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Castletown Motte

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Mount Avenue, Dundalk, Louth, Republic of Ireland

Castletown Motte, in County Louth, comprises of an 12th century castle on top of a 20m high mound. It is said to be the site of Dun Delga, birthplace of Cúchulainn the famous Celtic warrior.

The De Verdons built Castletown Motte and Bailey, in County Louth, in the late 12th century. The motte comprises a large circular mound which rises to some 20m and is enclosed by a ditch with an external bank. Adjoining the motte at the northwest is a small bailey; a large bailey, which has now been destroyed, existed in the east. On the east side of the mound there is a causeway across the ditch, the date of which is unknown. There is also evidence of a southerrain to the south of the Motte.

The ruin of the late 18th century castellated house known as 'Byrne's Folly' stands on top of the mound. It was built by Patrick Byrne, a well-known pirate in 1780 AD. The motte is built on the site of a pre Christian fort called Dún Dealgan, meaning 'The Fort of Dealga'. This site is important in Irish mythology as it is said to be the birthplace of the legendary warrior - Cúchulainn.

The standing stone that supposedly marks his burial can be seen in the field to the right as you go up the entrance lane.

Requires climbing over an old stone stile in the stone wall at the entrance.
Steep path curves up around the motte to the folly on top. Top is level and is kept mown.