Tales of Irish Castles

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History, Travel Documentary hosted by Simon Delaney, published by TV3 in 2014 - English narration

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Image: Tales-of-Irish-Castles-Cover.jpg

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Ireland has survived an 800 year-long bloody history beginning with Viking invaders, Anglo-Norman settlers and later British rulers – but how many know the whole story? Following the Viking invasion, the Anglo-Normans arrived in 1169 and changed Ireland forever as over 3,000 stone castles permanently re-shaped the Irish landscape. More castles were built in Ireland than the rest of the British Isles combined. From imposing Anglo-Norman strongholds of the 13th and 14th centuries; the more modest tower houses of the 15th and 16th centuries, to the lavish fortified houses of the 17th and 18th centuries, castles provided the backdrop for countless bloody battles, savage sieges, ghostly happenings and lavish lifestyles over the centuries. In effect, they are the history of Ireland. And with Tales of Irish Castles, viewers get a fascinating lesson about the country as told through its castles. Tales Of Irish Castles explores the great stories, legends and characters associated with the most beautiful, notorious and historical castles across Ireland – where more castles were built than in the rest of the British Isles combined. Presented by award winning actor Simon Delaney, (BBC's The Fall, Sky's Moone Boy and CBS's The Good Wife), the series takes in magnificent stone structures and the stories contained within their walls are brought to life through specially shot re-enactments, archive footage and contributions from Ireland's leading historians, archaeologists, castle owners and inhabitants. The six shows investigate the key role that Irish castles (mostly financed by the British crown) played across the centuries and with stunning aerial footage, the series takes the audience on an incredible journey throughout the island of Ireland. The series uncovers the political state of Ireland in the 12th Century, leading to the invasion of the Normans in 1169. The Normans introduced the concept of castle building to Ireland and before long castles began to spring up throughout the country, in particular along the more populated east coast. Other Irish Castles featured throughout the series include Luttrellstown in Dublin, Kilkenny Castle, Dunamaise Castle in Laois, Clonony, Birr, Charleville and Leap Castles in Offaly, Cahir Castle in Tipperary, Dunluce Castle in Antrim, Aughrim Castle in Galway, Tullynally Castle in Westmeath, Castle Leslie in Monaghan, and Blarney Castle in Cork. Series Director: Sarah Shore ; Sideline Productions for TV3

[edit] The Normans Are Coming

After the Normans invaded in 1169, they introduced the concept of castle building to Ireland. This episode explores some of the country's earliest Norman castles. Irish castles played a key role in shaping the country's history, starting in the 12th century. After Dermot MacMurrough's kingdom was taken from him, he sought help from English King Henry II and got it by making a deal with Richard Fitzgilbert de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke in Wales, better known by his nickname Strongbow. This led to the invasion of Ireland in 1169 by the Anglo-Normans, descendants of the French from Normandy and "the most technologically-advanced army of the time." Before the invasion, most of the Irish lived in ring forts alongside the Scandinavians, who had conquered Ireland 300 years earlier and controlled the trading ports in Limerick, Wexford, Waterford, and the walled city of Dublin, "a thriving Viking town." Once Dublin was taken by the Anglo-Normans, the castle-building in Ireland began. Episode 1 documents the political state of Ireland in the 12th C, leading to the invasion of the Normans in 1169. The Normans introduced the concept of castle building to Ireland and before long castles began to spring up throughout the country, in particular along the more populated east coast. This episode explores some of the earliest Norman castles in Ireland in Dublin, Trim, Carrickfergus, Limerick and Ashford Castle in Mayo now a 5 star hotel and exclusive home movie footage of the legendary American actor John Wayne who stayed at the hotel when he was filming John Ford's The Quiet Man .

