Journal Volume 1 1992

My townland:- Its History and Archaeology (continued/1)

The principal tribe who held all the central part of the territory of Cualann for many centuries was that of the Ui Bruin, known as the Ui Bruin Cualann. During this period Christianity came to Ireland. In our area it may have been brought by St. Mochorog. He was said to have been a grandson of a King of Britain, and had his cell and left his name at deilgne-Morchorog, now Delgany, in which parish Kindlestown is situated.

Just before the arrival of the Normans in the 12th century, the Overlord of the Ui Bruin Cualann was Donal Mac Ghiolla Mocholmog. He was married to the daughter of Diarmaid McMurrough, King of Leinster, who had brought the Normans to Ireland. When the Normans were fighting the Danes in Dublin in 1171, Donal did a good job of sitting on the fence and helping the Norman Miles De Cogan only when he was certain to win the battle. He was rewarded by being allowed to keep some of his land in the Rathdown/Delgany area, but the remainder around Bray and south Dublin was granted, by King Henry 2nd, to Walter De Ridelsford, a Norman knight. The first stone castle built in Rathdown was built by the Normans in 1171. The Mac Ghiolla Mocholmogs, who later changed their names to Mc Dermott, were still in possession in 1400, and paid a yearly rent of two otter skins to the English crown.

The Normans built their stone fortified castles around Ireland. Walter de Bendeville, who owned land in Delgany in 1225, is thought to have been the builder of Kindlestown Castle. Its ruins are in Kindlestown Upper, nearly opposite the present day St. Laurence's School. It must at first have had another name (Wally's Pile?) for it was not until it became the home of Albert de Kenley, who was sheriff of Kildare in 1301, that the castle and the lands around it became known as Kenley's town and through many spelling variations, to Kindlestown.

Kindlestown CastleSouth East

Albert de Kenley married the widow of Ralph Mac Ghiolla Mocholmog and had custody of his lands for his stepson, John. He retained some of the land for himself as can be seen from a deed dated 1304. In 1301 the O'Byrnes had burnt down Rathdown Castle and the family may then have taken refuge in Kindlestown Castle. The next reference to Kindlestown Castle was in 1377 when the O'Byrnes captured it. It was recovered by Archbishop Wikeford, who was chancellor at the time, and later passed into the possession of the Archbold family.

The Archbolds were probably brought into the district by de Kenley. We hear of them in 1314, when some of them, who were accused of crimes, were given a pardon because of their good service in fighting the Irish. They were retainers of the Earl of Kildare, and they held Kindlestown Castle and lands throughout the 15th, 16th and 17th century. The Calendar of Chancery Roils mentions ‘John Archebold of Kenleystoun’ in 1399, the Pembroke Estate Deeds: ‘Archbolds in Ballikinle’ and again, ‘Willam Ashpole of Kenleyston’ in 1530. The Archbolds also held land in Killruddery and Bray, in Coolegad, Delgany, Newcastle, Templecarrick and Raheenaclig. Around 1402 there was another attempt by the O'Byrnes to take over, but Donnacha O'Byrne was defeated by the Archbolds. Kindlestown Castle appears to have flourished during this time and we know from the Inquisitions of James 1st that in 1621 it was surrounded by 400 acres and had its own water mill. But the Archbolds had fallen on bad times and their estates had become heavily mortgaged. They had already sold Kilruddery and Bray, when Edward Archbold, still a minor, sold Kindlestown, Temple-Delgany and Coolegad to William Brabazon, Earl of Meath in 1630.


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