Swords – that was the first village I ever visited in Ireland. I came here in spring 2006 because I had a job interview. I realized that I didn’t want the job, but I did want to live in this country. And I will never regret that I really came here to live. It is still one of my favorite countries. The only thing I never liked was the weather.. I am definitely more a person for southern Italy.
Swords is a nice little village north of Dublin and the nearest one to the airport. If you take the bus, you will arrive in less than 10 minutes. For me completely new was the Retail Park, a huge shopping- center with nearly a hundred shops. It wasn’t there when I came the first time.
The old town still has nice little pubs, very cozy and perfect places to eat something typical while experiencing Irish lifestyle. Locals come here to eat, they have their beer in the evening, and they are friendly, open to everyone, curious and will for sure sing in the later hours.
The village has one main road, going from south to north. The first known settlement was around 560 AD when Saint Colmcille blessed a well which gives also the name to the place. The Irish word Sord means clear, pure, An Sord is the Irish word for ‘the water source’. From the medieval period there is still a round tower to see, 26 meters high.
The main street leads to the castle. Not too much is known about it. It was built around 1200 as a manorial residence of an Archbishop. For nearly 150 years it has been in use by archbishops before one decided not to stay here but in Tallaght. He just forgot the castle which slowly started to fall into disrepair.
It then was partly used as a constable’s home during the 14th to the 16th century. In the mid 19th century it was used as an orchard and in 1985 it became property of the Dublin County Council.
Restoration is still going on and the castle can be visited only by appointment.
We had one and a half day in Swords and I enjoyed it because I remembered my first stay here. And my sweetie liked the very Irish atmosphere, the good food (we were twice in the same pub for dinner), the calm village which is also one of the cleanest in Ireland.
Swords is a perfect place to stay for someone has only a day to stay and doesn’t want to go into the big city of Dublin. Malahide castle is nearby, 15 minutes by bus.
Swords, Co. Dublin/Ireland: