dunmoe castle on the boyne

Dunmoe Castle viewed from Ardmulchan  (photo ©N&DHS)

dunmoe castle

 

 

Dunmoe Castle

commands a

spectacular location

on high ground overlooking

the

River Boyne.

 

 

 

 

The present structure has all the characteristics of an Anglo Norman keep c. 15th -16th century.  It was originally a rectangular shaped edifice with a tower at each corner.  Two of these towers have crumbled away, as has the entire back part of the castle.


cooper's dunmoe

(above) 18th cent. drawing of Dunmoe by Austin Cooper, and (top of page) the castle as it stands today. (Note the window with what appears to be broken glass in the Cooper drawing in what was probably the main living room on the first floor.)

Tradition has it that a souterrain or underground passage leads from it to the opposite side of the Boyne.

Oliver Cromwell is reputed to have taken a passing shot at in from the opposite side of the Boyne, but did not think it worthy of further notice.

dunmoe side view

Its last lord was d'Arcy, whose name is usually associated with it. George d'Arcy, it is said,

entertained King James

on the night before the Battle of the Boyne and

King William on the night after it.

This change of loyalty or pragmatic self interest

inspired the couplet:

"Who will be king, I do not know,

But I'll be d'Arcy of Dunmoe."

Besides the castle, lie the ruins of a medieval chapel

(below right) which contains the mausoleum of the d'Arcy family.

Its font is in St. Oliver's Church in Navan.


dunmoe castle and church

dunmoe church ruin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

The Beauties of the Boyne and Blackwater, William Wilde, Dublin 1849

Cooper's Ireland, Peter Harbison, The O'Brien Press Dublin 2000

Photos: © Navan & District Historical Society
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Archaeological Inventory of County Meath, compiled by Michael J. Moore, (Dublin 1987),
p. 135
1394 - Dunmoe - OS 25:7:3 (69.8, 45.1) 'Church (in ruins)' OD 100 - 200 N 9011, 7019
Church - Nave and chancel possibly divided. W. wall and part of S wall with mural staircase to rood loft survive (L. c. 17m, W 6.8m) Two doorways in S wall towards W end. Burial vault added. Font (1561) now at Navan.  SMR 25:18     16/10/1984

p.151
1561 - Blackcastle OS 25:6:6 (44.0, 33.5) Not marked OD 100-200 N 8745, 6894
Font - In St. Oliver Plunket RC church is the plain font (Roe 1968, 115) which was once at Dunmoe Castle (1394) SMR 25:38      17/12/1985

p.171
1735 - Dunmoe - OS 25:8:1 (69.8, 45.1) 'Dunmoe Castle (in ruins)' OD 100-200 N 9015, 7020
Castle - Rectangular structure with circular towers at the angles, only two of which survive. Ground floor buried but was vaulted and had a loft. Stairs in SW tower which has key-hole gun loop.  First floor has large windows.  Two-storey gables building with over at fround floor arrached to E may be eighteenth century. Church (1394) nearby. SMR 25:18    16/10/1984