Poulakerry castle

Here in Ireland we call these Castles. But in general they are Keeps or Peel Houses. In the part of Ireland I live these towers are in direct line of sight to at least another two but more normally four or five. As fortified dwellings they aren’t up to much, their strength lays in their proximity. So should my people attack, the idea was the occupants would be rescued when all the other towers came to help. It wasn’t until the English civil war part of the 30 years war that just how useless these towers actually were when faced by a well supplied and organised force. Then the usual method of attack was to point a cannon at the entrance and breached, timber was then heaped against the hole and lit. The tower became a huge chimney either smothering or roasting the contents.

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8 Responses to Poulakerry castle

  1. Kimberly says:

    Hmmm, interesting. I do remember seeing one or two while there and had assumed they were part of a larger castle that had fallen into ruins. Are they used for anything now?

    • V.H says:

      That one is lived in. Most aren’t. And most had baileys to some extent but it depended how strong. Some were in wood or stone and some simply a ditch with a bank over it where a thick hedge had been planted.
      In general they are ruins, many with only two walls still standing. The older ones were built with a the barrel vault system. This system is very strong and the same as the Romans used for aqueducts. But they collapse if forces are changed ever so slightly.

  2. Kimberly says:

    Baileys?
    This one is lived in!?!? By who? Just someone who bought it and moved in or is it like a “keeper” of the land? That would be something to live in one. What would the dimensions be? I would imagine pretty narrow with a few floors, but that could be an optical illusion.

  3. Kelly says:

    I’m fascinated that it’s inhabited and would love to see what they’ve done with the interior. Maybe you should go knock on the door with your camera! 😉

  4. V.H says:

    I had a look at the older maps and it shows this one as being hollow in 1840. So at some point it was reroofed and then floored. Since the inner part was hollow it puts it with Kilcash in or about 1450 plus a bit. The hollowness is the key. All the early ones were barrel vaulted, meaning the floor couldn’t collapse while the walls stood.
    Anywhoos, this would make it a good bit easier to convert to modern living. Since all you’d be doing to get the mod cons like loo’s, washhand basins and baths is cutting through the timber floor.

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