Swords Castle was built as the manorial residence of the first Anglo-Norman Archbishop of Dublin, John Comyn, around 1200 or a little later, just north of Dublin. The castle was never strong in the military sense, but is unusual in that the perimeter wall of 305 metres is far larger than normal for an Irish castle. The walls enclose a large pentagonal walled area of nearly 6,000 m² (1.5 acres) with a tower on the north, probably the Constable’s residence, and an impressive gateway complex on the south. Within the castle were the Archbishop’s apartments, apartments for knights and a banqueting hall. The adjoining chapel, built in the late 13th century, was probably used as the Archbishop’s private oratory. Other buildings, recorded for an inquisition in 1326, have now vanished, including the great hall on the east side of the enclosure. As it stands at the moment Swords Castle presents a vivid snap-shot of 15th century life. Swords Castle was lying idle for a number of years before it was bought from the Cobbe family by Dublin County Council in 1985. The castle and the surrounding lands were acquired for the provision of the Ward River Valley Regional Park.


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