ME00861 - CLUAIN AN GHAILL - Castle - tower house

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Richard Whyte of Clogell was a juror at an inquisition into the manor of Kilmainhambeg in 1541 (White 1943, 112). A castle at Clongill (10:2) in Clongill parish and Morgallion barony is depicted as a tower on the Down Survey (1656-8) barony and parish maps ( According to the Civil Survey (1654-6) Lord Barnwall, James White of Clongill, Alexander Plunkett of Gibstown, and John Proudfoot of Clongill owned 388 acres there in 1640, and on the premises was ‘a Castle and Mansion House’ (Simington 1940, 326), which was probably occupied by White, the others being mortgagees. It is situated on a level landscape with the parish church (ME017-018001-) c. 150m to the NNE. The tower house is rectangular structure (int. dims 6.5m N-S; 5.1m E-W) with curved angles, a circular stairs tower at the SW angle and a rectangular garderobe tower at the NE angle. The original doorway, now blocked, is towards the S end of the W wall with a murder-hole over the entrance lobby but the newel stairs off the lobby to the S is blocked. There is a N-S barrel-vault with wicker centring over the ground floor, which has a window in the S wall and a blocked doorway towards the N end of the W wall, which may be secondary and allowed further access with the house (ME017-019001-) attached to the W. The first floor (int. dims 7.2m N-S; 5.7m E-W) has single windows on the E and S walls, two windows on the N wall, and a robbed fireplace on the W wall. All the windows were adapted into tall Georgian-style windows with brick, but the original doorway to the garderobe at NE is lintelled and the doorway from the stairs is pointed. The corbels to support the ceiling are generally missing. A pointed doorway leads from the stairs to the second floor, from which a lintelled doorway leads to the garderobe in the NE tower. There is an enlarged window in each wall except the W and there are fireplaces in the E and W walls. The stairs continue in the SW tower but the wall-walk and parapet do not survive, apart from a look-out over the NW angle that was supported partly by a pier on the inner edge of the wall-walk. There was a partial collapse of the walls in 1994, which have become covered in ivy. The stone house (ME017-019001-) is attached to W. The tower house is at the SE angle of a rectangular enclosure (dims c. 30m ENE-WSW; c. 20m NNW-SSE) defined by masonry walls that could have constituted a bawn, which is more likely to be associated with the house than the tower house. The above description is derived from the published 'Archaeological Inventory of County Meath' (Dublin: Stationery Office, 1987). In certain instances the entries have been revised and updated in the light of recent research. Compiled by: Michael Moore Date of upload/revision: 13 June 2016

Description Source: Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage

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53.728, -6.75096

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