04. Na Ballaí agus na Túir
Walls & Tower
Na Ballaí agus na Túir
Ba mhinic ballaí a thógáil thart ar bhailte móra ré na meánaoiseanna d’fhonn iad a chosaint ar a n-ionsaí. Chuirtí Túir agus Geataí ó áit go chéile leis na ballaí sin ionas go bhféadfadh daoine dul isteach is amach. Ceaptar gur baile múrtha a bhíodh i mBaile Locha Riach ach ní fios ar ballaí cloiche a bhíodh thart ar an mbaile nó cré carntha agus balla adhmaid in uachtar. Ní mhaireann lorg ar bith den bhalla. Aon túr amháin atá fágtha, ceann a tógadh i dtús an 15ú céad agus tuigtear ó scríbhinní na linne sin go mbíodh trí cinn de thúir uilig ann. Is furasta daoine a shamhlú ag teacht isteach is amach tríd an ngeata cúng ag díol is ag ceannach earraí ar an mbaile mór. B’fhéidir go mbíodh cíos le híoc acu ar a theacht isteach dóibh; roinnt den airgead sin á thabhairt don Iarla. Is furasta freisin fir an Iarla a fheiceáil ag dúnadh an gheata in aghaidh aon dream a d’fheicidís ag teacht a mbeadh doicheall rompu.
Wall and Towers
Walls were often built around medieval towns to protect them from attack. Towers and Gates were build in the walls so that to let people in and out. It is believed that walls were built around Loughrea, but we are not sure if they were stone walls or earthen banks topped with a timber wall, as there is no trace of the wall left. There is one tower left, however; which was built in the early 15th century and writings from the time say that there were 3 towers at that time. It is easy to imagine people coming and going through the narrow gate to buy and sell goods in the town. Maybe, they would have to pay a toll to enter; some of the money would go to the Earl. It is also easy to picture the Earl’s men to shut the gate if they saw unwelcome visitors on the way.