12 Mar Athlumney Castle , Co. Meath
The castle , a 15th century tower house to which a Jacobean manor house was added in the early 17th century, has four floors in excellent condition , the first of which has a secret chamber down the stairs in the wall.
The last occupant of the mansion was Sir Lancelot Dowdall , who on hearing of the defeat of James II , decided to set his home alight rather than see it fall into the hands of William’s army. According to the story , he crossed the river and stood all night watching it burn before heading into permanent exile.
The interior shows large gaping fireplaces and a horseshoe stove-oven on the bottom floor which would have been the area of the kitchens , and still has many impressive mullioned windows as well as a magnificent oriel window overlooking the modern road.
Athlumney Castle is well worth a visit on any Ireland tours.