This map of Dundalk is taken from: D'Alton John, History of Dundalk and its
Environs, Dundalk 1864. Some of the street names have changed.
Arms of the Corporation of
Carlingford. taken from: Lewis Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of
Ireland, Dublin 1837.
The Town and Bay of Dundalk.
This engraving, purchased disbound from a book dealer, probably dates from the
mid-1840s. The 'Big Bridge' to the north of the town (in the centre of the picture), was
built in 1819. This appears to be a view of the town as seen from Castletown
Mount (a Norman motte), an area that has long associations with the legendary
Cuchulainn. The Cooley Mountains are in the background. The names of T.M. Baynes
and Percy Heath are associated with the print.
Map of Drogheda in
1749. Ravell's map of 1749 was printed in Volume II, p.363 of D'Alton's
History of Drogheda. This version was reproduced from D'Alton's book in (I
believe) Thomas D'Arcy's Popular History of Ireland, in a 1908 edition.
This is a 19th century (poss. 1819) coloured engraving of Laurence's Gate, a 13th century barbican,
built to defend the town gate, which stood a few metres to the west, across a
moat, and on the line of the town wall. (Source of information: Garner William, Drogheda
Architectural Heritage, Ireland 1986). The illustration also gives some
idea of living conditions on the Cord Road, facing the Gate. The picture was purchased, disbound, from a book dealer.
Drogheda - General
View. Taken from Millmount. This photograph is part of an Underwood &
Underwood stereoview, dated 1905, in their "Ireland through the Stereoscope"
series (number 39). St. Mary's Parish is in the foreground. Across the river is
St. Peter's Parish.
Drogheda - St. Lawrence's
Gate. This etching of the barbican is from The Gentleman's Magazine,
This engraving is taken from: Lewis Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of
Ireland, Dublin 1837.
Drogheda - The
Wooden House. Built in 1570 on the corner of Laurence Street and Shop
Street, the house was demolished, by order of Drogheda Corporation, in
1824. For a detail of the beautiful carving that was to be found on the house
The engravings date from 1832.
Magdalene Tower. The historic tower, all that is left of the former
monastery. This engraving dates from 1832. For a history of the tower click
Redemptorist Church. The Redemptorist Order was brought to Dundalk in
1876 by the Most Rev. Dr. McGettigan. The residential building was finished in
1881 and the Romanesque church [of St. Joseph] in 1892. The work is a credit to
Dundalk builder Mr. James McAdorey. [Tempest, H.G., Gossiping Guide to
Dundalk, Dundalk 1916]
Seatown 'Castle', Dundalk.
This 200-year-old engraving, entitled 'Old Church Tower, Dundalk Co. Louth', is
of a ruin known locally as 'Seatown Castle', but is actually the bell-tower of what was once the Franciscan
Monastery in Seatown Dundalk. The monastery was founded in about 1240 by John de
Verdon. It is said that by 1616 nothing existed of the old monastery, except for
the bell-tower. The engraving is by Francis Grose from his The Antiquities of
Ireland, 2 vols., London, Hooper, 1791.
Carlingford. Illustration from: Hall, Mr. & Mrs S.C. Ireland: It's
Scenery, Character etc, London
1841 [also known as Hall's Ireland]. The
illustration was bought from a dealer.
Faughart. Scene of some
Greenore: The L.&N.W.
Hotel and Entrance Hall, Greenore, in the early 1900s. Ferries of the
London & North Western Railway Company sailed regularly between Greenore and
Holyhead, a journey of four hours. [From the L.&N.W. publication, Ireland for
the Holidays, Newtown-Le-Willows 1911]
Parish Church, Collon. The
foundation stone for this beautiful church was laid on 25 July 1811 and the
first service was held on 17 September 1817. (For further details see Conlon,
Larry, The Heritage of Collon 1764-1984, 1984). Photograph taken on 05
Adjutant Rickaby Memorial
(Detail). Detail from the memorial near the altar in the Parish Church,
Collon, to Captain John Rickaby (c1768 - 1820) of the Louth Militia. Photograph
taken on 05 August 2002.
Illustration from Britannia: or a
Chorographical Description of Great Britain and Ireland, by William
Camden, first published in 1586 (coloured to make it clearer!).
House. From an early 20th century postcard.
Streetscape. Earl Street Dundalk, leading to the Market Square and
Clanbrassil Street, from an early 20th century postcard.
of Drogheda from the West, taken from an early 20th century Valentine postcard.
The River Boyne is in the foreground.
Streetscape. St. Laurence Street, Drogheda, from an early 20th century
Castle Roche. These
magnificent ruins of a Norman castle are near Dundalk. The postcard dates from
1912. Lewis gives a brief account of the history of the castle in his details on
The Boyne Obelisk.
