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Dunsoghly Castle, number 1150 from the Irish Origenes Castles of Ireland Map

No matter where you are in Ireland I have estimated that you are no more than 4 kilometers from a castle, tower house, or plantation bawn. I was surprised to find that Dunsoghly was the closest castle to my hometown of Ballymun and yet I never knew it existed, which is such a shame as it is a real gem. Dunsoghly Castle (Sachaille's Fort) was built by the Plunkett's in the 15th or 16th Century. Plunkett is a well known surname in Ireland made famous by Oliver Plunkett an Anglo-Irish saint who was executed for treason in 1681 by the English. His severed head is on display in Drogheda and I think every child in Ireland has gawped at his ghastly mumified head as part of their school tour. I remember my own school tour as we waited to catch a glimpse of his half open eye. Looking back I would have rather we had visited Dunsoghly castle as it is quite distinct and well preserved. In fact you may recognise it and I am pretty sure that most people will have seen it as it featured as Edinburgh castle in the 1995 film Braveheart starring Mel Gibson. Unfortunately it is on private land and not open to the public , which is a real shame. I'm sure the Farmer who owns the land could make a nice bit of extra income giving guided tours? I think it was still in the ownership of the Plunkett family right up until the 19th Century who still lived in it. 

English Origenes

Scottish Origenes