Great Historical Houses

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  • Aspects of Co. Meath

Trim Castle

Trim Castle is the largest Anglo-Norman Castle in Ireland. It was built by Hugh de Lacy and his son Walter. Construction began in approximately 1170 and continued for more than thirty years.

Trim Castle is a massive building, which was protected in the past by a moat that circled it. The castle fell into ruin and is no longer inhabited. However, after extensive excavation and restoration Trim Castle was opened to the public in 2000. It is now accessible by guided tour.

Big Houses

The country homes of the Anglo-Irish landed gentry were referred to as 'big houses' for centuries. They usually encompassed large estates, and the landlords rented out plots of land to native Irish tenants. There were over 4,000 big houses in Ireland in the early 1800s. Today, there are less than 100 remaining.

Slane Castle has been home to the Conyngham family since 1701. The castle overlooks the River Boyne and is only a few miles upstream from the site of the famous Battle of the Boyne. In 1991, a fire caused extensive damage to the castle. Restoration was completed in 2001.

Since 1981, rock concerts have been held on the grounds of the castle during the summer. Many of the most famous musical acts in the world have played there, including the Rolling Stones, R.E.M., U2, and David Bowie.

Headfort House is located near Kells, Co. Meath. The building was completed in 1775. Like many big houses, Headfort House is no longer used solely as a private residence. The main building and one of the wings now houses Headfort School. A large portion of the grounds are now incorporated into Headfort Golf Course.