Trim Tourist Attractions
The little market town of Trim (Baile Atha Truim, "Town of the Elder-Tree Fort") lies on the River Boyne in a fertile plain northwest of Dublin. Here within a small space are gathered remains of a great past both religious and military.In 1172 Hugh de Lacy, a vassal of Henry II, built a castle on a site close to the spot where St Patrick had founded a monastery in the fifth century. The castle changed hands several times, being successively fought over, destroyed, rebuilt and enlarged. Richard II held the future Henry V and the Duke of Gloucester prisoner here. In the 14th century the town which had grown up around the castle was fortified with walls and gates. The Irish Parliament met here several times during the 15th century. In 1649 the town fell into Cromwellian hands.
Trim's most prominent landmark is the Yellow Steeple (National Monument), the last relic of an Augustinian abbey built in the 14th C. on a bare hill above the river. This finely proportioned tower, which still exceeds a height of 126ft/38m, formerly stood on the north side of the church.
Talbot's Castle, near Yellow Steeple in Trim, was built in 1415 but later modernized and converted into a school. Among its pupils was Arthur Wellesley (1769-1852), the future Duke of Wellington. He later lived in Patrick Street, where there is a monument to him.
A little way south of the Yellow Steeple in Trim are the two-story ruins of Sheep Gate, the only surviving town gate in Trim.
On the south side of the Boyne, opposite Sheep Gate and south of Yellow Steeple, rises a magnificent stronghold, Trim Castle (National Monument), the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland, covering an area of 3ac/1.2ha. In the center of the castle area, at its highest point, is the square keep, with turrets at the four corners and projecting towers (only three out the original four survive) in the middle of each of the 11ft/3.3m thick walls, giving the massive structure a cruciform plan. There was a drawbridge operated from the tower on the south side. The outer ward is surrounded by a curtain wall with semi-circular towers (five of which remain) and a moat. The parapet walks originally linked up with the town walls.
Newtown Trim, Ireland
About 0.5mi/1km east of the town of Trim, at an old bridge over the Boyne, we come to Newtown Trim, with the ruins of the Abbey of Saints Peter and Paul (National Monument). Of the very large Cathedral (13th C; transitional Romanesque/Gothic), built for the see of Meath, there remain only the choir, the crossing and a small section of the nave. On the south side of the church are some remains of conventual buildings. To the east is a smaller church (13th C), with a fine double tomb of the late 16th C.