Heritage Sites

OPW Heritage Sites

Desmond Hall, Newcastle West. co.Limerick 13th-15th centuries

This National Monument is Desmond Hall located in Newcastle West. This area preserves many of Ireland's surviving medieval halls which were used by the Earls of Desmond for banqueting and entertainment. The Hall, the vaulted [...]

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 [...]

Staigue Fort, Sneem. co.Kerry c.300 a.d (Caiseal Stéig – ‘the fort of the steps/ the windy fort’)

Staigue Fort is an ancient ring fort located in a spectacular isolated valley not far from village of Sheem on the Ring of Kerry. It commands incredible sweeping views out across Kenmare Bay to the [...]

Strokestown Park House, Strokestown. co.Roscommon 1730

Strokestown Park House, set on 300 acres of parklands is one of Ireland's finest and most intact Palladian mansions. It's centre block was completed in 1696 but was extended around 1730 by the famous architect Richard [...]

Roscrea Castle 1281 & Damer House 1730, Rosscrea. co.Tipperary

The original motte and bailey fortification on this site was built in 1213 and was known as King John's Castle. It was not until 1281 that the castle was built with stone under the direction [...]

St Bridget’s High Cross, Kildare Town. co.Kildare c.9th-12th (Cill Dara-Church of the Oak)

St Brigid's High Cross stands 9 feet tall in the grounds of St Bridget's Cathedral in Kildare Town. The cross is difficult to date because many of it's granite features have worn away and the [...]

Rathmullan Gun Battery (The Flight of the Earls Centre), Rathmullan. co.Donegal 1810

Rathmullan is a beautiful seaside village located on the western shore of the spectacular Fanad Peninsula. It's name in Irish (Ráth Maoláin) means 'Maoláin's ringfort'. There are many historical sites in the area including the ruins [...]

Cahir Castle, Cahir. co.Tipperary 1142

Cahir Castle 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 [...]

Ross Castle, Killarney. co.Kerry 1480

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 is surrounded by a [...]

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 [...]

Charles Fort, Kinsale. co.Cork 1682

Charles Fort is located on the hillside entrance of the harbour overlooking the picturesque town of Kinsale. It is a classic example of a late 17th century star-shaped fort and one of the largest military installations in the [...]

Skellig Michael, Kerry. 6th-12th centuries (Sceilig Mhichíl- ‘Michael’s Rock in the Sea’)

This incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site is the early Christian monastery of Skellig Michael. It is located 13 km off the Kerry coastline at an altitude of 600 feet and is one of the most dramatic [...]

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, [...]

Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin City – founded c.1028

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 [...]

The Bishop’s Palace, Waterford City. co.Waterford 1741

The Bishop’s Palace in Waterford City was built in 1741 and designed by the famous architect Richard Castle. This was the site of an earlier medieval palace and became the home of the Church of [...]

Trim Castle, Trim. co. Meath – 1176 (Baile Átha Troim-Town at the ford of elderflowers)

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 [...]

Florence Court, Enniskillen. co.Fermanagh 1755

Florence Court was the former home of 'The Earls of Enniskillene' and is regarded as one of the great houses of Ireland and a fascinating example of mid-18th century Irish Palladian architecture. It was built [...]

Enniskillen Castle, Enniskillen. co. Fermanagh c.15th century

The original castle built at this strategic location on lough Erne was built in the late 1400's by Hugh 'The Hospitable' Maguire. Over the years it has been fought over, captured and retaken by the O’Donnells, [...]

Site of The Battle of the Boyne, Oldbridge. co.Meath – 1690

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 (11 July according to [...]

Donegal Castle, Donegal Town. co.Donegal -1474

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

Newgrange, Donore. co.Meath 3200 b.c

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is Newgrange, the 'Mother Ship' of all Irish ancient monuments. It is part of a complex of at least 35 similar type monuments built along a bend of the River [...]

The Rock of Cashel, Cashel. co.Tipperary 11th-14th centuries (Caiseal / Rock of the Kings)

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 [...]

Knowth Passage Tomb, Knowth.co. Meath c.3000 b.c

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 [...]

Portumna Castle, Portumna. co. Galway 1618

Portumna Castle is a very interesting example of Irish architecture in the transition between the medieval fortified tower house and the neoclassical large country manor. It was built in 1618 on the banks of Lough [...]

