have you wondered what is that ruin on the hill outside of Cloyne…….the mute witness of centuries of history
I found some information on this ruin in an old book of the history of Cloyne:
On the top of Castle Hill are the ruins of a castle about whose history little is known. It is stated by the book that a stone was removed from over the doorway and the late eighteenth century date inscribed on it may indicate at least the period of the building. It has been suggested that the castle was built by the English as part of defence against French invasion.
The building is square, measuring ten feet by ten feet inside. The walls are two feet thick. apparently the floor was flagged with stone and raised ten inches of the ground. The doorway on the west wall measure seven feet by eight feet. On the north there is a narrow window but on the east and south wall the windows are larger. In the South West corner there is an open fireplace. The level of an upper floor is clearly indicated by a flagstone which formed the base of an fireplace in the North east corner. In each of the four wall there is a large window of rounded arch style, a development between the high pointed gothic and the baroque semi-circular idioms. The flat lintels of the ground floor windows are in marked contrast to the arched windows above them.
It is reputed that the learned Bishop John Brinkley used this fort as an observatory. He was the first astronomer of Ireland.
Rev. John Mortomer Brinkley was born in Woodbridge, Suffolk. He was the illegitimate son of a local butchers daughter. When admitted to Cambridge he is recorded as the son of John Toler Brinkley, that suggests that his real father was John Toler the 1st Earl of Norbury – Chief Justice of the Irish Court of Common Pleas (also known as the hanging Judge who fell asleep during a murder trail) His date of birth is unknown. In 1826 he was appointed Bishop of Cloyne and lived in the Palace of Cloyne.
Cloyne’s Harrier Club also staged its first Piont-to-Piont fixture at Castle Hill in 1923