Trim: Saint Patrick Was Here

Big Castle, Big Saint, Big History

Trim Castle in Ireland. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Trim Castle in Ireland. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

On the last leg of our roadtrip in Ireland, driving from Galway back to Dublin, we take a slight detour north to see what is billed as the largest Anglo-Norman fortress in the country. It is a castle’s castle alright: it is not hard to imagine boats pulling up on the river Boyne to drop off people and goods or to envision fellows with arrows and other weapons ready to defend the place. Indeed, a hole by the gate allowed insiders to pour boiling oil or water on anyone seeking to come in and engage in mischief.

Trim Castle, built in the 1100s, served as a fortress as well as a home. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Trim Castle, built in the 1100s, served as a fortress as well as a home. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Built in the 1100s, the castle was controlled by various powers over the years. By 1649, it was in the possession of loathed English leader Oliver Cromwell’s soldiers. More than three hundred years later, the castle had a starring role in Mel Gibson’s Braveheart, a film about Scotland’s William Wallace and his efforts to be free of English rule.

Trim Castle, on the river Boyne, played a starring role in Mel Gibson's film, Braveheart, the story of Scottish hero William Wallace. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

Trim Castle, on the river Boyne, played a starring role in Mel Gibson’s film, Braveheart, the story of Scottish hero William Wallace. Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

But long before Gibson, Cromwell, or even the castle got here, Saint Patrick’s nephew, Loman, showed up in the year 433. His uncle Patrick came to town not long after and built a church. The original church is gone, as is the fort. The now restored castle remains and is open to the public.

Trim Castle, County Meath

—Lori Tripoli

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