In our final installment we learn that there is more than one type of Bailey’s in Ireland and what our heroes really think of lay lines.
14th May 2012 – Day 7
“Today started with a furore akin only to what it was – it was our last day of castle hopping. We headed quickly south to Clonmacnoise into what was a monastic town, but to the Western side sits a dilapidated tower upon a mound with an earthen rampart: I had seen my first Motte & Bailey castle!
Although very exciting, it ultimately means that there is not a lot to see. So off we went, with two attempts on our lives, to the next site, Clonard, which was also a motte & bailey. Unfortunately the land was privately held and that meant no entry. However, it was the first castle built by de Lacy before he embarked on the fortress that was [and still is] Trim Castle.
That was our next stop; the drive was uninspiring – the scenery was desolate at best. We stopped at a castle along the way but it was far too late chronologically, so off to Trim we went.
Trim did not disappoint! Ireland’s largest castle was a sight to behold [even in the suitably miserable weather than any history trip is lost without]. Ali did the Daingean [Dungeon, the Keep] tour, but my acrophobia stopped me. I did, instead, extensive reccy on the curtain walls and gates. Very interesting.
When we finally left Trim we decided to do a non-castle related trip to see the passage grave at New Grange.
To see the mound you must take a guided tour. Our tour guide epitomised why I try and avoid tours like the plague. Her ‘knowledge’ was vague & in many ways false. It even contradicted what the info centre states about research in recent years.
She took the view of mysticism, which annoyed Ali and I no end, and caused us to laugh – a lot. We actually left the site in disgust when we heard her mention lay lines and the ‘energy’ of the site. Neither of us have any time or patience of that crap. She didn’t even tell us [that the mound] is not the original construction but a guessed interpretation, which is too basic a blunder for me.
This eve, Ali and I discussed chapter ideas and set down the sort of debates we want to sink our teeth into. I won on the definitions of castles, and whether Irish raths are castles! [I am actually quite excited about this one because we disagree 100%, we may end up writing a chapter almost like a dialogue – his view vs mine with two separate conclusions. That’d be quite unusual for a history book.]
A few beers/stouts were drunk but it’s an early night for us (midnight) before a long day of Dublin museums and travelling home.
I can’t wait to see Carly & Gus. I missed her a lot at Trim; her sarcastic comments + support would probably have got me up the Daingean.”