|Plan of penis-shaped castle (Source SM7 File)|
No matter how 'penisy' you like your castles, this is a great day out - gorgeous standing stonework, iconic stepped turrets in the Scottish style, delightful vistas in all directions. There's not much to find fault with ... unless you're the Triadvisor user 'Melissa' who seems to have had a poor experience owing to a lack of understanding that the site is on a working farm and that there is no automatic right of way to the castle, as is clearly noted on the Discover Northern Ireland website [here]. On the other hand Tripadvisor user 'Gajosinskas' reckoned that there wasn't much of a castle left and it was too far out into the countryside in any case. As 'Gajosinskas' says: 'If you like to look at old walls and foundations - must see place'.
There has been some limited excavation on the site and a programme of geophysics. During this work a number of artefacts were recovered, including a porcellinite axehead of Neolithic date. The NI SMR page notes that the axe had been deliberately set in the notch of a large stone, 'suggesting that this axe had been purposely placed in this nook and curated at the post-medieval castle.' I like this idea for a number of reasons, not least of which are the thoughts that this is not the first activity on this site and also that it reminds us that people in the past also found, recognised, and cared for archaeological artefacts.
Northern Ireland Sites & Monuments Record [here]
SMR SM7 file [here]
Malcolm Hamilton on Wikipedia [here]
Discover Northern Ireland [here]
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