Although piecemeal and freebooting, the Norman subjugation of Ireland developed a form of routine. To protect their salient of conquest, the Normans built basic ringwork, or motte and bailey castles. Once secure, the lords built imposing stone castles, symbols of their dominance, and centres of residence, administration and entertainment. Finally, as a form of penitence, often in bequests to daughters of noble families, monasteries and convents would be established. The major monastic orders all had a presence in Ireland pre-dating the Normans, but were able to expand and flourish through their beneficence. The most successful were the Augustinians, who were active in the country’s administration (eight seats in the first parliament of 1297) and ran hospitals through the Fratres Cruiferi. The major Norman families such as the DeBurghs and FitzGeralds aggrandized vast estates and authority, but were not invincible. The O’ Connors defeated John de Courcy (1188), and Walter De Burgh (1270).
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