ON the arrival of the English, Henry II. granted O'Morthy, or O'More's country, the district in which Castle Dermot stands, to Walter Riddlesford, who built a castle there from which the town takes its name. And in the reign of King John, the said proprietor founded a Priory for crouched friars, which, at the dissolution, was given to Richard Keating. In 1264, Richard de Rupella, Lord Justice of Ireland, Lords Theobald Botiller and John Cogan, were taken prisoners by the Fitz Geralds of Tristledermot, which shews at once the weakness of Government and the power of this family at that period. In 1302 a Monastery for Conventua1 Franciscans was founded in this town by Lord Ophaley; in fourteen years after it was destroyed by Bruce and his Scots, who carried away its books, vestments, and other sacred ornaments and utensils; but this sacrilege was revenged by their defeat soon after. On the 26th of' August 1499, a Parliament was held here, when an act was made for the nobility to use saddles: however, the natives retained their old custom of riding without them, nor two hundred years after did they lay aside their old practice.
ON the construction of the Castle and Monasteries, Castledermot became a market town, and is supposed to have been surrounded with a wall, but no traces are now to be seen. The only ruins are those of the Castle, Franciscan Friary, Round Tower, and Church.
Church and Round Tower Castledermot
(pp. 43-44, Vol. II; accompanying Plate entitled 'Church and Tower at Castledermot, Co. Kildare').Groses's Antiquities of Ireland Back To The Heritage Homepage