By Tom McNeill
The castles of eire are a necessary a part of the tale of medieval Europe, yet have been, till lately, a topic missed via students. A lord's energy and status used to be displayed within the majesty and area of expertise of his citadel. The is still of a number of thousand castles permit us to reconstruct lifestyles in eire in the course of those an important centuries.
Castles in Ireland tells the tale of the character and improvement of lordship and tool in medieval eire. eire shaped the environment to the interaction of the differing roles of competing lordships: English and Irish; feudal eu and Gaelic; royal and baronial. Tom McNeill argues that the layout of the castles contests the normal view of eire as a land torn by means of battle and divided culturally among the English and Irish.
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Additional info for Castles in Ireland: Feudal Power in a Gaelic World
The main purpose of these castles for the lords was to give a suitably impressive setting for their exercise of the new lordships they had acquired. This is seen at its most extreme at Carrickfergus, where the dominant tower with John de Courcy’s lodging took up more than a quarter of the castle’s area. The deliberate nature of this choice is reinforced when we remember that the castles were all paid for and designed by men from outside Ireland. The lords had wide connections with the Angevin court and there was no native tradition of castle building to cause this pattern.
The date of the stone barbican might be later, perhaps the work of his sons, reinforcing what was by then a gate house of clearly obsolete design. Figure 16 Nenagh castle: general view 32 — CHAPTER TWO— — EARLY CASTLES OF STONE— 33 Figure 17 Nenagh castle: fireplace and doorway decorated with Romanesque ornament on the second floor of the great tower The castle of Maynooth became the principal place for the barony which emerged later as the core of the Earldom of Kildare. The castle is now hard to interpret, with much of the stonework lacking features, and it has been the subject of heavy restoration (fig.
The arch of the embrasure leading to the stair on the second floor has its round arch decorated with a complex chevron, typical of the Irish Romanesque (fig. 17). The arches and the corbels of the third floor have mouldings and attached shafts of thirteenth-century fashion. The great tower up to the change may be attributed to Theobald Walter before his death in 1206; the third floor (and perhaps the gate house) to his son, Theobald II, who did not take possession of his lands until the end of his long minority in 1221.