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Castles in Ireland
Written by Shrinivas on October 8, 2020 Share on

Top castles in Ireland that are not to be missed on your next trip

Ireland’s long and turbulent history is entangled with both the Irish kings and the British royal invasion, and one of the surviving remains of this are numerous beautiful mediaeval castles spread across the Emerald Isle. Let’s take a look at the top Castles in Ireland.

Castles in Ireland
Source: Unsplash

Also read: Why You Will Fall In Love With London In March!

Castles in Ireland.

Here is the list of Castles in Ireland.
1. Huntington Castle, County Carlow
2. Cahir Castle, County Tipperary
3. Blarney Castle
4. Trim Castle, County Meath
5. Bunratty Castle
6. Ashford Castle, Mayo
7. Dunguaire Castle, Galway
8. Carrickfergus Castle, County Antrim

1. Huntington Castle, County Carlow

Irish tradition has made it impossible for the castles to have the same owners over the centuries; but not so for the Esmonde family, who have been residing on the Huntington Estate since it was built in 1625. Even, pieces have been built over the years, including Georgian terraces, flamboyantly castle Victorian additions and, in the old dungeon, the temple of the Fraternity of Isis, a faith founded by the current owner’s aunt and uncle in 1976 – a year after Stanley Kubrick used the castle as the setting for Barry Lyndon. This is one of the must-visit castles in Ireland.

2. Cahir Castle, County Tipperary

Mighty Cahir Castle looks like a mediaeval fortress: large walls, mullioned windows and thick walls are all enclosed by a huge moat. Established in 1142, it was severely destroyed by cannon fire in 1599, but it survived both the assault and the invasion of Cromwell in 1650, which made the castle sturdy and left it intact. This to the advantage of today’s visitors: the most remarkable aspect of this beautiful building is the sparsely decorated Banqueting Hall – its dense white walls adorned with a large collection of antlers which makes it one of the must-visit castles in Ireland. And as you felt it was in the days of the past.

Doolin, Ireland
Source: Unsplash

Also Read: Things to do in Wicklow, Ireland

3. Blarney Castle

Home to the iconic Blarney Stone that you can always taste, Blarney Castle, is a beautiful mediaeval fortress, constructed about 600 years ago by a wall, has been standing on the site since 1210A.D, providing a lot of history for you to learn. Enjoy the 60 acres of gardens and stroll around Rock Near to see Mother Nature’s most imaginative discovery of the castle.

4. Trim Castle, County Meath

If you need evidence of the resilience of a mediaeval castle, it’s the fortress of Trim. Basically unchanged since 1200, the 25-metre-high house is built on the Norman motto and is enclosed by a 450-metre-long outer curtain wall. Within, the ground floor has sketches of what the castle will be like in its heyday, including a stunning whitewash on the exterior walls. The tour takes you to the battlements at the top, from which you can picture yourself as a 17th-century defenseman battling Cromwell’s assaults. You failed, by the way, when Cromwell took over the castle in 1649. In 1995, the castle played a leading part in Braveheart, like the Tower of London and the Edinburgh and York castles.

Dooling, Ireland.
Source: Unsplash

5. Bunratty Castle

The fourth castle to be built on this site, Bunratty Castle, is situated in the 970 AD old Viking trade camp. The castle was opened to the public in 1960, and a tour of the castle displays paintings, furniture and tapestries from the 15th century. You may also take part in a popular mediaeval feast, where all sorts of delicacies such as turkey legs, potato soup, mulled mead cups and fresh bread are served by women in mediaeval gowns. For a genuinely mediaeval experience, Bunratty is one of the best castles to visit in Ireland.

Also Read: Ireland Travel Guide – All You Need To Know Before Visiting This Country

6. Ashford Castle, Mayo

Although some of Ireland’s castles lie in ruins, the impressive Ashford Castle has been turned into a luxurious hotel. The castle was first built in the 1200s, and its defensive walls were strengthened through the years as it acted as a site for ferocious battles. Since a truce had been negotiated, the castle finally became a hunting lodge before being purchased by the Guinness family in 1852. The prominent Irish beer family enlarged the castle and added new wings before selling the property in the 1930s. A combination of Victorian and mediaeval architecture, the elegant Ivy-covered Ashford Castle currently has 83 guest rooms and has been used in film and television. This is one of the top castles in Ireland.

7. Dunguaire Castle, Galway

Dunguaire Castle in County Galway is a fortified tower house dating back to 1520, situated on the shore of Galway Bay. The castle was founded by the Hynes clan and named after its ancestor, Guaire Aidhne Mac Colmáin, the mythical King of Connacht. After going through various families over the years, the castle was finally owned by Oliver St. John Gogarty, a psychiatrist, writer and senator who also welcomed prominent Irish writers including W.B. Yeats to stay here. Today the castle has been renovated and it is possible to visit the displays as well as book tickets for mediaeval banquets held in the castle halls from April to September. This is one of the recommended castles in Ireland for history buffs.

Also read: Edinburgh Castle – An escapade into history

8. Carrickfergus Castle, County Antrim

Ireland’s most remarkable Norman castle is also one of its oldest: built-in 1177 by John de Courcy right after the conquest of Ulster, it remains the best-preserved mediaeval building in Ireland – after being once again besieged by the Scottish, Irish, English and French. The central role of the castle in Irish history is described in detail in the museum: the castle overlooks the harbour where William of Orange landed on his way to the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. In 1778, U.S. naval officer John Paul Jones fought an hour-long sea battle with a Royal Navy vessel in the waters of the harbour.

Cong, Ireland
Source: Unsplash

Plan your trip with Pickyourtrail.

An unofficial count reports that more than 30,000 castles in Ireland. Scattered across the world, most of the mediaeval castles were designed as defensive homes by the most influential families of the island. Unfortunately, most of the castles were deserted and left to lay in ashes. There are a ton of interesting castles in Ireland. Plan your trip the help of reputed travel agency Pickyourtrail. Log on to www.Pickyourtrail.com and with the help of your expert guides start planning your trip or check out the preset packages. Alternatively, leave a Whatsapp inquiry for more options.

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