Castles & Historic Houses

These great houses and castles all played an important role in the history of the locations around them, if not the country as a whole. Many of the great houses and castles that once dotted our landscape are gone for ever – abandoned and fallen into irreparable ruin or deliberately destroyed – so those that remain are a precious part of national heritage. A few have remained in the same family ownership for hundreds of years and give a fascinating insight into waxing and waning fortunes over the generations.

Powerscourt House & Gardens

Situated on a hill near Enniskerry in Co Wicklow, Powerscourt House has a fascinating history, as do the impressive gardens which surround it.

Doneraile Court & Wildlife Park

This walled park, extending over more than 400 acres and bisected by the Awbeg River has formal gardens, sweeping parkland vistas, groves of …

Donegal Castle

When it was originally built in 1474 by Hugh O’Donnell, chief of the O’Donnell clan, Donegal Castle was among the most impressive castles in the …

Kilruddery House & Gardens

A 17th century garden little changed in 3 centuries, the gardens at Kilruddery House are of special interest to gardening historians, but you …

Westport House and Gardens

An interesting old house in a beautiful location with Clew Bay on one side and a serenely lovely lake on the other.

Belfast Castle

The work of architect Charles Lanyon, this Victorian castle is built in an ornate Scottish Baronial style and was completed in 1877.

Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle was the centre of British rule in Ireland for centuries and scene of many contentious events over the years.

Thoor Ballylee

This small tower in a secluded location was once home to the poet William Butler Yeats, who restored it as a home for his family.

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Kilkenny Castle

One of the earliest and most important Norman castles in Ireland sits high on a hill overlooking the river Nore at the heart of the city that grew up …

Blarney Castle

A visit to Blarney Castle and a chance to kiss the Blarney stone are fixtures on many Irish tour itineraries, but is it actually a must-see or …

Casino Marino

An architectural gem, this folly was built as a garden pavilion for James Caulfield, the 1st Earl of Charlemont, a wealthy landowner with a huge …

Barryscourt Castle

This is a domestic scale castle, typical of the type a wealthy family would have lived in in Norman Ireland.

Desmond Castle

Built around 1500, and a typical urban tower house of that time, Desmond Castle has had a varied, if not always illustrious, serving variously as a …

Castle Coole

The Castle is not really a castle in the sense that most people understand the term, but a perfect example of an elegant and impressive Neo-Classical …

Tullynally Castle

Tullynally has been home to the Pakenham family for more that 350 years, and still is.

Cahir Castle

A particular good example of Ireland Norman castles, Cahir Castle has been well restored and visitors, especially younger ones, will enjoy exploring …