Now with Mayo Gaa football finished for 2013 its time I put up a few photos that I have taken from around the country, travelling to Mayo match’s. Last March we traveled to Newry to play Down in the 4th round of the national football league ( Down won 0-13 to Mayo 0-11) We made a weekend of it and stayed 5 or 6 miles outside Newry in a small coastal town Carlingford. I’ll admit that I had it planed as I was never in Carlingford before and heard great reports about it. After doing some research (looking for B&B’s) I came across St Johns Castle, and that sealed the deal for me!
As the match was on Saturday evening in Páirc Esler in Newry, I’d have most of Sunday morning for getting some shots around the Castle. Unfortunatilly it was bitter cold that morning and it started snowing (10th March!) I didn’t have as long shooting as I’d have liked. I did manage to get some shots though, I also got to try out the new Sigma 10mm-20mm f4-5.6 ex dc that I had recently bought.
King Johns Castle
King John’s Castle was built in the 12th century on a rocky outcrop overlooking Carlingford Lough. The Castle dominated the Lough, the harbour and the developing town. This was the first stone building built in Carlingford and under the shadow of the castle the town grew.
It is said that King John of England stayed here for a few days in 1210 AD.
The original Castle consisted of an enclosed D-shaped courtyard with two rectangular towers at the entrance. The eastern part of the Castle was built in 1261 and this included a number of rooms and a great hall.
This fortified Tower House was build by a wealthy merchant with stone, three storys high on a burgage plot, only the wealthy could afford to build a stone house. The Mint dates from the 15th Century, and is an impressive building with lovely limestone windows, most probably inserted in the 16th Century. Earlier windows were most likely made of sandstone. Motifs with Celtic heads & knots are an example of the revival of interest in Celtic culture among wealthy classes.
One of the last surviving gates into the town. It functioned as a tollgate where taxes were levied on goods entering the town. Originally it would have been a more formidable looking structure with at least two storys above the arched gateway. From its design and the character of the stonework, the Tholsel appears to be of late-mediaeval date.
This Tower House was constructed in two phases; the older portion was built in the early 16th Century. It still has many original features. The annex was built probably about 50 yrs later to provide more living accommodation. It was owned by the Earl of Carlingford, Nicholas Taaffe, who was killed at the battle of the Boyne fighting with King James in 1690.