Situated on a slight rise with a small NE-SW stream in its valley c. 60m to the NW and the NW-SE Rye Water stream is c. 500m to the SW. According to the Civil Survey (1654-6) Sir George Wentworth owned 487 acres at Moigaddy in 1640, and on the property were ‘a large stone house, a Mill, a pigeon house and two farme houses’ (Simington 1940, 153). He also owned 1400 acres elsewhere in Moyglare parish, amounting to almost all of it (ibid. 153-6). The castle was conserved by the fifth Duke of Leinster in 1892 as it was in danger of collapsing and so close to his principal residence at Carton, Co. Kildare (FitzGerald 1903-05, 2-30).
As it survives this is a three storey tower house (ext. dims c. 5.5m NW-SE; 4.65m NE-SW) with a modernised parapet and a buttress supporting the E angle. There is a secondary entrance (Wth 1.1m) towards the S end of the SE wall that leads directly into a small chamber (int. dims 3.75m NW-SE; 3.3m NE-SW). The original entrance, now blocked, is in the NW wall and there is a newel stairs at the N angle. The main chamber has a cupboard and a single light in the SW wall, but two corbels (H 1.5m from the floor) in both the NE and SW walls provide support for the first floor under the NW-SE barrel-vault that has evidence of wicker-centring. A small chamber (int. dims 1.2m NW-SE; 0.67m NE-SW) in the NE wall off the stairs from the ground floor was probably a garderobe and has two lights. The first floor has a single light in the NW wall and a small chamber at the N end of the NE wall entered by a lintelled doorway from the main chamber. The stairs in the N angle continue to the second floor, which is over the vault and has a window with a light in each wall, that on the NW being blocked. From this chamber a newel stairs in the E angle rises to the modern parapet, but it is likely that there was at least one other upper floor originally.
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 revision: 13 July 2016
Description Source: National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.