Wednesday 13 December 2017

To the manor born

The manor house in Castlebaldwin, estimated to have been built in the mid 17th century.
The manor house in Castlebaldwin, estimated to have been built in the mid 17th century.

One might think that the village grew up around the castle, which was built around the mid 17th Century.

In fact, the present village only grew up during the first decades of the 19th Century with the creation of a staging post on the mail coach road from Boyle to Sligo.

There is little known about the Baldwin who may have been the original occupant of the castle, but it is documented that the manor house and lands around it were granted to Edward Nicholson who became High Sheriff of county Sligo in 1671.

Around 1690, Teige O'Regan was alleged to have left here to go and defend the Green Fort and Sligo.

Castlebaldwin manor house is a small two-storey semi-fortified L-shaped building over a half basement.

It was constructed when the purely defensive nature of castles were being made obsolete by the advances in artillery.

The function of the house was to provide a comfortable residence that could be defended against a small-scale attack.

The rectangular main block of the structure measures 10m by 6m with two high gables at either end, which survive with rectangular chimneystacks intact.

The square projection on the southwest side originally contained a timber stairwell.

At ground level the entrance on the northeast side has traces of a draw-bar socket, and above it is a pair of corbels which originally supported the machicolation of roof level; this was used by the inhabitants to throw stones or other missiles on the enemies to ward them off.

The doorway is above present internal ground level, suggesting the presence of a basement.

There are two fireplaces in the northeast wall, one at ground level and one on the upper storey, and another is located on the upper storey of the southeast wall.

There are gun loops flanking the fireplace in the southeast wall and other loops in each face of the projection originally containing the stairs.

The house is constructed of mortared roughly cut sandstone blocks and the floors in the house were all made of timber.

There is a wal lwalk at roof level (interrupted by the gables) and protected by a parapet.

Sligo Champion

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