An Act of Folly

Situated to the immediate north-west of Dundalk, the Dún Dealgan Motte is associated with a number of myths, one of them being that this was the birthplace of the Irish legendary hero, Cúchulainn. Around 1180, the Normans were responsible for creating the present substantial earthwork which consists of a flat-topped mound some ten metres above the surrounding countryside, encircled by a deep fosse with a diameter of around 97 metres. It is likely that a wooden fortification was then erected on the top of the site, but this has long since vanished. Towards the end of the 18th century, a local merchant called Patrick Byrne (sometimes described as a ‘pirate’ since he may have been involved in smuggling) erected the castellated tower that can be seen today. Although damaged in the 1798 rebellion, it remained standing and around the mid-19th century was further enlarged and embellished by Colonel Thomas Vesey Dawson as a country retreat. However, the building subsequently fell into disrepair before being burnt out in the 1920s, leaving just a ruin of the tower, commonly known as Byrne’s Folly. 

One comment on “An Act of Folly

  1. Deborah T. Sena says:

    Didn’t know where to post this, so I picked another ruin. Your latest post has me looking a real estate around the area and came across Kingston Hall. Have you ever visited it? The dove cote is amazing! But wonder who would take it on, other than build near it with this in the listing,
    “Kinston Hall was built in the early 1770’s and was inhabited until the 1950’s. The house is not a listed building, but there is an architectural impact assessment completed on the buildings which would govern the building works.” Meanwhile, it is being reclaimed by nature as opposed to at least being stabilized and accessible.

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