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Located on a shelf of high ground within Trim town with a NW-SE section of the River Boyne c. 80m to the S. Known as Nangle's Castle, this structure is immediately N of the N wall of St Mary's abbey (ME036-048021-) at its W end. It is described as Nangle’s Castle on the 1836 and 1912 editions of the OS 6-inch maps, but might have no connection with the Nangle family, who were part of the Norman settlement of Meath from the beginning. Hugh de Lacy granted the barony of Morgallion to Gilbert de Nangle, according to the ‘Song of Dermot and the Earl (Ll 3142-3) (Orpen 1892, 229). Around 1400 they styled themselves Barons of Navan, and the name appears on lists as Keepers of the Peace, or judges (Potterton 2005, 377-80).
This is a rectangular building (ext. dims 17.1m E-W; 7m N-S; int. dims c. 12m E-W; c. 5.5m N-S) but only the W and E walls survive partially to the first floor level (ibid. 208-10). The ground floor is featureless and there was no vaulting at this level. The first floor has the remains of a garderobe at the NE angle and a corbelled overhanging chamber at the SE angle, partly supported by the wall of a building to the E. A badly eroded stone head is protruding from the SW angle of the building. The possibility that this could be the remains of a building associated with the Augustinian Priory complex (ME036-048021-) should not be discounted. (Bradley and King 1985, 157-8)
Archaeological testing has produced copious evidence of medieval settlement in the vicinity. House remains have been found in excavation on the riverside c. 40m to the SW (ME036-048030-) and c. 65m to the N (ME036-048035-). Archaeological deposits and pits were recorded c. 50m to the NW (Duffy 2009), and medieval and post-medieval structures (ME036-048035-) on High Street were c. 65m to the N.
In 2008 a boundary wall just 60m to the NE and c. 30m N of the Yellow Steeple was removed without permission and the ground to the N in two burgage plots was lowered (D 0.7m at N to 1.3m at SE), exposing the soil around the new edges. Archaeological testing (C387, E004071) identified a foundation trench for the removed boundary wall, providing a nineteenth century date for the wall itself. Three pits filled with loose soil and animal bones were recorded in the E profile as well as a possible ditch (Wth of top c. 6m). The bases of some pits were recorded in the central area but no dating evidence was recovered from them. The ditch seen in the E section could not be confirmed crossing the central area, and the boundary between the two plots did not survive. The base of three trenches (Wth c. 3m; D 0.1m) and a section of a N-S ditch (Wth 2m) were also encountered but no dating evidence for any of these features was forthcoming. (Meenan 2010, 2013)
This is a National Monument in state ownership, No. 100025.
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.
Date of revision: 18 July 2018
Amended: 8 July 2019
Description Source: National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.