Photographing the Alphabet ~ M

M ~ Motte

Now we are talking about a Motte and not a Mot!

Mot (n): Dublin slang for a girlfriend as in “me [my] mot”.

A motte on the other hand was an earth mound, forming a defensible raised platform on which a tower – a keep – could be built. The earth for the motte would be taken from around its own base, forming a deep ditch, aiding the builders’ ability to defend. It would be strengthened with wooden supports or clay.

Motte at Antrim Castle with a winding pathway to the top.

Motte’s varied in size from 50 to 120 feet in height and 50 to 300 feet in diameter.

View from the remains of the old castle

Motte and Bailey Castles were built on the highest ground in the area, they often adjoined Rivers and overlooked Towns or harbours.

View of the remains of the castle from the top of the motte.

The Old Courthouse and view of the town from the top of Antrim motte.

Motte and bailey castles were a form of castle structure that enabled the Norman conquerors of England and Wales to secure areas of land quickly and cheaply in the 12th and 13th centuries.

The Normans needed a castle design they could erect quickly to subdue the wild folk  😉 of these isles. The name ‘motte and bailey’ describes the two parts of the structure. The baileys built by the Normans tended initially to be wood, as speed was of the essence. They were enclosures which sometimes surrounded the base of the motte, providing another layer of defence, or sometimes positioned simply at its base to one side, to be used as an enclosure.

Wooden motte and bailey castles, providing they served their purpose and were located properly, were often rebuilt as stone structures when the Norman lords felt more secure.

This motte is located in the War Memorial Park at Ballyclare, the photo is rather hazy but I think it adds a magical mood to the image.

View from the other side on a different day.

This time a set of steps leads to the top.

There are mottes all over Northern Ireland, I had hoped to photograph a few more, but driving was off limits for the past couple of weeks. Maybe another time.

9 thoughts on “Photographing the Alphabet ~ M

  1. Grannymar

    Dianne, I am still aranging the furniture here. Only about 650 of the 2,400 or so posts are moved the remainder will move in due course.

    1. Grannymar

      I hate them! In my small world, there were two large Grammar Schools and a large Department store chain all with the same acronym. 🙁

  2. kjwinston

    What a great idea for a post – especially for us folks who have never been to Ireland and would love to go, this was like a little mini-trip

  3. Grannymar

    Welcome kjwinston, There are many more mini trips to come! Watch out for ‘A Tour of Ireland’, when I manage to pull it over from my old blog. It covers all 32 counties.


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