[edit] Don't Mess with a Knight

In the 13th and 14th centuries, Norman knights helped alter the landscape of Ireland. Featured locations include Luttrellstown, Kilkenny, Dunamase, and Blarney Castle. The building of Norman castles in Ireland continued throughout the 13th and 14th centuries, and the expansion began soon after the initial invasion of Ireland. London-based King Henry II was constantly concerned about his rule over the country across the Irish Sea, so he built a network of castles that he could control through his knights. These "ultimate fighting machines" began training while barely out of toddler-hood. As adults they conquered and took over local Irish lords' lands in the name of the English crown, and built huge, more complex castles to control what was now their lands. One such knight was William Marshal, described as "the greatest knight that ever lived." He married Isabel de Clare, Strongbow's daughter, and they built Kilkenny Castle. While the Anglo-Normans laid siege across Ireland, the leaders of Irish clans would marry their daughters into the new ruling families to gain more clout, including the Anglo-Norman Luttrell family. Castles featured include Luttrellstown, with exclusive access to the location where David Beckham married Victoria aka Posh Spice... Kilkenny, once capital of Ireland, the majestic ruins of Dunamase and the most famous Irish castle of them all in County Cork where kissing the stone at Blarney Castle can bring you a 'gift of the gab' forever.

[edit] The Fightback

As the Irish clans began to fight back against the Anglo-Norman settlers in the 15th and 16th centuries, tower houses were built for both defense and as family homes.
Simon Delaney details the change in politics of Ireland, where the Irish clans begin to fight back against the Anglo Norman settlers. Throughout the 15th and 16th centuries, a new type of castle emerges, the tower house, built for both defence and as family home. Within a few years over 3000 tower houses dotted the landscape. The episode documents the haunted castle in Leap... the first castle to be besieged by cannon fire in Maynooth... the love story of Dunluce and Clonony Castle in the midlands, home to an American dancer and resting place of Ann Boleyn's two sisters, Henry VIII's two sisters in law.

[edit] A Century of Turmoil

Castles were at the forefront of the bloodiest century in Irish history. Important strongholds of the 1600s include castles in Limerick, Birr, Kilkenny, and Athlone.
Host Simon Delaney documents the castles that were at the forefront of the bloodiest century in Irish history. With the confederate and Cromwellian wars of the 1640's and 1650's followed by the Williamite wars in the 1680's and 1690's, Irish castles played key roles throughout the 17th century and this episode documents some of the most affected and important strongholds during this period e.g. the strategic military castles in Limerick, Birr, Kilkenny, Athlone and finally the ruins of Aughrim Castle, scene of the bloodiest battle on Irish soil.

[edit] A Taste for Gothic

Castles no longer served as military strongholds in the 18th and 19th centuries and instead were adapted into beautiful homes for the lordly and wealthy classes.
Presented by Simon Delaney and featuring specially shot re enactments, archive footage and contributions from Ireland's leading historians, archaeologists and castle owners, our penultimate episode documents the changes in Irish castles throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. This episode documents some of these castles and their owners who have struggled to maintain their estates as rents fall and lands sold off. Castles featured are the now so modern Dublin Castle, the magical Tullynally, Birr Castle, the home of the largest telescope in the world and finally Charleville Castle that is undergoing continuous rebuilding with the help of international volunteers.

[edit] End of Empire

The 19th and 20th centuries were a time of social and political turmoil. Some of Ireland's most prestigious and historical castles were mostly abandoned or destroyed. Wrapping up the series Simon reflects on how we should view these important buildings today not just as part of our heritage also a vital part of history as he explores the state of Ireland and its castles during the 19th and 20th centuries. He then sums everything up by presenting a profile of the country's castles, delving into the personal, military, social, and family stories behind the buildings while placing them in context historically and providing information on the state of the country, local wars, and the families who once lived in them. Famine and the land wars were a time of great change in Ireland where tenant and landlord relations disintegrated, leaving many an iconic Irish castle in ruins. This final episode details the state of Irish castles during these periods of unrest and features amongst others the stately home of Castle Leslie. A haven for the rich and famous the castle was saved from being burnt out by Irish republicans in the 1920s due to the generosity of the owner to the local village during the Great Famine 50 years before. We see exclusive home movie footage of Mick Jagger from The Rolling Stones staying there in the 1960s and broadcast archive of Paul McCartney getting married to Heather Mills.

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[edit] Technical Specs

Video Codec: x264 CABAC High@L4
Video Bitrate: 3 502 Kbps
Video Resolution: 1920x1080
Display Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frames Per Second: 25.000 fps
Audio Codec: E-AC3
Audio Bitrate: 128 kb/s CBR 48000 Hz
Audio Streams: 2
Audio Languages: english
RunTime Per Part: 41 min 51 s - 45 min 11 s
Number Of Parts: 6
Part Size: 1.11 GB
Source: WEB DL (Thanks to ExREN)
Encoded by: DocFreak08

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