Irish Castles and Manors

Castle Kinnitty Castle—is a gothic revival Castle located at the foothills of the Slieve Bloom Mountains in County Offaly, in the centre of Ireland.

History—The Castle has had a long and turbulent history. The first Castle at Kinnitty was destroyed in 1209 and was later rebuilt by the Norman's in 1213. Later, the Norman's were driven out by the powerful Gaelic clan, the O'Carrolls of Ely. During the Norman period, an Augustinian Abbey was established near the Castle, of which the famous High Cross and Abbey walls still remain on the estate.

In 1630, William O'Carroll built a new Castle in close proximity to the old Abbey. This was confiscated in 1641 by the English forces as part of the plantation of Offaly, or 'Kings County' as it was renamed. In 1664, the crown granted an estate, which included the Castle, to Col. Thomas Winter as reward for military service.

The estate was sold by Col. Winter's descendants to the Bernard family in 1764. In 1811, Lady Catherine Hutchinson, wife of Thomas Bernard, commissioned the famous Pain Brothers, architects of Dromoland Castle and Adare Manor, to extend the Castle to what it is today, a gem of neo gothic architecture.

Health Club Health & Fitness Centre—Exercise in the gym and ease into our Jacuzzi set in a medieval turret or unwind in the steam room or sauna. Holistic Swedish massage therapy and beauty treatments are available on request.

FalconryFalconry—We provide programmes to suit all ages and abilities; from simple photo opportunities to a hunt in the field. Falconry and the art of hunting with falcons is reputed to be the oldest sport in the World. Now you have the opportunity to get up close and be part of the action here at Kinnitty Castle. 24 hours notice required.

Fishing—The following fishing facilities are available in close proximity to Kinnitty Castle.

Shooting at Kinnitty Castle—Kinnitty Castle is continuing the great sporting tradition, which has been associated with the Castle for over 500 years. It is ideally located in the midst of the Slieve Bloom Mountains which is inhabited by a wide variety of games. Deer, Pheasant, Duck, Grouse, Woodcock, Wood Pigeon and Snipe, all within 15 minutes of the Castle, inhabit the area.

Clay Pigeon Shooting—Our clay pigeon shoot comprises 6 sporting events and one down the line. The Shoot is fully automated and supervised. All necessary equipment is provided.

We can also arrange for the more traditional form of shooting, archery, comprising of 6 targets with longbow and crossbow.

Equestrian—The stables at Kinnitty Castle offer the following:

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When the Normans came to Ireland in the 12th century, they built thousands of castles. Though the majority have become picturesque ruins scattered throughout the countryside, some are still home to Irish gentry, and many have been transformed into some of Europe's finest hotels.

Visit Ireland's Castles and Manors. Found in every county, you can experience these deluxe accommodations, each with its own unique history, period art and furnishings. Either rent a car and self-drive or enjoy the elegance of being excorted by your own private chauffeur.

For more information and/or reservations—

1—Enniscoe House—Co. MayoSituated on the shores of Lough Conn, Enniscoe offers attractive views of the lake across the parkland. The family portraits, antique furniture, open fires, good food and wine and warm welcome, contribute to a most pleasant and relaxed atmosphere.

2—Markree Castle—Co. SligoSituated in the heart of Yeats country on the River Unsin, Markree Castle is considered one of Ireland's major architectural masterpieces. Lovingly restored, it boasts beautiful gardens, modern rooms and acclaimed cuisine.

3—Coopershill House—Co. SligoBuilt in 1774 this Georgian family mansion combines the spaciousness and elegance of an earlier age with the comforts of today. Four poster beds, candle-lit dinners, personal attention all help to create a special hospitality at Coopershill.

4—Zetland House—Co. GalwayOverlooking Cashel Bay in the heart of Connemara, this manor house is renowned for its peace and commanding views. Excellent trout and salmon fishing as well as golf.

5—Glenlo Abbey—Co. GalwaySituated 2 miles from Galway City on a picturesque 140 acre waterfront estate that includes a golf course. Glenlo offers luxury and elegance. Ideally situated for touring Connemara.

6—Crookedwood House—Co. WestmeathSituated beside 15th century Taghmon Church, Crookedwood House retains all the character and splendor of an 18th century rectory. It is the perfect base for touring the Boyne Valley and Newgrange.

7—Kinnitty Castle—Co. OffalyThis magnificent castle boasts luxurious and stately bedrooms and reception rooms filled with antique furnishings. Gourmet dining is combined with fine hospitality. Equestrian and shooting and specialties.

8—Dunraven Arms—Co. LimerickThe Dunraven Arms is situated in one of Ireland's prettiest villages, Adare, and boasts luxury bedrooms with antique furnishings and an award winning restaurant. Excellent for equestrian and golfing holidays.

