For over a decade, my car rental maps had tempted me with a pink star marking the location of Castle Matrix. It was just a ways outside of Limerick a few miles from Adare. On our way to visit Imen from www.marriedanirishfarmer.com, Liam and I decided to stop.
A Hidden Castle
We drove from one end of Rathkeale to the other and beyond in search of the landmark. When we clearly went too far, we stopped and asked for directions from a gentleman who was standing in his drive talking to a woman parked nearby.
“Pull in here, and I’ll help ye,” he said directing us into his driveway before rushing back to the woman in the SUV. When he returned, he let us know the woman driver lived beside castle Matrix (pronounced Matt-trix), and she said it was open again for tours. Sounded as if things were going our way.
He proceeded to give us very detailed directions, even predicting, “you won’t even know it’s a road.” Indeed! With the building of the highway bypass around Rathkeale, the driveway to Castle Matrix goes completely unnoticed. Had it not been for the man’s instructions, we would not even have attempted… especially since there wasn’t a sign marking the way.
Abandoned… or Just Heavily Lived-In
Grass grew up the center of the drive, and the trees hung down and scraped the top of the car. I told Liam at least three times, “This can’t be the road.” A few turns in and we arrived at a small clearing beside the stone tower house. The foliage was overgrown, but there was a spot of shorter grass big enough for a car to turn around. The castle looked sturdy and a big wooden door marked the entrance. As we marched up, a cat or two scattered from behind a bush. We knocked, took a few pictures, but no one was there.
It was hard to tell if there had been any activity at the place recently… a wood carving and scattered rubbish made it look like there had, but overgrown bushes, cloudy windows, and no signs of modern life made us think twice.
On the internet, I couldn’t find any solid information on the place more recent than 2005-ish, but since those reports referenced an eccentric owner and a castle overwhelmed with clutter and pets, maybe nothing has changed, and we just hit it on an off day.
If you’ve been to Castle Matrix recently… let us know about your experience.