Trim Castle is the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland and one of the largest medieval castles in Europe. The construction of the castle took over thirty years and it was begun around 1176 on the site of an earlier wooden fortress. It was funded by Hugh de Lacy and his son Walter. Based on the south bank of the river Boyne the castle makes a great backdrop for films and it was used in Mel Gibson’s film Braveheart.
Beside the castle are the ruins of St. Mary’s Abbey. This Augustinian monastery was built in the 12th century and was once a centre of great medieval pilgrimages. Later, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland Sir John Talbot had the Abbey converted into a fortified manor house known as Talbot Castle. In the second half of the 18th century the building was converted into a school. One of the people educated there was Sir William Rowan Hamilton, one of Ireland’s greatest mathematicians.