The obelisk, commemorating the Battle of the Boyne, was constructed in the
1730s. No longer extant, it was blown up during the 1920s.
etching is from The Gentleman's Magazine September 1799:
Colchester Barracks Aug. 16 1799
inclose [sic] you a view of the obelisk, two miles from Drogheda, in Ireland,
which commemorates the battle of the Boyne, July 1, 1690. It is founded on the
top of a rock on the brink of the river Boyne, and forms a square of 20 feet to
each side of the base, and is 152 feet high. As the inscriptions, which are cut
in capitals on the four sides of the base, give an ample account of it, I shall
content myself by inserting them:
"Sacred to the glorious memory of King WILLIAM the Third, who, on the first of
July, 1690, passed the river near this place to attack James the Second at the
head of A Popish army, Advantageously posted at he South side of it, and Did on
that day, by a successful battle, secure to us and our posterity our liberty,
laws, and religion. In consequence of this action, James the Second left this
kingdom, and fled to France. This memorial of our deliverance was erected in the
ninth year of the reign of King George the Second, the first stone being laid by
Lionel Sackville, Duke of Dorset, lord-lieutenant of the kingdom of Ireland.
monument was erected
Great Britain and Ireland.
duke of Schomberg,
passing this river,
defence of liberty.
Blackrock, County Louth.
This photograph is taken from a postcard, dated circa 1908, Allisons
Photographers, Armagh. Gertie, the sender of the postcard says, "It is a
beautiful place .... you would not want to go back to Manchester again".
Blackrock is still a beautiful place. For Lewis's description in 1837 click
Louth in 1907. Evocative postcard published by George O'Neill,
Castletown Castle, Dundalk.
This engraving dates from 1786 ('Published according to Act of Parliament by Alexr. Hogg, No 16 Paternoster Row [London]').
It comes from Henry Boswell's Historical Antiquities of England and Wales and is remarkably similar to that
of Thomas Wright in his 'Louthiana' of 1748. For an account of the castle by
Samuel Lewis from his A Topographical Dictionary of
Ireland, Dublin 1837, click
engraving, obviously culled from a book, was purchased, disbound, from a dealer.
for an early 20th century view of the castle.
The Boyne Viaduct 1855.
Taken from an 1855 periodical, this engraving was purchased from a dealer. The
railway between Drogheda and Dublin was opened for business in May 1844. The
viaduct itself was not ready until 1855, but trains using the Dublin to Belfast
route used a temporary wooden structure from 1853.
Louth Abbey. This
etching comes, from The Lives of the Irish Saints, by
the Reverend John O'Hanlon, Dublin, circa 1880 (a periodical). The etching was
done by the author, transferred to wood by William F. Wakeman, and engraved by
Hospital. W.M. Thackeray gives an excellent description of the old
County Hospital. Click here
to read it. (Illustration is from an early 20th-century Laurence postcard).
Moira Castle in the distance. One of the main routes from Leinster into Ulster
and heavily defended throughout history. Called "The Gap of the North".
St. Nicholas Parish Church.
Known locally as 'The Green Church', founded in the 13th century and one of the
most striking buildings in Dundalk. (Illustration is an early 20th century
Raphael Tuck & Sons postcard, published for G. O'Neill, Dundalk).
St. Mary's Catholic
Church, Kilsaran. My thanks to Jane Slaughter, who took this photograph.
The first stone of Kilsaran Roman Catholic Church was laid on 18 July 1814, on a
site given to the parish by Michael Chester senior, just before he died. The
belfry tower was built in 1856.
The Village of Omeath. The
village is situated on the shore of Carlingford Lough. This postcard is dated
The Village of Ballymascanlon. This
beautiful village hasn't changed much - except for the heavy traffic that passes
through the village.
Monasterboice New Church.
An old picture-postcard of the church.
Cross Monasterboice. This photograph, from a mid-19th century
stereoview, shows the west side of the cross (also known as the Great or Tall
This wonderful monument has been standing for 5,000 years. The local story is
that if you can manage to land a stone on top of the Dolmen, without the stone
falling off, your wish will be granted. However, in Tempest's Guide to
Dundalk and County Louth, it is said that by landing a stone on top of the
Dolmen, you will be married within a year! Take your choice.
