South of the County Armagh village of Jonesborough lie the ruins of Moyry Castle, built in the 17th century to guard the strategic mountain pass known as Moyry Pass or the 'Gap of the North'. It is a familiar landmark from the Belfast/Dublin railway.
The castle was built by Lord Mountjoy on a rocky hillock in 1601 to secure the ancient route between the provinces of Ulster and Leinster. The pass was the widest passage through which an army could pass while under attack, in this mountainous and once boggy and heavily wooded terrain.
The small square tower has unusual rounded corners and numerous gun-loops, from ground-floor level right up to the wall-walk. It is a very basic castle, with no stairs. The living quarters, with fireplaces and windows, must have been reached by ladders. The stone bawn will which once surrounded the castle has mostly gone except for one isolated stretch to the south east.
Attraction / Heritage/History
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