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Castles in County Dublin.

Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle was built in 1204 by order of King John, of England who wanted it built as an administrative center for the city. The castle is located on high ground to the east of the Liffey. It was originally protected by the Poddle river (now subterranean), which was used to fill the surrounding moat.

Throughout the 15th century the castle was chiefly administrative; in 1534 it was besieged during a rebellion against English rule led by Thomas Fitzgerald. His attack was easily repulsed, and Fitzgerald was captured and executed in London along with five of his uncles. By the beginning of the 17th century, Law Courts and a council chamber had been added to the castle, which was now used as a parliament building. It was also the the residence of the viceroy. This was a period of many attacks, but the main problem came from within. In 1684 a fire broke out in the viceregal quarters and to prevent it from reaching the Powder Tower, linking buildings were blown up. The castle’s role as a medieval fortress was over. The Surveyor General Sir William Robinson drew up plans for the construction of the present building which was completed in October 1688.

The Bedford Tower in the Upper Yard was built during the 1750s, along with its two flanking gateways to the city. The clock tower is named after the Duke of Bedford, John Russell, who was the Lord Lieutenant. Within this tower are the state apartments, including the Throne Room and St Patrick’s Hall. They are still used for state functions, and possess many fine paintings, notably the ceiling of St Patrick’s Hall by Vincent Waldré.


The Chapel Royal or, as it is now known, the Church of the Most Holy Trinity, was designed in the Gothic style by Francis Johnston and built between 1807 and 1814. The exterior is decorated with over 100 carved stone heads by Edward Smythe and his son, John.