It’s hardly one of Ireland’s most striking historic buildings, but Kindlestown Castle here in Greystones has its own beauty.
And its own story. Albeit a fuzzy, uncertain one.
But, hey, aren’t all our best stories fuzzy, uncertain ones? Proves you were too busy having a good time to take anything remotely approaching proper notes.
Some claim Kindlestown Castle was built sometimes around 1225 – about fifty years before Rathdown Castle was built [we’ll get to that one next] – whilst others argue that it may well hail from the 9th century. What we do know is, the place has connections back to 1020, being the seat of both Ugaire Mac Ailella Ó’Muiredeaig, son of Douling, King of Leinster, and Sitric Cáech, son of Gofraid, Norse King of Dublin. So, you know, major celebrities.
What we also know is that the wild O’Byrnes captured Kindlestown Castle in 1377. Then they lost it. And then they tried, unsuccessfully, to steal it back again in 1402. The big eejits.
In September, the loveable Oliver Cromwell arrived, and his soldiers stayed in nearby Killincarrig Castle [you can check that one here]. When the locals merrily stole Cromwell’s horse, he took his anger out on Kindlestown Castle, ransacking the place. The mad bastard.
Excavation helped determine that the south and west walls of the castle represented a replacement wall built in the 19th century.
According to loco historian Michael Woods O’Rourke, this 13th century halled castle was most probably built by Walter de Bendvill, who owned the land back in 1225. In 1301, it passed to Albert de Kenley, Sheriff of Kildare, who married the widow of Ralph MacGillemochlog, of nearby Rathdown Castle [right]. The name Kindlestown comes from this period, being a corruption of Kenley’s town.
It was under the Archibolds, in the 15th and 16th centuries, that Kindlestown Castle truly thrived, having 400 acres and a watermill attached to it by 1621. In 1630, it was sold to the Earl of Meath.
We reckon it all went to shit once the O’Byrnes got their hands on it…