Roscommon, Castle, Rindoon, Frontier, Border, Gaelic, O'Conor, Naessens, Sherlock, Royal, medieval, town, deserted, Ireland, NUI Galway
Rindoon Castle controlled and dominated one of the best harbours along the Shannon. It was argued that a pre-Norman promontory fort never existed at Rindoon. Instead, it is suggested that these earthworks represent the south-eastern defences of the later Anglo-Norman town. The pre-Norman fortress implied in the place-name Rinn Duin perhaps lies under the later Anglo-Norman masonry castle. This earlier fortification might have been built as a Viking stronghold, a later O'Conor fortress or both. The Anglo-Norman masonry castle was started in 1227. This royal castle has at least five identifiable architectural phases within it. These range in date from the early 13th century through to the very late 16th century. The evidence suggests that Rindoon Castle was far stronger in defensive terms than was once thought. This makes some sense as the historical sources suggest that it lay in a relatively turbulent border area, on the frontier between Gaelic and Anglo-Norman dominated parts of medieval Ireland. Lastly, the siting of major buildings within the castle suggests that there was a deliberate attempt by its original builders and later occupants to make its whole north-western and northern facades very dramatic looking. It is also argued that the castle was framed by a deer-park to its southeast.