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C.Garner and P.Wright

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Howth Castle

August 6, 2001
Howth, County Dublin, Ireland

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Howth Castle is a private residence which has descended through time (via the female line) intact. The castle was originally inhabited by Sir Almeric Tristram in 1177. Sir Tristram is purported to be the descendant of the famous Sir Tristram of King Arthur's knights. Inside the castle, are several antique weapons and armor, among them is a two-handed sword, said to have belonged to Sir Armoricus Tristram.

The current building is a collection of buildings that have been either added on or remodelled during the last 600 years. Of the remaining construction, the keep appears to be the oldest building. It was constructed in 1464 by the first Lord Howth. The castle was greatly rebuilt in 1564 by the 20th Lord Howth.

There is a legend that Sir Amoricus Tristram along with Sir John de Courcy sailed to Howth from Normandy and fought against Irish defenders at the Bridge of Evora on August 10th, Feast of St. Laurence. There were heavy losses on both sides but Tristram was victorious. To commemorate the event, the family changed their name to St. Lawrence.

"A Plate at Howth"

Grace O'Malley was known by many additional names Grainne Mhaol (Bald Grace), Grainne Ui Mhaille (Grace of the Umhalls), Grania the Dark Lady of Doona, and Granuaile. She was a notorious pirate and a strong woman. In 1576, Grace stopped at Howth to restock her ship. However, the gates of the castle were locked and the servants turned her away saying the Lord was at his dinner. In retaliation, Grace abducted his son and sailed away. Lord Howth traveled to Connaught hoping to pay a ransom for the return of his son. Grace denied his ransom offer and demanded that his gates never be closed and a plate always be set at dinner for a guest.

Aideen`s Grave is a dolmen near Howth Castle. Unfortunately we did not get to visit. This dolmen is reported to be the resting place of Aideen, daughter of Aengus of Ben Edar. She died of a broken heart after losing her husband in battle (284 AD)

Howth is an Irish translation of the Danish word Ho'vud, meaning head.

Howth Castle : One side
Howth Castle : The keep
Howth Castle : Main entrance