Heritage Sites

OPW Heritage Sites

An excellent example of an early Irish Cistercian Monastery

Boyle Abbey, Boyle. County Roscommon         1161 -  1592 Boyle Abbey was the first Cistercian monastery founded in the Province of Connacht. It was established in 1161 under the patronage of the MacDermotts [...]

One of the finest and largest Neolithic court tombs in Ireland

Creevykeel Court Tomb, Creevykeel. County Sligo       c. 4000 – 2500 b. c. The Creevykeel Court Tomb is regarded as one of the finest examples of a full-court tomb in Ireland. This national monument is in [...]

The only sculptured 15th century high altar to survive in Ireland

Sligo Abbey, Sligo Town, County Sligo       1252 Sligo Abbey is located right in the middle of Sligo Town. It was built by Maurice Fitzgerald for the Dominicans in 1252 and includes a great [...]

An Island paradise, World famous gardens & friendly seals

Garinish Island, Glengarriff. County Kerry Garinish Island also known as 'Ilnacullin' or 'Island of Holly' is located in the sheltered harbour of Glengarriff in west Cork. The micro climate in Bantry Bay is caused by the [...]

Evictions, Classy parties and a hunting estate to rival Balmoral

Glenveagh Castle, Glenveagh National Park. County Donegal     1867 Glenveagh Castle was built in 1867 by John George Adair, a wealthy land speculator from Co. Laois. His dream was to create a beautiful hunting estate [...]

Ireland’s best preserved medieval banqueting hall – party time!

Desmond Hall, Newcastle West. County Limerick     b. 13th - 15th centuries This area of Ireland preserves many of Ireland's surviving finest medieval halls that were used for banqueting and entertainment. Desmond Hall is regarded [...]

One of the best preserved and much over-looked medieval towns in Ireland

Clonmines, Bannow Bay. County Wexford        14th - 16th centuries Clonmines probably began it's life as a Norman settlement established by William Marshall in the 13th century as an alternative port to New [...]

Gaze at the stars within one of our greatest prehistoric forts

Staigue Fort, Sneem. County Kerry    c. 300 -400 a. d. Staigue Fort in Irish translates to 'the fort of the steps' or possibly 'the windy fort'. It is located in a spectacular location a [...]

One of the finest intact Palladian mansions in Ireland and the first famine museum in the country

Strokestown Park House is located in 300 acres of parklands in Strokestown. co.Roscommon. It was built in 1730 and is regarded as one of Ireland's finest and most intact Palladian mansions. It's centre block was completed in [...]

Attacked, Burnt and Destroyed – Everyone killed except one!

Roscrea Castle, Roscrea. County Tipperary         1281 This National Monument is Roscrea Castle. This was originally the site of a motte and bailey fortification known as King John's Castle. It was not until 1281 that a [...]

St Brigid’s High Cross – Ireland’s first Spice Girl

St Bridget's High Cross is located in Kildare Town. co.Kildare. It dates somewhere between the 9th to the 12th century and stands 9 feet tall in the grounds of St Bridget's Cathedral. The cross is [...]

A Napoleonic Gun Battery at the scene of the Flight of the Earls

Rathmullan Gun Battery built in 1810 is located in Rathmullan. co.Donegal. It was built in 1810 during the Napoleonic Wars to help defend Ireland against a possible French Invasion. This beautiful seaside village located on [...]

One of Ireland’s largest and most impressive castles, Excalibur & Cromwell

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 [...]

Killarney’s finest castle beside lakes, mountains and rivers

Ross Castle is located in a spectacular location on Ross Island by the shores of Lough Leane. It was built sometime in the late 15th century by the O'Donoghue Ross chieftains and was surrounded by [...]

One of the finest examples of a ‘cottage ornee’ in Europe

Swiss Cottage was built in 1810 and is located near Cahir in county Tipperary. It is regarded as one of the finest examples of a 'cottage ornee' in Europe and is now a national monument. [...]

One of the largest and finest British military installations in Ireland

Charles Fort is located in a spectacular location over looking the Kinsale Bay in co.Cork. It was built in 1682. It is a classic example of a late 17th century star-shaped fort and one of the largest military [...]

