Lecale & Newcastle

Saturday 30 November

Quoile Castle (J497470) has been partly restored. The east doorway is a double structure with a good murder-hole between. The outer doorway is a newly-constructed copy of the inner doorway. The ground floor has two large vaulted rooms and many small gun-loops. A straight stairway rises within the east wall to above the vault. Another straight stairway rises within the north wall to the second floor. There are fireplaces at both the upper levels.
Audleystown Court Grave (J562504) has a long low cairn aligned approximately NE-SW. It has a dual court-grave with a four-chambered gallery and a shallow court at each end.

Audley's Castle (J578506) was locked on this occasion. It is about four storeys high with a vault above the first floor. Twin towers project from the southeast wall. The south tower contains a spiral stairway and the east tower has two garderobes. The double latrine-chute exits from the base of the north-east wall. A large machicolation arch links the projecting towers at roof level. The tower-house stands at the north corner of a bawn. Only the base of the bawn wall remains.
Strangford Castle (J589498) is a small three-storeyed tower with no vault or stone stairway. The doorway is protected by a machicolation and there are good crenellations. There is a single room at each level. The ground floor is protected by small gun-loops. At the first floor is a fireplace with a small oven. There are two windows with window-seats. The windows at the second floor also have seats and there are remains of a second fireplace. Access to the roof was not possible at this time.

The interior of Kilclief Castle (J597457) could not be examined. It is a tower-house of similar design to Audley's Castle but larger. It has a number of very fine two-light windows some of which appear to be modern.
In the gable of St Mary's Church, Chapeltown (J572400) is a medieval Madonna and Child with modern heads. Above the doorway is a small cross-inscribed stone. Outside the door are two multiple-bullaun stones.

Jordan's Castle, Ardglass (J559372) is similar to Audley's and Kilclief Castles but the doorway is in the opposite tower. It has an additional small machicolation above the doorway. The interior could not be examined. Margaret's Castle (J560371) and Cowd Castle (J561371) are small rectangular towers which may have been part of the original town defences.

Sunday 1 December

Some buildings in Newcastle were viewed and compared with the photographs in ‘Victorian & Edwardian Newcastle’ by Grenfell Morton. There is very little change along Central Promenade between Bryansford Road and St John's. The major difference is the replacement of a building south of Patton's Bridge by a nursing home. On the Esplanade the site of the Bellevue Hotel is clearly visible but the building has been replaced. Beside this is Kent Amusements, the original buildings of which can be seen behind the modern front. Clare Lodge, Ladies' Collegiate School is almost unchanged as is the Annesley Arms Hotel beside it. The stable of the hotel is now Joyland Amusements. The facade of the old bathhouse beside the hotel has been re-aligned and is now the entrance to the Newcastle Centre.

The canopy of the railway station has been removed but the building is otherwise unchanged. Seaview Terrace, opposite the station, has an additional bow projection (after 1907). The outside of the Slieve Donard Hotel has changed very little but the entrance hall has been greatly modified. The grand staircase has been removed and the foyer remodelled.

The west side of Main Street south from the Presbyterian Church has changed little above ground level where there are now shops. There are some traces of the older east side of Main Street. The buildings to the north of St John's Church are almost unchanged. Rockmore, beside the entrance to the church, seems to have a third chimney.

The Annesley Estate Office has lost its triple chimney and the finials from its gables. Much of the building on the South Promenade remain unchanged. The round windows of the Harbour Bar have been replaced but some of the buildings across the road are original.