Thomastown GAA pitch / Grennans Castle
The Nore Valley Walk passes the Thomastown GAA pitch and joins the river bank. Follow the Green arrows along the river bank in the direction of Inistioge.
The valley is dominated by Grennan Castle, standing on an elevated mound which at one time was surrounded by a moat. The Castle was built around 1200 by Thomas FitzAnthony who gave his name to the town…… Baile Mhic Andain. Thomas was a Norman and son-in-law of Strongbow and was granted a large area of land in the Inistioge/Thomastown area. In 1650 the castle was laid siege to by Cromwell. We can tell the story in his own words:
"Our men attempted to take the town (Thomastown), the enemy made no great resistance; but by the advantage of the bridge quitted the town and fled to a castle about half a mile distant……That night we summoned the castle and after two days it was surrendered to us, the enemy leaving arms, drums, colours and ammunition behind them, and engaging never to bear arms more against the Parliament of England".
The castle maintained its original form until the early years of the 19th century. Then vandalism stepped in. The high courtyard wall, many of the handsome quoin stones and all the carved stones, forming the surrounds of the windows, were torn down and used as building stones. And so today it stands, shorn of its beauties, a monument to ignorance and avarice and the Castle, which was once deemed a fitting residence for the highest in the land, now gives shelter to the beasts of the field.