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18 September 2014
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Wars and Conflict - The Plantation of Ulster

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Plantation Architecture
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Watergate, Enniskillen
- Bob Hunter

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We are looking at a photograph of the Water Gate in Enniskillen which was probably built about 1615 as part of the reconstruction of Maguire’s Castle, carried out by the English planter, Captain Sir William Cole. Its dating is controversial with some asserting that it may have been there before, though I think that is unlikely. Some also have claimed that it has Scottish features. Certainly the corbelling on which sit the two turrets or flanker-towers which give it its distinction, is common in Scottish architecture of this period: the turrets or flanker towers were defensible features which can be entered from the inside of the building which no longer now survives. Within it also is a well to provide water for any beleaguered resident.

The wall itself to the left appears to have two stages of construction - if that be the case, the lower part of it is most likely the bawn wall of Maguire’s Castle, and the upper part of it was most likely built by the planter, Sir William Cole, because it was recommended at that time that the Castle and wall should be enlarged - but again the dating of buildings without documentary evidence is a very difficult thing to talk about accurately.

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