Roodstown Castle,
County Louth

Tower houses became a widespread phenomenon in late medieval Ireland following the collapse of central authority and the resurgence of Gaelic lords. Roodstown is a well preserved, though roofless, example of such a residential tower, with all the typical features - a vaulted ground-floor cellar, a murder-hole inside the main entrance, a welldefended parapet and wall-walk. The windows on the first and second floors have nicely carved 15th-century cusped ogee-headed lights, all with glazing bar holes. The two largest windows, both double lights and one with a transome bar, are in the first-floor hall, which also typically has the largest fireplace. As is usual in such buildings, the third floor - probably the private chamber - was unheated and had only small rectangular windows.

4 km (2.5 miles) E of Ardee on the Stabannon Road. NGR: N 996925.