Some County Louth Castles:
following engravings, unless otherwise stated, date from 1786 and first appeared
in Henry Boswell's Historical Antiquities of England and Wales. As I say
above, the engravings appear to be enhancements or re-workings of similar drawings made by Thomas Wright in
his book 'Louthiana' of 1748. The explanations below are taken from Thomas Wright,
Louthiana, 1748 (reprinted Dundalk 2000), Buckley & Sweetman,
Archaeological Survey of Co. Louth, OPW 1991, and H.G. Tempest,
Guide to Dundalk & County Louth, Dundalk 1916 (reprinted 1983); See
Ardee Town Castle:
'...said to have been built by Roger de Pipard, the first Norman grantee of this
barony, about the year 1207' - Tempest
(Balregan Castle): Wright refers to it as Ballrickan Castle. 'Ballrickan or
Ballriggan, here are the ruinous Remains of a curious old Castle about two Miles
distant from Dundalk, pleasantly situated between two winding rivers... Beyond a
doubt it has formerly been the habitation of one of the first Lords of the Pale,
and is now in the possession of the Lord Viscount Limerick. 'Tis of a very
remarkable construction, and inclosed within a wall'd Court, capable of
containing a numerous guard of men. There is a subterraneous cave and a spacious
vault under it, which seems to have had some communication with a sally-port
directing towards the banks of the river which are here very steep, and high.' -
Carlingford - King John's Castle. An engraving of Carlingford dating
from 1832. Another earlier engraving
Carlingford - Taaffe's Castle. A 15th (or 16th!!)-century fortified
house. Local tradition calls a seat on the roof after King John. In 1690
Nicholas Taaffe, who was Earl of Carlingford, was killed fighting on James II's
side at the Battle of the Boyne. [The picture is from an early 20th-century
'This a handsome old castle belonging to Lord Bellew in tolerable good repair,
having several rooms in it very habitable, and at present tenanted by Thomas
Tipping Esq., who lives in an adjacant modern house, making use of the Castle
only as a kitchen and servants hall: 'Tis situated upon the North side of an
hill, about a small mile from Dundalk, westward, seen for several miles along
the North Road, and commands a full view of the harbour and bay, Slavgullion and
the mountains of Carlingford.' - Wright
Darver Castle was constructed over 500 years ago. It was built by the
Babe family in the 12th century. This family sold the castle in 1740 to Ranfal
Booth and his descendents lived at Darver until 1980. It is still being lived in
and is now forms part of a luxury castle hotel. In 1642 during the Confederate
Wars in Ireland, 152 people, including women and children, were massacred at
Darver, by Lord Moore, who was leader of some 4,000 English troops.
'Possible tower house. It is said to have been an O'Neill castle. No visible
surface trace.' - Buckley & Sweetman
'The Castle, which was situated in the western angle of the crossroads [at
Dungooley], is said to have been dismantled by Cromwellian troops, but its total
destruction to obtain stone for a local residence is a more recent event'. -
Probably on 16th century date, described by Tempest as "ivy-covered and
Castle: "This is a small but fine old Castle, situated upon an Eminence
half way between Dundalk and Ardee, full in View of all the Country round it,
'Tis built after the same Manner and Stile of that of Milltown, and has been
attended with other external Works; underneath it are many and various Vaults
and Caves ..... running into one another, and said to communicate by a long
subterraneous Passage with Castle Derver, distant about six Furlongs, from
whence 'tis imagined, in case of Surprise, one Castle formerly assisted the
other. It belongs to John Gernand, Esq; but is not now inhabited." - Wright
'This Castle, belonging to Thomas Fortescue, Esq., of Reynaldstown, is 45 Feet
high, and is situated in the Midst of a fine inclos'd Country, and about four
Miles South of Dundalk. It appears to be one of the oldest Sort of Habitations
now remaining in the County of Louth, and the Manner of Building is said to be
borrow'd from the Spaniards, who formerly were Visitors to this Island. Two or
three Furlongs from this Dwelling near the Top of a rising Ground, an arch'd
subterraneous Vault was lately discover'd running many Roods under-ground, and
supposed to communicate with said Castle, as a Sally-way for retiring in time of
Danger' - Wright
'This castle belonging to Thomas Tipping Esq., appears to have been an antient
dwelling of some person of distinction, and probably that of a bishop or abbot,
if we may judge by the chapel adjoining it. 'Tis situated on the plains betwixt
the sea and the mountains of Carlingford, and near it are several old forts and
raths, such as the first invaders, or prime Planters, of the Island are supposed
to have inhabited.' - Wright
see also 'Castle Roche'
above: 'This noble ruin is situated upon the summit of a rocky hill, near the
west borders of the county of Louth, and was formerly one of the frontier
castles of the English Pale.' - Wright
'A tower House four storeys high, built of uncoursed rubble and greywacke, with
projecting towers at its NW and SE angles.' - Buckley & Sweetman
or Rootstown Castle lies close to Stabannon and is a good specimen of the small
tower castle' - Tempest
This engraving, entitled 'Old Church Tower, Dundalk Co. Louth', was purchased,
disbound, from a book dealer. It is known locally as 'Seatown Castle', but is
actually the bell-tower of what was once the Franciscan Monastery in Seatown
Dundalk. The monastery was founded in about 1240 by John de Verdon. It is said
that by 1616 nothing existed of the old monastery, except for the bell-tower.
Engraving published 25 April 1791 by S. Hooper.
'[This engraving] represent[s] the remains of a fine old castle, belonging to
the See of Armagh, and formerly one of the Seats of the Lord Primate of all
Ireland, where he used to reside three months in the year. Archbishop Usher was
the last inhabitant and now 'tis quite neglected and run to ruin'. - Wright
Mellifont Abbey - The Gateway:
This historic abbey was founded in 1142 and was finally disbanded in 1540 and
turned into a private residence. For a detail of one of the doors, click
here. For an
engraving of St. Bernard's Chapel, click
here. The engravings
date from 1832. For a Panoramic engraving of Mellifont in 1832 from The
Dublin Penny Journal 02 February 1832 click