Slade Castle,
County Wexford

The picturesque little harbour of Slade is dominated by the brown rubble walls and striking merlons of this castle, formerly home of the Laffans, possibly merchants here in late medieval times. The building comprises a tower house built in the late 15th or early 16th century, and an attached two-storey hall of slightly later date.

The tower, standing 56 feet high and gracefully tapered, contains a mural stair in the south-east angle and barrel vaults over the second and fifth floors; above the latter rises a turret accommodating the stair head, a small apartment and the base of what was once a tall chimney stack. The rooms were all very small, including the main chamber on the third floor, which had a latrine, fireplace, cupboard recess and two windows. No doubt the two-storey house was later added to provide more living space. It has its own entrance on the south side, leading via a lobby up a straight mural staircase to three fair-sized rooms on the first floor. A low-pitched slated roof once covered these rooms rising from the wall-walk behind the attractive many-stepped battlemented parapet, though on the east side the roof was at a higher level to accommodate an extra storey. The three ground-floor rooms strangely cannot be entered from the living quarters above and may have been intended as a warehouse on the quay.

The castle was forfeited by the Laffan family in the aftermath of the 1641 Rebellion, though the Laffan heir was only a young boy who could not possibly have been implicated in the war. The building appears to have been used and extended in the late 18th century as part of an extensive salt works adjoining the site.

Located at the E end of Hook Head, 9.5 km (6 miles) SW of Fethard-on-Sea. NGR: X 747986.