The pretty town of Trim, a heritage town in County Meath, is home to Ireland’s largest Anglo-Norman castle; the castle and its grounds dominate the town. The castle rests on the south bank of the River Boyne. It was constructed over a thirty year period by Hugh de Lacy and his son Walter; they were granted this right by King Henry II in 1172 in an attempt to stop the expansionist policies of Richard de Clare (Strongbow).
Construction of the impressive three storied keep at the center of the castle was begun about 1176 on the site of an earlier wooden fortress. The keep is unique in that it has 20 sides and is cruciform in shape; its walls are 3m thick. The castle was protected by a ditch, curtain wall and moat. Its walls have several towers and a gatehouse. Most of the castle complex you see today was completed by 1220 AD.
Over the centuries Trim Castle was adapted to needs of its owners and the changing political climate. However, much of it has remained unchanged. This magnificent site experienced a renaissance in 2000 when it was opened to the public after an extensive restoration.
The Castle was one of the locations used in the filming of the Mel Gibson directed film Braveheart (1995). It’s a great place to spend a half day, exploring the ruins and land around the castle was a fun time for my brother and I when we visited. We stayed at the Trim Castle hotel built just across the road from the castle. The hotel was controversial when it was built because of how close it was to the Castle, but was an excellent facility and very convenient base from which to explore Trim.
If you visit:
There is a modest admission fee of a few Euros, well worth it. Open all year.
Access to the keep is by guided tour only for safety reasons; visitors also have access to the grounds of the castle where interpretation panels allow for self guiding. The keep is not open to people with disabilities because of the climbing involved.
Finally a few photos of Trim and its castle, including views from the top of the Keep….
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, then right arrow to advance)