Towering over its hometown, Trim Castle is one of the best preserved examples of an Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland. Located on the south bank of the Boyne and with an area of more than 320,000 square feet, Trim Castle is also the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland.
Built originally in 1172 by Hugh de Lacy, the Castle was continually modified, rebuilt and expanded, by de Lacy and his son Walter, until it was finally completed around 1224. A new hall and stables were added, and alterations to the curtain towers followed at the end of the 13th century, for it to become the castle that stands to this day.
Built on a base of raised ground that overlooks a fording point on the River Boyne, the Castle had great strategic significance, but was also an important ecclesiastical and royal site. Various arms of the de Lacy family occupied the Castle until it passed, through marriage, to Roger Mortimer.
After being the administrative center for Meath in the Middle Ages and marking the northern boundary of the Pale, it fell into decline in the 16th and 17th centuries, before being restored and refortified during the time of Oliver Cromwell’s wars.
The incredible twenty-sided cruciform structure, designed with walls up to nine feet thick, is an amazing testament to medieval military architecture and experimentation. The Castle eventually became the property of the Wellesley family, before Sir Arthur, the Duke of Wellington, sold it on. After some time it became the property of the Dunsanys, until Lord Dunsany sold it back to the state in 1993.
In 1995, Trim Castle came under attack once more, but this time it was in the movie Braveheart and it was standing in for York Castle.