Roscommon, Ireland might not be on your list when you think about Irish places worth visiting but it shouldn’t be disregarded. Located in the middle of Ireland, Roscommon should be on your list of places to visit, especially if you are interested in the Norman history and heritage that it has to offer. Roscommon Castle will be a highlight of your trip.
The Roscommon Castle was built in the 12th Century by a son of King Turlough O’Connor as part of a Norman frontier. It is one of the few castles to still stand in Ireland, and it is now home to a beautiful garden. The Roscommon Castle Project aims to preserve this historical building and allow visitors to explore its beauty.
Roscommon Castle is a wonderful example of Norman architecture that is still standing today. Constructed by one of the sons of Turlough O’Connor, King of Connaught, over 1000 years ago it still stands as a lasting monument to this son’s familial allegiance to his father. The classic Norman architecture mixed with Medieval Irish stone masonry makes for an impressive monument that will grab your attention from almost any angle.
The grounds around Roscommon are incredibly beautiful and well maintained. Surrounded by lush green grass, rolling hills and ponds the picturesque grounds are impressive. The scenery is enough to drive one to explore the grounds of this lovely castle.
From outside Roscommon Castle, it is clear to see that this structure was built with its surroundings in mind. Turlough O’Conner was famous for being able to assimilate with those around him; he helped nurture his new land into one that would prosper while still preserving his Irish heritage. The castle embodies this sentiment by walking the fine line between its Irish heritage and the influence of the Normans who ruled it.
The inside of Roscommon Castle is not quite as impressive as its exterior. Much of the quality that made this a great castle from a defensive standpoint has been lost. The only original parts are the walls, which still tower high and heavy above you. There are guided tours and history lessons available on request but it is clear why they are needed. The rooms feel barren and lifeless, like they should be home to royalty but in reality, they hold little significance today outside archaeological value.
There is a definite beauty to be found in the relationship of this structure to its surroundings. It is an elegant marriage of Irish heritage and Norman influence and should not be passed over when planning your next trip to Ireland.
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