Heritage Sites

OPW Heritage Sites

A castle to rival Balmoral in a spectacular location, Marilyn Monroe and Evictions

Glenveagh Castle is located in the stunning Glenveagh National Park in co.Donegal. It was built between 1867 and 1873 by Captain John Adair who tried to recreate a castle retreat better than Balmoral. He was also responsible [...]

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

This NATIONAL MONUMENT is Desmond Hall located in Newcastle West. co.Limerick. It was built between the 13th & 15th centuries. This area preserves many of Ireland's surviving medieval halls which were used by the Earls [...]

Clonmines Medieval Borough, Wellington Bridge. co.Wexford c.13th-16th centuries

This interesting site is one of the best preserved and much over-looked medieval towns in Ireland. Clonmines probably began it's life as a Norman settlement established by William Marshall in the 13th century as an [...]

Gaze at the stars within one of the most important early forts in Ireland

Staigue Fort is a NATIONAL MONUMENT that dates from the late iron age (approx 300 - 400 a.d). It's name 'Caiseal Stéig' translates  to 'the fort of the steps' or possibly 'the windy fort'. It [...]

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!

This NATIONAL MONUMENT is Roscrea Castle built in 1281 & within the ground is Damer House built in 1730. The original motte and bailey fortification on this site was built in 1213 and was known [...]

Historic cross on historic site of St Brigid – 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 castles and a battle scene in Excalibur

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 [...]

Swiss Cottage, Cahir. co.Tipperary 1810

This national monument as is regarded as one of the finest examples of a 'cottage ornee' in Europe. These fantasy houses were popular with the gentry in the 19th century where they could play at [...]

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 but don’t mention Star Wars!

Sceilig Mhichíl- 'Michael's Rock in the Sea' is an incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is located 13 km off the Kerry coastline at an altitude of 600 feet and is one of the most dramatic examples [...]

Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery, Carrowmore. co.Sligo 4600>1000 b.c

Carrowmore is the largest megalithic cemetery in Ireland and amongst the oldest in Europe. It is believed that there may have been over 100 monuments on this site but only 30 have survived as the [...]

Delvin Castle, Delvin. co.Westmeath c.1310

Located in the middle of Delvin village are the remains of Delvin Castle. This was once a sturdy Norman castle with a square block in the middle and 4 corner cylindrical towers at each corner, [...]

One of Ireland’s most historic Cathedrals, Lots of relics and a mummified cat & rat

Christ Church Cathedral, founded in c.1028 is one of the finest historical buildings in Ireland. Sitric Silkbeard, (the first Christian Danish king) built a wooden church here in c.1028 as this location was the most [...]

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 stone castle to be built in Ireland and one the largest Norman castles in Europe

Trim Castle is not only the earliest stone castle to be built in Ireland but is also the largest Norman Castle in Europe. It was built in 1176 by Hugh de Lacy and his son [...]

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 in co. Fermanagh was built in the late 1400's at a strategic location on Lough Erne by Hugh 'The Hospitable' Maguire. Over the years it has been fought over, captured and retaken by the [...]

Location where the largest number of troops were ever deployed on an Irish battlefield

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

UNESCO World Heritage Site with the oldest clock in the World

Newgrange is by far the most famous of all Ireland's monuments. It is part of a complex of at least 35 similar type monuments built along a bend of the River Boyne known collectively as Brú [...]

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, extreme monasticism but don’t mention Star Wars!

The Rock of Cashel is one of the most striking monuments in Ireland and has some of the finest collections of Celtic art and medieval architecture in Europe. The site includes St Cormac's beautiful Romanesque [...]

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 buried beneath our feet

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 and one of the richest Cistercian Abbeys in Ireland

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

500 years older than Newgrange & the best kept archaeological secret in Ireland

Loughcrew dates from 3300 b.c and is one of our most important and impressive megalithic sites. 'Cairn T' is estimated to be 500 years older than Newgrange and is located on a hilltop at nearly 800 [...]

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

Kilkenny Castle is located on a strategic site that commands a crossing on the River Nore in Kilkenny City. What you see today is a complex structure of various architectural styles built over 800 years. [...]

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

The Viking name for Waterford was 'Vadrefjord' which translates to mean 'the inlet where the wethers or castrated sheep are loaded onto boats'! One thousand years ago this was Ireland's second city after Dublin. Reginald's [...]

Emo Court, Emo. co.Laois -1790

Emo Court is a country villa designed, but not built by the famous architect James Gandon (1742 - 1823). Gandon is best known for his great public buildings in Dublin which include 'The Custom House' [...]

Castletown House, Celbridge. co.Kildare – 1729

Castletown is Ireland's largest and earliest Palladian style house and is significant in terms of European architectural heritage. It's façade was almost certainly designed by the Italian architect, Alessandro Galilei and the Irish architect Sir [...]

The Pearse Museum, Rathfarnham. co.Dublin – 1786

The Pearse Museum which was formerly an Irish speaking school named 'St. Enda's' is an 18th century house situated in scenic parkland near Rathfarnham in south Dublin. It is dedicated to the memory of the [...]

Rathfarnham Castle, Rathfarnham. co.Dublin – 1583

Rathfarnham Castle was built in 1585 by Adam Loftus, Archbishop of Armagh. This is one of the finest examples of what is described as a 'fortified manor house' in Ireland. It's 4 flanker towers, instead [...]

The Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin City – 1684

The Royal Hospital Kilmainham is the finest 17th-century building in Ireland. It has stunning formal gardens over looking the River Liffey and Phoenix Park. It was built in 1684 by Sir William Robinson as a [...]

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 is located in the village of Lusk in north county Dublin. This national monument is an interesting building comprising of a 9th century round tower, a 15th century defensive tower and a [...]

One of Ireland’s grandest fortified tower houses but beware of the O’Flagherty

Aughnanure Castle is located in Oughterard in county Galway. This national monument dates from the late 1400's and is one of the grandest fortified tower houses in the entire country and is one of over 200 [...]

The first and most important Cistercian Abbey in Ireland

Mellifont Abbey located in Tullyallen in co. Meath was founded by St Malachy in 1142. This was the first and most important of Ireland's 35 Cistercian abbeys. The term Cistercian derives from Cistercium, the Latin [...]

Aras an Uachtarain, Phoenix Park. Dublin City – 1751 (‘House of the President’)

Aras an Uachtarain means 'House of the President' in Irish. The original house was built in 1751 and was designed by and for the park ranger and amateur architect, Nathaniel Clements. It then became home [...]

Everyone was dying to get into this Abbey

Jerpoint Abbey is located just outside the beautiful village of Thomastown in co.Kilkenny. It was founded in 1180 as a Cistercian Abbey by the King of Osraige and is notable for its imposing central tower [...]

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