The Moate of Ardscull

The Moate of Ardscull is famous in local myth and legend and is indeed believed by some to be the abode of the ‘little people’.  It is assumed to have been built in the late 12th or 13th century. The first clear reference to the Moate is in 1654 when the 'Book of General Orders' noted a request from the inhabitants of County Kildare for the State to contribute £30 "towards the finishing of a Fort that they have built at the Moate of Ardscull".

Situated in a commanding position on the main Kilcullen to Athy road, the Moate offered extensive views in all directions.  The structure is a large oval-shaped mound 11 meters high, surrounded by a ditch and bank. The entrance was on the west of the Moate.  Here there is an opening through the upper bank and a causeway across the ditch, which is between 6 and 7meters wide.  The external bank is 10meters wide.  A sub-rectangular area is visible from aerial photographs on the north side of the Moate.  This may be the remains of a ploughed-out bailey.  Field walking in the area uncovered shreds of post-medieval pottery and a furnace bottom.

The appearance of the Moate was changed considerably in the 1800’s with the plantation of trees and the construction of a surrounding wall.   More recently, Kilmead Community Council have developed a picnic area which has become a popular spot with locals and tourists alike.

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