Archaeologists uncover hidden 12th Century castle in Ireland

Mount Stewart is a 19th-century house and garden in County Down (Irish: Contae an Dúin) in the north-east of Ireland, which is now owned by the National Trust. Archaeologists have recently discovered a hidden 12th Century motte-and-bailey castle on the estate, which is situated on the Ards Peninsula (Irish: Leithinis na hArda).  There was considerable Norman intervention in this area in the 12th century resulting in the  building of a number of castles and priories. 

Built about 800 years ago the castle had been hidden by trees for centuries. As reported by BBC NI, the site was identified by Lidar, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging  and is a type of radar often used by archaeologists. The image indicated there was something circular, hidden among the trees. Over a period of many weeks the trees and dense vegetation was cleared. A defensive structure, situated on a tall mound was uncovered, which is some 23 metres in diameter and surrounded by a deep ditch.

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