Motte: a palisaded mound common in prehistoric Europe (Websters)
To see a rendering of a Motte and Bailey Castle, click here The remains of Motte Farrell are easy to see. The traces of the ditch are evident and the mound rises a good 25 feet above the surrounding area. A good view of County Longford can be had at the top.
The Motte would have been used for refuge during an attack and would have served as the seat of government. It would have fulfilled religious and political purposes as well.
According to “Place Names of County Longford,” Rev. Joseph MacGivney, 1908
“Moat Farrell was the place where the kings of Anghaile were formerly inaugurated. On an appointed day the newly elected chief rode to the place of inauguration. There surrounded by the subchiefs, bishops, abbots, poets, brehons, etc, the hereditary ollamh read aloud the law and the ancient customs, which the elected swore to observe and to rule his people justly. A wand straight and white was then placed in the hand of the newly elected, standing on the inaugural stone. The straightness of the wand was to him a sign that his public conduct should be straight or just, while its whiteness told him that it should be without stain. With this wand in his hand, he turned three times from right to left, and three times from left to right, in honour of the Holy Trinity. Then, as a sign of submission, the Chief Marshal put a sandal on his foot. Beginning with the senior, all in turn pronounced his surname loudly, and this ended the ceremony.”
The mound (the clan chieftain is standing in front):
View from the top of Motte Farrell:
Old Church Ruins near Moat Farrell