Dromore Mound is Dromore’s most recognizable feature, the remains of Norman fortifications. It is also known as Dromore Motte and Bailey.

Motte and Bailey Castles

Motte and Bailey castles were a type of fortification or castle popular in the 11th and 12th centuries during Norman times. The name comes from the French word “motte” which means a “mound”. Motte and Bailey castles consisted of an earthen mound, sometimes natural, more often artificial. On top of the mound knights would build a defensive building or tower, initially made of wood but later constructed of stone. This was called the “keep” and formed the last line of defense. It also served as a lookout and as a vantage point from where archers could fire their arrows on approaching enemies. The keep also served as the living space for the local lord and his family.

Beneath the mound on the flat ground there would be an enclosed courtyard which served as an area for the castle’s daily activities and as a first line of defense. In the courtyard the attendants of the lord of the castle would both live and work. Initially the courtyard was surrounded by a palisade, or wooden fence, but with time palisades were replaced with stone walls which provided much higher levels of protection.

The Dromore Motte and Bailey

The Dromore Motte and Bailey was constructed by sir John de Courcy, the famous Norman knight who also played a major part in the history of Carrickfergus Castle. In contrast to Carrickfergus though, the Dromore Motte and Bailey was constructed mainly of wood so little remains of the initial fortifications. However, it still makes for an imposing landmark.

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