6 Irish Castles You Need to See

If you’re looking for a castle to photograph, look no further than the hills of Ireland. Rich in history and dotted with landmarks, Ireland is littered with magnificent structures. With so many castles, it can be hard to decide which to visit. To make your decision easier, here are a few of the most beautiful Irish castles that you need to see.

Rock of Cashel

Located at the edge of Cashel in Tipperary, the Rock of Cashel is perhaps the most noticeable castle in the country. The legend surrounding the castle says that once the devil took a bite out of a mountain (Devils Bit) and in doing so, broke his tooth. He spit the tooth out and where it landed was where Rock of Cashel was built.

Athlone Castle

Situated in the county of Westmeath, Athlone Castle’s history starts in 1129. It was at this castle that the Cromwellian transplantation policy came to be and was enforced. The castle has had a brand new visitor center installed and is open year round.

Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle has tourists from all over the world flocking to it in order to kiss the Blarney Stone- an act that is said to give the gift of gab. Decorated with spiraling staircases and lush gardens, the castle is a pleasure to explore and home to much more than just the popular stone.

Dunluce Castle

Dunluce Castle is a treasure to behold.  Built in the 16th century, it’s situated on a stone craig and overlooking the sea. Over the years, the castle has been the stage for a number of dramatic events: the wreckage of the Girona galleass during the Spanish Armada and the collapsing of part of the structure into the sea which killed 7 servants.  It’s said that the castle in CS Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia, the Cair Paravel, was based on this castle.

Malahide Castle

This three-story house is the only part of the original castle that still stands. Originally, the castle was built in 1185 and was added onto throughout the years. The add-ons include 18th-century drawing rooms and Gothic revival corner turrets. Visitors can go on a 45-minute tour that ends in the Great Hall where the Talbot family shared a supper before dying in the Battle of Boyne.

Dungaire Castle

This tower-house castle was built in the 16th century. It was owned by a number of families. Many Irish literaries met within the castle walls, including W.B Yeats. Years later, in the 1950’s, the building was restored by Christobel Lady Amptill. Further restoration was done by Shannon Development, who currently owns the property.

The above castles are some of the most popular, however, there are dozen more scattered around the country. Each one is full of history and rustic charm, and provides a unique experience.