Trim Castle – County Meath, Ireland

On Monday of the May Bank Holiday the sun was FINALLY shining (unfortunately this week’s forecast is shitty for the ENTIRE country) so we took a day trip outside Dublin.  Instead of heading to the Wicklow Mountains or the coast, we decided to try something new and picked Meath!  I once met a guy on a Ryan Air flight who was moving to Trim from being abroad in Italy for 10 years.  He said it has great schools & offers a lot – I can see what he meant after being there for the day.

After a few hours in Rathbeggan Lakes, we headed about 10 minute drive to the quiet, but once very important, medieval town of Trim.   Trim Castle which is what makes this town extra special is the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland and the setting for the movie, Braveheart.

Trim Castle, the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland, was constructed over a thirty-year period by Hugh de Lacy and his son Walter. Hugh de Lacy was granted the Liberty of Meath by King Henry II in 1172 in an attempt to curb the expansionist policies of Richard de Clare, (Strongbow).  Construction of the massive three storied Keep, the central stronghold of the castle, was begun c. 1176 on the site of an earlier wooden fortress. This massive twenty-sided tower, which is cruciform in shape, was protected by a ditch, curtain wall and moat.

The castle is pretty amazing to see and full of atmosphere.  The main building/the keep has huge dark windows and there are many black ravens flying in and out.   The castle itself was founded by an Englishman, Hugh de Lacy in 1173 and was originally but from wood.  A few years later it was replaced by a stone keep and then the walls and moat around the keep was added.

The kids had a good time – while I was taking photos and reading about the one remaining gate (Sheep Gate – where sheep were let in and out to be sold), the kids especially enjoyed rolling down the hills, sitting on the canon, practicing cart wheels and screaming loudly in the hole (with our permission as they were not allowed to do it in the car.)  We didn’t opt for the guided tour of the keep but I’m sure it would be informative.

After a little walk around the town a bit….

I love this old school house – wouldn’t it be a fab house!?  Would love to see inside – probably has a lot of  character inside!

We set off for a “drinkie in a pubby” as the kids call it.  But with me in tow it’s a bit complex as I prefer a wheat or white beer on draft so Nils popped into a few to see what they offered – no such luck.  But each pub he looked in was horrible, no atmosphere, old men drinking… so we continued on until we came to one which was great – the James Grffin Pub. The sign outside was advertising Paulaner – but they didn’t have it on draft – I settled for a half pint of Guinness. After learning to pour the perfect pint at the Storehouse, I’ve had a few pints.  The pub was great – the owner was super-friendly, gave the kids lollipops and we had some laughs.  It was a cozy, traditional Irish pub with fireplace, a great outdoor beer garden which Nils says is non-smoking (perfect for a warm day). We’ll be back to that pub for sure – perhaps bingo! 🙂  In fact, if we lived local, it would be our local favorite pub.   Here is a cute video the pub produced which shows how cute the town of Trim is. 

There is a festival on my birthday – perhaps we’ll visit then.  If we lived closer, the kids could join the summer camp Dig It Kids.

Would we go back – YES!

Favorite part for the kids:  screaming in the hole, pencil roles and seeing the ruins!

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