Drimnagh Castle was built around 1240 as a fortress of the Barnewall family. There were a Norman family who owned large parts of land in Terenure, Kimmage and Drimnagh.
This video is designed as a resource for primary and post-primary students up to Junior Certificate.
Imagine going to school in the great hall of an old castle with whispers and tales of ghosts in the corridors! Well, this is what happened to eighty boys in 1954 when they started school in Drimnagh Castle School on the Long Mile Road in Dublin.
Drimnagh Castle was built around 1240 as a fortress by the Barnewall family. They were a Norman family who owned large parts of land in Terenure, Kimmage and Drimnagh. The Barnewalls, like other Norman families in Ireland, needed to protect themselves against raids of the Irish chiefs. Drimnagh Castle was the perfect fortress: it had a deep wide ditch filled with water around it – this is called a moat – and a drawbridge as well as a tall tower with lookout posts. There was also a great hall with a large room, an undercroft, underneath it. Oliver Cromwell, the English ruler who came to Ireland in 1649 to put an end to Irish rebellion, is said to have kept his horses in Drimnagh Castle and many people believe his ghost has been a frequent visitor down through the ages.
The Hatch family, who were dairy farmers, was the last family to live in Drimnagh Castle. They gave the castle and lands to the Christian Brothers in 1954. The Brothers used the castle as a school from 1954 until 1956 when a newly built school was opened in the castle grounds.
In the 1980s the castle was fully restored. You can go on a guided tour there and also look at its beautiful garden laid out in the style of the seventeenth century. You can see the castle on television as it has been used for filming ‘The Tudors’.