After our short stint in Dingle, we headed back via train through Dublin and down to Rosslaire Harbor, which is on the Southeastern Corner of the Country. We were headed to meet dear family friends, Terre and Ray, who picked us up after a long day of train travel.
Terre and Ray live in a castle.
Well, I should say they live in what used to be the old stables surrounding this tower, built in 1440 by the Normans as a defense against the native Irish living in the area. The tower has been fixed up enough to be water tight and secure to tour, and the stables have since been converted to condos by a couple with a lot of vision, and I’d have to say a whole lot of gumption.
Terre and Ray kindly hosted us and we got to hang out with them and Ray’s son, Jason. We had a relaxing few days with them and also took a few walks to the ocean and into the small town nearby.
Terre took us on a tour of the tower. It has stairs looping around the perimeter with large open rooms in the middle.
The rooms were once used as living spaces and storage and a few of the levels even had toilets which used to drop the waste straight outside (it was then used as fertilizer). Nooks and crannies built to enhance the defense of the tower were tucked everywhere. There was a ‘murdering hole,’ a space right above the castle entrance where fighters would hide and stab attackers with spears and arrows as they tried to enter the tower. There was also a machicolation which is a hole accessed at the roof that empties out right at the front where you could drop hot oil or stones on enemies attacking the towers.
In this tower there were also spaces where pigeons were kept in order to harvest the eggs.
We reached the roof which had amazing views of the property and the surrounding countryside and ocean. The roof also held the fire tower (just like in Lord of the Rings) where you could message other nearby towers in case of emergency.
Next stop: London!