The remaining gatehouse of Gorteens Castle
Along with the ruins of Rathpatrick church and another church, it is one of several ruins in Rathpatrick Parish.
'Gorteens' comes from the Irish na goirtinsdhe which means little gorts or gardens. Archaeological excavations near the castle in 1993 indicated that the site was used between the 16th and 18th centuries, with further excavations in 2003 identifying additional castle walls and outbuildings.
The castle was originally the property of the FitzGerald family, the greatest Anglo-Norman dynasty in mediæval Ireland. Gorteens was included in the Down Survey of Ireland in 1656 as being in the Baroniess of Ida, Igrim or Ibercon and in the Parish of Rathpatricke. John FitzGerald, a Roman Catholic, is recorded as being the last FitzGerald holder of Gorteens.
FitzGerald forfeited Gorteens during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland, and was initially transplanted to Connaught in December 1653, before being assigned lands in Turlough and in Carra, County Mayo by 1677. The duellist George Robert FitzGerald was descended from this family.
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