There is something hugely captivating when you come across the ruins of Monkstown Castle in county Meath. I say ruins but essentially all that remains of this 15th century tower house is the north wall, walking around it and looking upwards is unnerving! The landscape around Monkstown does reflect the fact that at one point this must have been a thriving area, three souterrains, a ruined church, and various earthworks in the surrounding fields are evidence of this. The ‘village of Monketon’ as it was described in the 16th century was owned by St. Mary’s Cistercian abbey and was leased to a Lady Eleanor Plunkett following the ‘Suppression’ in 1540; it does not mention the castle persay but does mention a ‘capital mansion’. One hundred years later in 1640 the Civil Survey stated that Edward Dowdall owned 295 acres at ‘Mountowne or Mounketowne’ in Skreen barony, the property included ‘one castle, one water mill, and one church’. The later period of the tower-house is unknown but it was most certainly in remains by 1837 as Samuel Lewis’ ‘A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland’ makes no mention of the castle or even its ruin when discussing Monkstown. The remains of Monkstown may be scant but they most certainly are charming.
GPS: 53.61391, -6.55834