Trim Castle - Trim
Trim Castle is a Norman castle dating back more than eight hundred years and is located in the south bank of the River Boyne in Trim, County Meath. It covers an area of 30,000 square metres and is the biggest Norman castle in Ireland, as well as one of the best preserved examples of Norman architecture still remaining in Ireland today. It is a dominant feature on the landscape.
This historic castle was built by Hugh de Lacy and his son Walter with construction starting in the late 12th century and it took over thirty years to build. Most of the castle visible today was completed by 1220. It is built on the site of an earlier wooden fortress. Although ruinous it is still impressive, it was built to serve as a stronghold, and as a symbol of Norman strength. Its prominent elevated postion overlooking the Boyne provides extensive views, the massive three storied keep was the central stronghold of the castle, it was protected by a ditch, curtain wall and moat. Its imposing curtain walls enclose more than three acres and had two main gates. The enormous keep is a twenty-sided tower in a cruciform shape, and inside the tower were living quarters, a great hall and a small chapel. Three of the walls original four towers still flank the castle, also evident are the stables and causeway, a three aisled Great Hall with undercroft, a defensive tower, a series of lime kilns and a building thought to have served as a mint.
Excavations around the grounds of the castle have unearthed many incredible discoveries including, 13th century iron arrowheads, silver coins, an iron axe, pottery from Bristol, French wine jugs, other buildings and walls, storage facilities and human remains.
There are guided tours of the castle available weekdays March to October and on weekends and bank holidays only November to February, they last about forty five minutes. Access to the Keep is only possible by a guided tour due to safety reasons, be aware that some of the stairs here are very steep and narrow. The views from the top are fabulous and it is possible to see as far as the Hill of Slane and Tara.
Visitors have access to the grounds of the castle where there are interpretation panels detailing the history of the castle, allowing for self guiding. The average length of a visit is said to last about an hour to two hours.