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Before the attack on Drogheda took place many of Cromwell's ships with siege guns arrived off the coast of Balbriggan.
Unable to land at Balbriggan, the soldiers selected a spot about two and a half miles north of the town, and there with big stones built a harbour. It is known to this day as "Cromwell's Harbour." The guns from the fleet were landed here. the way to the Main road is blocked with a growth of shrubs and trees. Cromwell's soldiers cut down all these and made an avenue or clearing for their general's march. When he arrived at the Main Road he saw Gormanstown Castle. Going up with his officers to the door he demanded admittance. Lady Gormanstown opened the door and Cromwell asked her who owned the castle. She gave this clever reply "Lord Gormanstown yesterday, but my Gracious Lord Cromwell's today." This witty reply so pleased Cromwell that he said "It is Lord Gormanstown’s forever." To this day the Preston family known as the Gormanstowns retain possession of the estate. Cromwell stopped at the old Cock Inn and made it his headquarters for some(continues on next page)Transcribed by a member of our volunteer transcription project.