Cahir Castle located in the town of Cahir. co.Tipperary was built around 1142. This is NATIONAL MONUMENT IS one of Ireland’s largest castles and is strategically located on an island on the River Suir. The word Cahir in Irish actually means ‘stone fort’ and records show it was built in 1142 by Conor O’Brien, Prince of Thomond. In 1375 it came into the possession of the powerful Anglo-Norman Butler family who continued to rebuilt and extend it. Later in it’s history it was later captured three times : falling to Devereux, Earl of Essex in 1599 after it had been battered for three days with artillery; it was surrendered without a fight to Inchiquin in 1647; and again to Cromwell in 1650. In 1961, the last Lord Cahir died and the castle reverted to the State. The castle retains its impressive keep, tower and much of its original defensive structure and now features an excellent audio-visual show which informs visitors about its eventful history. It also featured in 1981 as a location for a battle scene in the film Excalibur.(R)