Swords Castle

Swords, Co. Dublin

Swords Castle
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About Swords Castle

Swords Castle in Swords, Co. Dublin.

Swords Castle was built in the 12th Century following the appointment of the first Norman bishop of Dublin, John Comyn. The castle was founded on the Well associated with St. Colmcille and is prominently situated in the Ward River Valley Linear Park.

Unusually the castle's perimeter is 305 metres, much larger than normal for an Irish Castle and it was constructed in piecemeal fashion over a period of 400 years. As well as being the home of the Archbishops of Dublin, it is said that parliaments were held in the great hall of the castle.

In 1583 Sir Henry Sydney, the Land Deputy, settled Dutch refugees in the Castle, who repaired and extended the dwelling. By 1641 Swords Castle was chosen as a rendezvous for the Anglo-Irish families of the Pale.

Currently the castle is the only fortified residence of the Archbishop of Dublin to survive in reasonable condition. The castle presents a vivid snap-shot of 15th century life, comprising a gatehouse, apartments for knights, a chapel, banqueting hall, the Archbishop's apartments and two large towers, one of which was the home of the area's constable and his family.

The castle was purchased in 1985 by Dublin County Council from the Cobbe family and since 1995 has been undergoing restoration.

The castle contains a tourism information centre at which visitors can find out more information about the castle and its history, is open from Monday to Friday.


Image © Copyright Peter Gerken and licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons.


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