Mountjoy Castle, Brockagh – ‘the stolen fortress.’
See if you can find the smooth dips and grooves in the castle walls, probably used by soldiers in the 1600s as a sharpening stone for weaponry, swords or for scythes.
Welcome to Mountjoy Castle (now in ruins), called after the Lord Deputy Charles Blunt, Lord Mountjoy.
It dates from the early years of the 1600s and was a military base erected on the orders of Charles Blount, Lord Mountjoy, during the Nine Years War against Hough O’Neill, Earl of Tyrone.
This castle looks across Lough Neagh in the direction of County Antrim.
The area between the castle and Lough Neagh was the site of a large earthworks called ‘Mountjoy Fort’. A plan of this construction was drawn by Richard Bartlett at the time of the fort’s construction.
The peculiar track of the road at the site follows the layout of the fort’s entrance and exit.
It’s from that direction and from that location that troops came across the Lough and established on earth Fort, but I’m exhorting you to use your imagination.
Of the castle we can see that little enough seems to remain the reason is not that this castle was destroyed by cannon fire or aerial bombardment but it was deliberately made inhabitable by Commonwealth Parliamentary forces much later in the 1640s.
A nice feature (on the castle wall) are dips and grooves in the wall which I suggest were caused by years of where that part of the wall being used as a sharpening stone for weaponry, swords or for scythes.
Whatever the reason it has the feel of history.
The brickwork that we see in the castle building has been made on site. It is Tutor brick. Any modern restoration is clearly defined and differentiated. We are looking at brickwork here which was baked on site produced by the men who built this in the early 1600s, the early two decades of the 17th Century is just incredible.