Situated on a level landscape, at the crest of a slight slope down to the NW-SE River Blackwater, which is c. 100m to the N. Liscartan was owned by Sir Robert Talbot in 1633 (Wilde 1850, 131-2), but according to the Civil Survey (1654-6) Sir Robert Talbott of Carrtown and Adam Missett of Belewstown owned 292 acres there in 1640, and the property included ‘two Castles, a Church, a Mill, and a weare’ (Simington 1940, 231). The Talbots seem to have retained the property into the 1690s but by 1703 what was still known as Talbotts Castle had passed from the estate of the attainted Sir William Talbott to Henry Cadogan (pers. Com. Conchubhar Ó Crualaoich 04/02/2012). The later stone house (ME025-009002-), which is attached to the SE, continued to be occupied into the middle of the 19th century when it was owned by a Mr. T. Gerrard, the proprietor of a nearby flourmill (Lewis 1837, 2, 281). The parish church of Liscartan (ME025-008----) is c. 60m to the NW.
The tower house is a rectangular structure with a barrel vault (int. dims 12m NE-SW; 4.5m NW-SE) that is divided by an inserted wall (T 0.4m) at the ground floor. There is a rectangular tower attached to every angle, except the S. The W tower has an inserted entrance from the outside with a mezzanine above, and a passage leads to the main ground floor chamber. The N tower (int. dims 3.1m NW-SE; 2.3m NE-SW) is vaulted on the ground floor and projects NW from the N end of the NW wall. It has evidence of a garderobe chute in the NE wall and there is a newel stairs at its S angle, which leads down from the floor above but there is no access to the main chamber on the ground floor. The E tower projects SE from the N end of the SE wall and has a wide pointed doorway (Wth 1.5m) that leads from an enclosed courtyard (dims 12.5m NW-SE; 6.8m NE-SW) between the tower house and the stone house (ME025-009002-) which is just to the SE. This tower also allows access by an external stairs to the first floor over the vault to a single chamber (int. dims 11.65m NE-SW; 5.4m NE-SW) that is featureless apart from a single light window on every wall except the SE, but some of the windows are ogee-headed. The N chamber is vaulted with traces of wicker-centring. The second floor is supported on corbels in the long walls and is accessed by a newel stairs in the E tower, which also has a garderobe chamber. At the second floor the main chamber has a single window on each wall but the SW wall has a double-light ogee-headed window. The newel stairs continue in the E and N towers to the parapet level (destroyed) of the main structure. Turrets rise over the three corner towers, that at the E angle with a garderobe while the N has pigeon-holes.
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 revised upload: 22 June 2016
Amended: 4 February 2021
Description Source: National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.