Must See Landmarks, Buildings & National Monuments

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 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 […]

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 fortified bawn, curtain walls and circular flanking towers. The castle’s most famous episode occurred in 1652 when it was the last stronghold in Munster to hold […]

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 being peasants and entertain their guests. It was built around 1810 for Richard Butler and his wife, Emily, Lord and Lady Cahir, and was designed by […]

Clare Abbey, Ennis. co.Clare 1195

Clare Abbey is situated on an elevated site beside the Fergus River and was the first, largest and most important Augustinian house in County Clare. It was founded in 1195 under the sponsorship of Domnall Mór O Brian, the King of Thomond and despite a turbulent history remained in use right up until the 17th century.  After the suppression of the […]

Old Head of Kinsale Lighthouse, Old Head. co.Cork 1853

The Old Head of Kinsale Lighthouse is located in one of Ireland’s most spectacular coastal areas. This large promontory juts out into the Atlantic Ocean rising hundreds of feet above the water and is now one of the most prestigious golf courses on the planet: The Old Head Golf Links. There are references to a lighted beacon at this location in […]

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 country.  It is named after King Charles II of England and was designed by Sir William Robinson (architect of the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham) to specifically […]

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 examples of ‘extreme Christian monasticism’ in Europe. Tradition attributes the foundation of the monastery to St Finan between the 6th and 8th centuries a.d. These […]

Knockmany Cairn & Annya’s Tomb, Augher. co.Tyrone 3000 b.c>100 a.d

This interesting site is located on a beautiful forested hilltop 700 feet above sea level near the village of Augher in County Tyrone. It’s name in Irish ‘Cnoc mBaine’ has had various different interpretations from ‘The Hill of Queen Baine’, ‘The Hill of the Monks’ or ‘Annya’s Cove’. Queen Baine, the wife of a 1st century King Tuathal Techtmar was […]

Carrowkeel Neolithic Cemetery, Ballymote. co.Sligo c.3400 bc

This mound on top of this desolate hilltop is one of 14 cairns forming part of the Carrowkeel neolithic passage tomb cemetery. The Carrowkeel complex is located at an altitude of about 1000 foot in a dramatic location spread across the Bricklieve Mountains in county Sligo. This is one of  ‘big 4’ passage tomb cemeteries in Ireland (the other 3 are […]

Clonyn Castle, Delvin. co.Westmeath 1876

Sir Gilbert de Nugent, originally from the Nogent-le-Rotrou area in France, came to Ireland with his brother-in-law Hugh de Lacy in 1171. He was granted the title Baron of Delvin within the Lordship of Meath. Gilbert soon built a large Norman castle whose ruins can be found on the main street in Delvin village. The family remained in the area […]

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 area was extensively damaged in the early nineteenth century by land clearance and quarrying. On site are the remains of chamber tombs, portal tombs (dolmens), […]

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, similar in style to castles built in western France (also under Norman control at the time). It was built in the 14th century by a […]