9—Glin Castle—Co. KerryHome of the Fitzgerald family for 800 years, Glin Castle stands proudly in the middle of its 500 acre demesne on the banks of River Shannon. Outstanding elegance.

10—Ballyseede Castle—Co. KerryA cozy 15th century castle on 100 acres of mature parkland. Ideally situated for touring Dingle and the Ring of Kerry. Excellent golfing here in Ballybunion and Killarney.

11—Killeen House—Co. KerrySet on 1.5 acres of magnificent gardens, this charming little hotel is just 10 minutes outside Killarney. Killeen House enjoys a reputation of the highest standards in hospitality and cuisine and is ideal for golfers.

12—Aghadoe Heights—Co. KerryThis luxury hotel has breathtaking views of the lakes and mountains of Killarney and is dedicated to providing comfort and hospitality. Superb leisure centre. Excellent location for golf.

13—Randles Court—Co. KerryBuilt at the turn of the century Randles Court has been developed into a superior manor hotel. Tapestries, paintings and antiques give an elegant old world feel. Ideally situated for touring the Killarney Lakes and Ring of Kerry.

14—Sheen Falls—Co. KerrySurrounded by 350 acres of lawns, Victorian gardens and natural walks, all guests at this deluxe accommodation have a "room with a view" overlooking the Sheen Waterfalls or Kenmare Bay. Enjoy golfing, fishing, horseback riding and tennis.

15—Sea View House—Co. CorkDelightful country house hotel and restaurant set in extensive gardens near Bantry. Ideal location for touring West Cork. Seafood is a specialty.

16—Hayfield Manor—Co. CorkSituated on 2 acres of mature gardens, this new luxury hotel is ideally located in Cork City. Hayfield offers exclusive leisure facilities and is a superb base for touring in Cork.

17—Longueville House—Co. CorkBuilt in 1720, Longueville is a listed Georgian Heritage House. The Blackwater runs through the estate and offers salmon and trout fishing. Longueville's Presidents Restaurant offers gourmet dining. Ideal base for golfing at Killarney, Tralee and Ballybunion.

18—Aherne's—Co. CorkThis luxury family run hotel is situated in the historic walled Port of Youghal. The old world charm and warm welcome only add to the reputation of the internationally renowned restaurant which specializes in locally caught seafood.

19—Waterford Castle—Co. WaterfordBuilt by the Fitzgerald family during the Norman Invasion. Waterford Castle sits on a 310 acre estate on a private island and offers a health centre, snooker, croquet, tennis, shooting, riding and golf.

20—Mount Juliet—Co. KilkennyOverlooking the River Nore in 1,500 acres of woodlands, Mount Juliet offers a haven of peace and tranquility, and a host of activities, including shooting, fishing, horse riding and golf.

21—Kilkea Castle—Co. KildareIreland's oldest inhabited castle, Kilkea was built in 1180. It is said to be haunted by the 11th Earl of Kildare, the Wizard Earl. The Castle boasts its own golf course, health club, indoor pool, formal gardens, shooting, riding, tennis and fishing.

22—Barberstown Castle—Co. KildareBuilt in 1172 by Lord Fitzgerald, Barberstown Castle offers quiet luxury and elegant appointments in the heart of Kildare's green meadows. Relax and enjoy fine dining in its original Norman-style castle keep, where armor of the period adorns four-foot thick walls.

23—Tinakilly House—Co. WicklowThis Victorian Mansion is furnished in period style. Set in magnificent gardens with views overlooking the irish Sea, Tinakilly offers fine dining and acts as an ideal base for golfers and those touring County Wicklow.

24—Lansdowne Manor—DublinSituated in Ballsbridge, Lansdowne manor comprises two early Victorian Mansions refurbished to the elegance of their original era. Only five minutes from St. Stephen's Green.

25—Herbert Park Hotel—DublinOverlooking the beautiful gardens of Herbert Park its hard to believe you are only 5 minutes from Grafton Street and Trinity College. This elegant hotel is situated in the embassy district of Ballsbridge and guests will enjoy a high level of luxury.

26—Shelbourne Hotel—DublinIreland's most distinguished address provides the ultimate in luxury and service. Overlooking St. Stephen's Green, this elegant hotel is within walking distance of theatres, restaurants, museums and shopping.

27—Thomond House—Co. ClareOverlooking the 1500 acre Dromoland estate, this luxurious mansion offers warm hospitality, quiet seclusion and delicious food. Facilities include extensive wildlife, 18-hole golf course, river and lake fishing, shooting and horse riding.

28—Ardtara Country House—Co. DerryOriginally built in 1856 this luxurious Victorian manor house offers comfort of the highest standards. Excellent cuisine and grand fireplaces (even in some bathrooms) and only 30 minutes from golf at Royal Portrush and the Giants Causeway.