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Extreme monasticism & Star Wars!

Skellig Michael. County Kerry        c. 6th – 13th century a. d. Skellig Michael or ‘Michael’s Rock in the Sea’ is an incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is located 13 km off the Kerry coastline [...]

The largest megalithic cemetery in Ireland & amongst the oldest in Europe

Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery is located a few miles south of the town of Sligo. It is the largest megalithic cemetery in Ireland and amongst the oldest in Europe dating back to 4600 b.c. It is [...]

A Norman castle, The Nugents & An ancient trading route

Delvin Castle is located in the middle of Delvin village in county Westmeath. This was once a sturdy Norman castle with a square block in the middle and 4 corner cylindrical towers. It was built in 1310 [...]

One of Ireland’s most historic buildings, A heart of a Saint and Tom & Jerry

Christchurch is built on the most commanding position in Dublin and is one of the finest historical buildings in Ireland. This location was chosen by Sitric Silkbeard, the first Christian Danish King who built a [...]

One of the finest early Georgian houses in Ireland containing the oldest piece of Waterford Glass

The Bishop’s Palace in Waterford City was built in 1741 to the designs of the famous architect Richard Cassells (Cassells other works include Westport House, Powercourt House and Russborough House). This was the site of [...]

The earliest and one the largest Norman castles in Europe, Braveheart & Hugh de Lacy

Trim Castle, Trim. County Meath      1176 Trim Castle is not only the earliest stone castle to be built in Ireland but also the one of the largest Norman Castles in Europe. It was built in [...]

One of the great houses of Ireland with exquisite interiors and furniture

Florence Court located near Enniskillen was the former home of 'The Earls of Enniskillene' and is regarded as one of the great houses of Ireland. It was built in 1755 and is a fascinating example [...]

Fought over by the Maguires, the O’Donnells, the O’Neills and the British

Enniskillen Castle, Enniskillen. County Fermanagh          c. 1460 - 1800 Enniskillen Castle in co. Fermanagh is situated at a strategic location on Lough Erne on a site that commands one of the few passes into Ulster. [...]

Location of The Battle of the Boyne

This is the location where The Battle of the Boyne took place between King William of Orange and his father-in-law, King James II. It was was fought on 1 July 1690 at Oldbride in co.Louth [...]

One of the finest and strongest Gaelic castles in Ireland

Donegal Castle, Donegal Town. County Donegal 1474 Donegal Castle was built by Hugh Roe O'Donnell and is regarded as one of the finest and strongest Gaelic castles in Ireland. It consists of a 15th-century rectangular [...]

UNESCO World Heritage Site, A masterpiece in engineering & The oldest clock in the World

Newgrange, Bru na Boinne. County Meath          c. 3200 b. c. Newgrange is by far the most famous of all Ireland's ancient monuments. It is part of a complex of at least 35 similar type monuments built [...]

Europe’s largest collection of medieval & Celtic architecture in a single site

The Rock of Cashel, Cashel. County Tipperary      c. 1100 – 1400 a. d. The Rock of Cashel is one of the most striking monuments in Ireland and has some of the finest collections of Celtic [...]

UNESCO World Heritage Site – Europe’s greatest collection of Megalithic Art in one location

Knowth is Ireland's most spectacular complex of prehistoric passage tombs. This World Heritage site dates from about 3000 b.c and is not only the largest of the three great passage tombs in the Boyne Valley [...]

A castle in transition – guns and flowerboxes

This National Monument is Portumna Castle located in Portumna co.Galway. It was built in 1618 and is regarded as a very interesting example of Irish architecture in the transition between the medieval fortified tower house [...]

One of Ireland’s most iconic buildings

This National Monument is the Gallarus Oratory. It is located near Gallarus on the Dingle Peninsula in co. Kerry and is one of Ireland's most iconic buildings. It's simple and stunning shape has been compared [...]

The World’s oldest field system

The Ceide Fields are located near Ballycastle in co.Mayo. The Céide Fields are the oldest known and most extensive stone age field systems in the world covering 1,500 hectares. This open air archaeological site is [...]

