Trim Castle is the largest Anglo Norman castle in Ireland. It was constructed over about a thirty year period by Hugh de Lacy and his son Walter beginning in 1173. In 1172, Hugh de Lacy was granted the “liberty” of Meath by King Henry II in an attempt to curb the ambitions of Richard de Clare (Strongbow).
During feudal times, the “liberties” were a grant of lands where the baron would hold economic and legal power, and de Lacy was granted the lands of Meath and control over all the villagers and farming peasants who lived there.
The entrance to a Stone Keep was through outside stone stairs, directly to the first floor of the keep, while the kitchens and the lower hall were on the ground floor. The living quarters and the upper hall would have been on the floors above. Stone keeps provided a much more solid defense against attack compared to previous wooden keeps.
Several noble families owned the castle throughout the next three centuries with the castle finally ending up in royal hands by 1423, when it passed to Richard of York and his son Edward IV.
Interestingly for those who have heard the term “beyond the pale” Trim Castle actually marked the northern boundary of “The Pale” which was the area in Ireland directly under English control during the middle ages. The lands beyond that were considered wild and treacherous.
Little remains of the abbey except for the Yellow Steeple, the ruin of the abbey bell tower named for the yellow color of the stonework in the setting sun, and Talbot's Castle, an abbey building that has been converted to a manor house which is to the left of the abbey tower.
I know…… How shallow of us! But it was pretty fun to imagine how they transformed the castle into the city of York in the movie and to see where the London Square had been located by the castle wall!