Gallarus Oratory, Gallarus. co. Kerry c.6th -12th century a.d?

The Gallarus Oratory located on the Dingle Peninsula is one of Ireland's most famous landmarks. It's simple and stunning shape has been compared to that of an upturned boat. Every stone in it's construction has [...]

The World’s oldest field system – The Ceide Fields, co.Mayo. c.3000 b.c

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 made up of stone walls, field systems, enclosures and [...]

Clonmacnoise, Shannonbridge. co.Offaly – founded 546 a.d

The monastery of Clonmacnoise was founded by St Ciarán in 546 a.d. and is one of Ireland's most important ecclesiastical centres. This strategic location on the Shannon was where the main east-west road across the [...]

Collins Barracks, Arbour Hill. Dublin City – 1702

The location for Collins Barracks was originally earmarked for a mansion for the Duke of Ormond. It was built in 1702 in a Neoclassical style to the designs of Thomas Burgh and is the oldest [...]

Tintern Abbey, Saltmills. co. Wexford – c.1200

Tintern Abbey was founded in c.1200 by William Marshall, the 1st Earl of Pembroke and ‘the greatest knight that ever lived’. Marshal, who had set sail for Ireland on his first visit as Lord of [...]

The Loughcrew Passage Tombs, Oldcastle. co. Meath – c.3300 b.c

Loughcrew is one of our most important and impressive megalithic sites and is described as 'the best kept archaeological secret in Ireland'. This particular tomb 'Cairn T' is probably older than Newgrange and is located [...]

Kilkenny Castle, Kilkenny City. co.Kilkenny – 1195

Kilkenny Castle is one of the most recognisable castles in Ireland. This strategic site was where the local Kings of Osraige had their chief residence before the Norman invasion. Kilkenny formed part of the lordship [...]

St Audeon’s Church, High Street. Dublin – c.1190

St Audeon's has the distinction of being the only medieval parish church, retaining any original features, still in use within the city of Dublin. It is dedicated to St Ouen the 7th century bishop of [...]

Askeaton Friary, Askeaton. co.Limerick – founded 1389

This is the Franciscan Friary at Askeaton. It was founded by Gerald, 4th Earl of Desmond (The Poet) and built between 1389 and 1420. St Francis of Assisi (who founded the Franciscan Order) expected his [...]

Ashtown Castle, Phoenix Park. Dublin City – c.1500

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 [...]

Reginald’s Tower, The Quay. Waterford City – built 1171

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 [...]

St Mary’s Church, Gowran. co.Kilkenny – founded 1280

This national monument is St Mary's Church located in the village of Gowran, co. Kilkenny. The church consists of a nave with an aisle and a long chancel and was served by a college of [...]

St Macculin’s Church, Lusk. co.Dublin – c.9th Round Tower c.15th Keep. c.19th Church

This interesting building is comprised of a 9th century round tower, a 15th century defensive tower and a 19th century church. The village of Lusk derives its name from an Irish word 'lusca' which means [...]

Aughnanure Castle, Oughterard. co.Galway – c.1490

This national monument is one of the best and grandest fortified tower houses in the country and is one of over 200 built in county Galway alone. It has 6 floors including a banqueting hall and [...]

Mellifont Abbey, Tullyallen. co.Louth – 1142 (An Mhainistir Mhór -‘The Big Abbey’)

Mellifont Abbey was founded by St Malachy in 1142 and was the first and most important of Ireland's 35 Cistercian abbeys. The term Cistercian derives from Cistercium, the Latin name for the village of Cîteaux, [...]

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 [...]

Jerpoint Abbey, Thomastown. co.Kilkenny – founded 1180

Jerpoint Abbey has been a national monument since 1880. It is located just outside the beautiful village of Thomastown in co. Kilkenny and was built in 1180 as a Cistercian Abbey by the King of [...]

The Round Tower, Glendalough. co.Wicklow – c.10th century a.d (Gleann dá Loch-‘Valley of Two Lakes’)

The Round Tower at Glendalough stands 100 feet high and is one of Ireland's most iconic buildings. Round towers were mainly built between the 9th and 12th centuries and only 3 exist beyond our borders [...]

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