main street, not far from the courthouse stands a detached Italianate two-storey bank, built in 1858 and designed by William Murray. It’s now privately owned and is being tastefully renovated, retaining much of its historic features.

I’ll finish off with a photo of a Church of Ireland building which dates from 1818. It looks down the main street of the town and is in very good condition. That blue sky should tell you what a beautiful day it was on my visit to Cootehill. Dan has some great links to interesting posts from around the world over on his blog this week. On next week’s Thursday Doors I’ll be posting the last of my photographs from Cootehill.

Posted in Blogging, Cavan, Historical buildings, Ireland, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments