There are thousands of Castles in Ireland, Some of them you can even Stay In! You will see ruins randomly scattered around the Irish countryside as you make your way around. Many of them are ruins or on private land so you may not be able to visit, but there are plenty that open their gate to prospective visitors:
Bunratty Castle & Folk Park
Bunratty Castle is one of the most fully furnished castles in Ireland. You can walk through several of the rooms inside and they appear to be left as they would have been by the MacNamara family who built the castle back in 1425. Outside the castle walls there is a folk park which recreated rural life as it was in the 19th century. Make sure to leave a few hours to visit the castle and all of the surrounding cottages.
Blarney Castle & Gardens
Blarney Castle is probably the most famous of all the Castles in Ireland. According to legend if you climb the ramparts to kiss the Blarney Stone it is said to bestow the gift of eloquence, otherwise known as ‘the Gift of the Gab’.
Dublin Castle was constructed in 1204 and was until 1922 the seat of the British Government administration in Ireland; it played a pivotal role in the 1916 Easter Rising. Today it houses The Chapel Royal, The Chester Beatty Library which displays artistic treasures from around the world and the State Apartments; the venue for Ireland’s Presidencies of the European Union, Presidential inaugurations and prestigious functions.
Probably one of the most charmingly located castles in Ireland; Kilkenny Castle sits aside the River Nore. The ‘Long Gallery’ has a stunning 19th century hammer beam and glass roof and the gardens are lovely for a picnic on a fine day.
Trim Castle is the largest and most-preserved Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland. Trim got its name from the Irish phrase ‘The Ford of the Elder Trees’, signifying that this was an important crossing point of the River Boyne. Braveheart fans may recognise the castle from scenes in the film.
Situated 10 miles South of Dublin city centre the town of Dalkey has a 10th Century church and two 14th Century Norman castles, one of which houses The Heritage Centre. Deilg Inis Living History Theatre Company runs live theatre performances involving visitors so it’s a fantastic castle to visit for families.
Once the home of the powerful Butler family; this castle remains mostly complete, you can see its impressive keep, the tower and a lot of its original defensive structure with moat and portcullis still intact.
Situated in the midst of Glenveagh National Park on the edge of Lough Veagh is Glenveagh Castle, a late 19th century castellated mansion, built as a hunting lodge. Its construction in a isolated mountainous setting was inspired by the Victorian idea of a romantic highland retreat.
Besieged in by the Scots, Irish, English and French, this castle played an important military role as far as 1928 and to this day remains one of the best preserved castles in Ireland.
Another scenic gem sitting prettily by the edge of Lough Leane in Killarney. This Castle is a typical example of a stronghold of an Irish Chieftain during the Middle Ages. It is enclosed by a fortified bawn, its curtain walls defended by circular bordering towers, two of which remain.
The best way to learn about Ireland is to visit! Contact us today for a quotation including some or all of these castles today –
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