Audio clip from the free Norman Way GPS audio tour: http://thenormanway.com/audio-tour/
Once the Anglo-Normans had consolidated their military occupation, they started to build their stone castles with some 365 being built between the 13th and 16th centuries. While many lie derelict shadowing many farmyards, Sigginstown is due to be renovated by its new American owners in 2017. In our audio clip, stonemason Patrick Hickey tells us with ghoulish glee about the dreaded machicolations that helped fend off invaders from such castles.
The content below appears on the Norman Way interpretive panel at Sigginstown Castle: -
This tower house is a wonderful example of the sheer building height that was made possible after the Normans introduced their expert stone construction techniques to the area.
Norman Skyscrapers The Norman way of building allowed for multi-storey stone structures that towered over the beautiful green countryside for the first time in Ireland. This changed the country's visual landscape forever. A perfect example is the tower at Lady's Island, another site along the Norman Way in Wexford. In the centuries that followed, these same building techniques were used to construct tower houses such as Sigginstown. There is another impressive tower house on the Norman Way at Ballyhealy. As you travel along the Norman Way, you may spot several Norman inspired tower houses with more modern extensions built on to the side like this one.
Discover the Norman Way for Yourself See if you can spot the long, enclosed ‘machicolation' on the outside of this tower. A ‘machicolation' is an opening in the battlements of a Norman tower or castle. This opening allowed for stones, hot oil, or other unpleasant things to be dropped down on to unlucky enemy attackers below.