Situated in a low-lying landscape on the demesne of Dangan. A small rectangular embanked enclosure (dims c. 25m NE-SW; c. 25m NW-SE) with smaller rectangular bastions at the E and S angles is depicted on the 1836 edition of the OS 6-inch map where it is described as a battery. It was described in 1969 (SMR file) as a low flat-topped grass-covered area defined by low scarps (Wth 3.5m; H 0.8m), but its visible profile was largely gone by 2000 (OSAP). The earthwork was a toy fort built to indulge the child Garret Wellesley (b. 1735), who would become better known as the father of Arthur Wellesley, the victor of the battle of Waterloo in 1815 and the first Duke of Wellington.
Richard Colley of Castlecarbury (KD008-001003-) inherited Dangan castle (ME0423-009----) and its estate from a Garret Wellesley on condition that he changed his name to Wellesley, which he did. He invested in beautifying the estate, and indulged the creativity of his son Garret who was an infant prodigy. Garret was gifted in engineering as well as in music where he made his mark as a composer and became the first Professor of Music at Trinity College Dublin in 1764 (Ellison 1966-7, 319). A description of Dangan in 1748 by Mrs Pendarves, the diarist who is better known under her second married name Mrs Delaney, describes the grounds of Dangan as having ‘..a garden of 600 Irish acres. A gravel walk around the house to the great lake 52 feet broad and 600 yards long. The lake contains 26 acres, is of an irregular shape with a fort built in all its forms… There are several ships, one a complete man of war. My godson (Garret) is governor of the fort and lord high admiral...’ Richard Pococke, the writer and traveller, visited Dangan in 1752 and describes the lake ‘…at the lower end is a very large piece of water, at one corner of which is an island, it is a regular fortification. There is a ship, a sloop, and boats on the water, and a yard for building… On a round hill near the house is a temple and the hills around are adorned with obelisks, pillars and some buildings’. (Ellison 1966, 319-23)
Compiled by: Michael Moore
Date of upload: 12 August 2019Description Source: National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.