c.1200AD – c.1600AD
The Anglo-Normans arrived in 1177, marking a watershed in the political history of Ireland. The feudalisation of Gaelic-Irish society began in c.1000AD, demarcated by the apparent abandonment of ringforts.
It is estimated that 3,000 castles were built in Ireland between the late 1100s and the 1600s. The remains of castles built by the Anglo-Normans at this time survive in the form of mottes.
Castle Robin at Mullaghglass, an Anglo-Norman motte, would have been built around the 13th century. From this site the Normans would have been able to look east and see the neighbouring motte of Dunmurry and further along a defensive line of mottes that extended across the Lagan Valley. These could have formed a boundary against Gaelic lords to the south and also assured safe passage along this line and at key crossing points on the Lagan.