1630 – Athlumney Castle, Navan, Co. Meath




Constructed over several centuries – the classic form of the fortified Irish tower house visible as part of the Jacobean mansion. The mid-fifteenth-century tower house, built by the Dowdall family, was considerably enlarged around 1630 by a long, narrow gabled mansion with large mullioned windows and a fine oriel window.

The tower house has four storeys, with an attic and four projecting corner turrets of different sizes containing the stair, latrines and small chambers.

The house was now occupied by the Maguires who in 1649 set fire to the building rather than surrender it to Cromwell’s forces who were scouring the area razing all in their path to the ground. The Castle was again set alight around the time of the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 and has remained a ruin since.

Described in Lewis’s Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, “An old castle, situated on the right bank of the river, was formerly the property of the Dowdell family, by whom it was destroyed, to prevent its falling into the hands of Cromwell. The remains consist of an extensive and irregular pile of building of an oblong form, with two projecting square towers apparently of more ancient foundation than the remainder, which, with its gabled windows, appears to be in the Elizabethan style.”