John Otway, a lieutenant in Cromwell’s army, and formerly of Ingham Hall in Westmoreland, found himself at least in a geographically prominent position around 1655 when he took possession of the old Morris stronghold in Latteragh, up about 700feet on the south-west shoulder of the Devil’s Bit range.[1]  Across the valley of the little Nenagh River, then known as the River Geagh, the shapely Templederry Hills looping along the skyline presented a most pleasing view.  Towards the west the straight-topped bulk of the Silvermine Mountain, with the summit of Keeper Hill showing above it, added to the picturesque scene.  

Despite its commanding situation Latteragh Castle, a 13th century circular keep on a rocky hillock, had one major drawback for Lieutenant Otway: it was hopelessly dilapidated, due probably to the Cromwellian campaign.  By 1654 only the bare walls were left of the main structure, and the only usable part was the barbican or outer tower, which was still intact

[1] William Smyth, The mid Seventeenth Century, in Tipperary: History and Society, ed. William Nolan and Thomas G. McGrath, 1985, p. 137

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