Narrow Water Castle

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Coordinates: 54°06′53″N 6°16′58″W / 54.1148°N 6.2828°W / 54.1148; -6.2828

Narrow Water Castle, looking south (the road is to the left of the picture)

Narrow Water Castle (Irish: Caisleán an Chaoil;[1] Ulster-Scots: Narra Wattèr)[2] is a famous 16th-century tower house and bawn near Warrenpoint in Northern Ireland. It is beside the A2 road and on the County Down bank of the Clanrye River, which enters Carlingford Lough a mile to the south. Narrow Water Castle was given into state care in 1956. It is a state care historic monument in the townland of Narrow Water, in Newry and Mourne District Council district, at grid ref: J1256 1939.[3]


In 1212, a keep was built on the site by Hugh de Lacy, first Earl of Ulster, to prevent river-borne attacks on Newry. In the 1560s, the tower house and bawn were built. It is a typical example of the tower houses built throughout Ireland from the 14th until the early 17th century. This kind of building, normally rectangular in plan and three or more storeys high, comprised a series of superimposed chambers, with stairs, closets and latrines skillfully contrived within the walls (which are 1.5 metres or five feet thick in places) or sometimes contained in projecting angle turrets.

The original was destroyed in the 1641 Rebellion.

Nowadays, cruises past the castle are a regular feature throughout the summer months.

On 27 August 1979, 18 British Army soldiers were killed by a Provisional IRA ambush at Narrow Water Castle (see Narrow Water ambush). It was the greatest single loss of life for the British Army during The Troubles.[4]


The proposed Narrow Water Bridge[5] was to be located close south of the Castle, but in July 2013 Louth County Council announced that the tender process had produced cost estimates significantly in excess of the funding available. They decided to therefore put the project on hold.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Placenames NI
  2. ^ Jordan's Castle, Ulster-Scots translation Department of the Environment. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
  3. ^ "Narrow Water Castle" (PDF). Environment and Heritage Service NI - State Care Historic Monuments. Retrieved 2007-12-04. 
  4. ^ "On this day - 27 August". BBC News. 27 August 1979. Retrieved 2008-04-26. 
  5. ^ "Narrow Water bridge plan put on hold". BBC News. Retrieved 10 July 2013. 

External links[edit]