The town of Maynooth takes its name from Nuadha Neacht, a pre-Christian King of Ireland, or perhaps from a later Mogh Nuadhat, a ruler of the second century after Christ. In early Christian times there were at least three churches within three miles of the present town though the actual origins of Maynooth could be said to date from the late 12th century when the Fitzgeralds were granted the Manor of Maynooth.
To establish themselves, the newcomers would at first have built a castle of the motte-and-bailey type, and this would have been replaced with a more permanent structure as time allowed. The ruins, now a national monument, are of the castle commenced in the 13th century and much enlarged in later centuries. The great tower still stands to its original height. In 1521 the Fitzgeralds founded a college but it did not survive the Reformation.
The town of Maynooth can be described today in much the same way as it was in 1837....
"of one principal street, at one extremity of which is the avenue leading to Carton, the magnificent seat of the present Duke of Leinster, and at the other the Royal College of St. Patrick".
Maynooth could be described as a suburb of Dublin. In 1967 St. Patricks College opened its gates to lay students bringing further change. Today the population of Maynooth is around 8,500.