One of Ireland’s most important ecclesiastical centres

The monastery of Clonmacnoise was founded by St Ciarán in 546 a.d. and is one of Ireland's most important ecclesiastical centres. St Ciaran was a young preacher from Roscommon who in 545 a.d convinced the local [...]

One of the largest barracks in Europe, Michael Collins & rare collections

Collins Barracks is located on Arbour Hill in Dublin City on a site originally ear-marked for a mansion for The Duke of Ormond. It was built in 1702 and was one of the largest barracks [...]

William Marshall, A great storm & One of the richest Cistercian Abbeys in Ireland

Tintern Abbey, Saltmills. County Wexford         1200 The beautiful Tintern Abbey was founded in 1200 by William Marshall, the 1st Earl of Pembroke. Marshal had set sail for Ireland on his first visit as Lord of [...]

The best kept archaeological secret in Ireland..Shhh!

Loughcrew, Oldcastle. County Meath     3300 b.c Loughcrew has been described as ‘Ireland’s greatest archaeological secret’ and is one of the big 4 megalithic sites in Ireland (the others being Carrowkeel and Carrowmore in county Sligo [...]

Home to the Butlers for nearly 600 years & One of the most visited castles in Ireland

Kilkenny Castle, Kilkenny City. County Kilkenny     1210 Kilkenny Castle is located in Kilkenny City at a strategic location that commands a crossing on the River Nore. This site was used by the local Kings of [...]

The oldest bell, tower and original features of any church in Dublin City

This National Monument is St Audeon's Church. It is located on High Street in Dublin City and dates from c.1190 a.d. It has the distinction of being the only medieval parish church, retaining any original [...]

One of the most beautiful complete ruins in Ireland & Kissing St Francis

The Askeaton Franciscan Friary is located in the village of Askeaton beside the River Deel in co.Limerick. This National Monument is one of the most beautiful complete ruins in the country. It was founded in [...]

A castle lost in the middle of Phoenix Park for 250 years

There is a fascinating story why this castle looks so new....Ashtown Lodge was originally located on this site and in 1978 due to the presence of dry rot it was decided to demolish the 18th [...]

Ireland’s oldest civic building & The location of the most infamous marriage in Irish history

Reginald's Tower, Waterford City. County Waterford   1171 Waterford is Ireland's oldest city and for many years it's second city after Dublin. Reginald's Tower is its most distinctive building and is classified as a national monument. [...]

Only 200 years to complete this country pile, James Gandon & the Jesuits

Emo Court, Emo. County Laois          1790 Emo Court is a country villa designed, but not built by the famous architect James Gandon. Gandon is best known for his great public buildings in Dublin which include The [...]

Ireland’s largest, finest and earliest Palladian style house

Castletown House is located in Celbridge in county Kildare. It is regarded as Ireland's largest, finest and earliest Palladian style house and is significant in terms of European architectural heritage. It's façade was almost certainly [...]

A museum dedicated to the memory and vision of Patrick Pearse

The Pearse Museum is located in St Enda's Park near Rathfarnham in south county Dublin. It is one of Dublin City's most charming and atmospheric parks, with its riverside walks, unique follies, waterfall and walled [...]

One of Ireland’s finest fortified manor houses, Exquisite interiors & The Jesuits

Rathfarnham Castle, Rathfarnham. County Dublin     1585 Rathfarnham Castle was built in 1585 by Adam Loftus, Archbishop of Armagh. Loftus was described as an ambitious Yorkshire clergyman who later became Lord Chancellor of Ireland. In the [...]

Ireland’s finest 17th century building & Irish Museum of Modern Art

The Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin City          1684 The Royal Hospital is regarded as the finest 17th-century building in Ireland. It was built in 1684 by Sir William Robinson as a home for retired soldiers and [...]

Clerics, Norman tombs & Beautiful medieval carvings

This national monument is St Mary's Church located in the village of Gowran in county Kilkenny. The church was served by a college of clerics who lived in a community but who did not submit [...]

Over 1000 years of architecture in one building, Medieval tombs & An interesting heritage centre

  St Macculin's Church, Lusk. County Dublin    9th – 19th centuries St Macculin’s Church is an interesting building comprising of a 9th century round tower, a 15th century defensive tower and a 19th century church. [...]

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