Trim Castle is the largest and certainly the most iconic Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland. Trim was situated in an important strategic position at a fording point on the River Boyne. A fort was established at the site as early as the fifth century. In 1172, shortly after the arrival of the Anglo Normans King Henry II granted Hugh de Lacy the Kingdom of Meath , along with custody of Dublin anxious that Strongbow (Richard de Clare) was becoming too powerful and may have had eyes on setting up a rival Anglo-Norman kingdom in Ireland. De Lacy took possession of the site and built a huge ringwork defended by a double palisade and external ditch. Part of the original stone-footed timber gatehouse lies beneath the stone gate to the west of the castle.
De Lacy left the castle under the control of Hugh Tyrrel, Baron of Castkleknock but it was attacked and burnt in 1174 by the army of Ruairí O Conchúir (Connor) and Tyrrel was forced to flee. In the aftermath of the destruction De lacy started to rebuild the castle and replaced the earlier wooden buildings with a unique twenty sided cruciform design tower with three metre thick walls. Over the following decades Hugh de lacy and his son Walter constructed the curtain walls, most of the castle that is still visible today was completed by 1220.
The castle then passed by marriage into the hands of Geoffrey de Geneville who had married Walter’s granddaughter Mathilda (Maud). In the late 13th century Geoffrey built the great hall, north tower and improved the curtain wall. The castle passed again by marriage into the Mortimer family who held it until 1425 when the last male heir Edmund Mortimer died. The castle then passed to Richard of York, the son of Edmund’s sister Anne. In 1460, when Richard of York was killed in the Battle of Wakefield his son, none other than King Edward IV appointed Germyn Lynch to be his representative at Trim.
The castle then became the centre of administration for Meath and defended the northern boundary of The Pale. The castle operated as a mint and during the 15th century the Irish parliament met in the castle several times. The castle fell into decline in the 16th century but was refortified and occupied during the Irish Confederate Wars of the 1640s. In 1649 the castle was occupied by the army of Oliver Cromwell as they devastated their way across Ireland. By the end of 17th century the castle was in the hands of the Wellesley family before finally passing into the hands of the Dunsany Plunketts, Lord Dunsany sold the land and buildings to the state in 1993
GPS: 53.55442, -6.78939b