Located in the centre of the ancient town, Swords Castle contains over 800 years of history. In fact, a recent surprising discovery of burials beneath the gatehouse shows that the Castle has yet to give up all of its secrets. It was built by the Archbishop of Dublin, John Comyn, around 1200 A.D., as a residence and administrative centre. The Archbishop was also a Norman baron who had his own constable resident in the castle. The constable was empowered to hold court and even to pass the death sentence. For this purpose he had a gallows outside the town on the Brackenstown Road.
The extensive complex of buildings is roughly in the form of a pentagon and is enclosed by a perimeter wall of 260 meters. It is a National Monument and the best surviving example of an Archbishop’s Palace in Ireland. The curtain walls enclose over an acre of land that slopes down to the Ward River. This complex of buildings is made up of many phases of reuse and redesign, reflecting its long history and changing fortunes.
Swords Castle & Courtyard is open to visitors all year round & tours are available on request.
The Castle is open Tuesdays to Sundays, excluding Bank Holidays, from 9.30 am.
Renovations have been ongoing and the Chapel is sometimes used for weddings. Many public events are held at the Castle through the year. Swords Town Park is in the centre of Swords right next to the Castle. The park is a perfect spot for a walk and includes amenities such as tennis courts. Dogs are allowed on a lead.