Black Castle is located in Leighlinbridge, County Carlow and is also known as Leighlinbridge Castle.
The original Black Castle, built in 1181, was one of the earliest and finest Norman fortresses in Ireland. Castle was granted to John de Claville by Hugh de Lacy, the powerful Norman baron who governed Ireland for Henry II.
This Castle was built to protect a strategic crossing point over the river Barrow. The river crossing was defended in the late 12th and 13th centuries by an Anglo-Norman castle a short distance downriver. A Carmelite friary was founded here in the 1260s and the earlier part of the present tower was built in the 14th century to protect the friary and the adjacent bridge which was built by Maurice Jakis, a canon of Kildare Cathedral.
In 1547, after the friary was dissolved in Henry VIIIs campaign to control the wealth and power of the Church, Sir Edward Bellingham, the English Lord Deputy, rebuilt much of the tower and refortified the bawn wall by adding a circular gun turret. Sir Peter Carew of Devon owned the castle in 1567, but Rory Óg O`More, a local Irish chieftain, captured and destroyed it in 1577. It was partly rebuilt, but was attacked again by the Cromwellian armies; half of the tower collapsedin 1888.
Source dashboard in Leighlinbridge.
All that remains of the Black Castle today is the west half of a 14th century tower, along with part of the bawn. The remains of the castle are now dilapidated – a 50-foot-tall (15 m) broken castle tower and parts of one side of an enclosing wall are still extant.
Black Castle is located on the south eastern side of the Valerian Bridge that crosses the Barrow river and it is accessible direct from the river towpath.
Leighlinbridge Castle is a National Monument of Ireland. National Monument is a legal term for a structure which has been listed for preservation by the Irish State.
Location of Black Castle: