Historic Sites & Buildings in Ireland

Borris House

Borris House

Situated in South County Carlow on the River Barrow, with views of the Blackstairs Mountains, Borris house is one of most important country houses in Ireland. Seat of the McMorrough Kavanagh family, whose ancestors have lived on the site since the fifteenth century, it is one of the very few houses in Ireland that is still occupied by the family for whom it was built and it still contains a great deal of its original furniture, paintings, documentary archives and other artefacts. Visitors can also take a tour of Borris House during their visit. The tour covers all aspects of the history of the house, from the original 15th century castle, through its many subsequent changes and alterations, right up to the present day. The tour also takes in the rich history of the Kings of Leinster as wel...read more

Carlow Courthouse

Carlow Courthouse

Considered to be one of the finest courthouses in the country, Carlow Courthouse was designed by William Vitruvius Morrison in 1830. The building of the courthouse was made possible by the generous patronage of the Bruen family of Oak Park. The Courthouse, based on the Temple of Llissus in Athens, gives the impression of a temple set on a high plinth, but this obscures the fact that the basement is a maze of cells and dungeons. An interesting story is associated with Carlow Courthouse. It was apparently intended for Cork city, but the plans were mixed up and Carlow gained Cork's impressive Courthouse. A cannon from the Crimean War stands on the step. ...read more

Leighlinbridge Castle

Leighlinbridge Castle

Leighlinbridge Castle, also called Black Castle, is situated in the village of Leighlinbridge, County Carlow, Ireland, on the River Barrow, and was one of Ireland’s earliest Norman castles. In 1180 Hugh de Lacy built the first castle here to defend the river crossing. This place has had an eventful history. During the fourteenth century, the Kavanaghs reclaimed most of their land including the castle in Leighlinbridge, which the Kings of England had to pay "Black Rent" for peaceful passage of the main road through Leinster, for one hundred and fifty years. Beside the castle was a Carmelite priory, founded in 1270 and the bridge across the Barrow incorporates much work of 1320. Come springtime, when the pink valerians are in bloom, covering the weather-worn stonework of the old bridge...read more

Bunratty Castle & Folk Park

Bunratty Castle & Folk Park

Bunratty Castle (Irish: Caisleán Bhun Raithe, meaning Castle at the Mouth of the Ratty) is a large tower house in County Clare, Ireland. It lies in the centre of Bunratty village (Irish: Bun Ráite), by the N18 road between Limerick and Ennis, near Shannon Town and its airport. The name Bunratty, Bun Raite (or possibly, Bun na Raite) in Irish, means the 'bottom' or end of the 'Ratty' river. This river, alongside the castle, flows into the nearby Shannon estuary. From the top of the castle, one can look over to the estuary and the airport. Bunratty Castle is now a very popular tourist attraction. The interior has been furnished by Lord Gort with tapestries and artifacts from various eras in the castle's history. Some of the sights include the 'great hall', dungeons an...read more

Poulnabrone Portal Tomb

Poulnabrone Portal Tomb

Ireland is dotted with many awe inspiring monuments, one of the most famous being the ancient Poulbrone Portal Tomb.  The name literally means “The hole of sorrows” and a visit to this famous dolmen grave will allow you a glimpse back into history .  This Dolmen has stood proudly and dominant on the burren landscape for thousands of years, the site dating back to about 2500 BC.  The history of this tomb has been well documented and records the many artefacts found during excavation work. History links this site to the legend of Diarmuid and Grainne, the ill-fated lovers who crisscrossed Ireland hiding by day and night in their attempt to evade Grainne’s pursuing scorned betrothed.    ...read more

Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle is a medieval stronghold in Blarney, near Cork, Ireland. It is near the River Martin. The castle originally dates from before AD 1200. It was destroyed in 1446, but subsequently rebuilt by Cormac MacCarthy, the King of Munster. It is currently a partial ruin with some accessible rooms and the battlements. There are many legends as to the origin of the stone, but some say that it was the Lia Fáil—a magical stone upon which Irish kings were crowned.The Blarney Stone is a block of bluestone built into the battlements of Blarney Castle, Blarney about 8 km from Cork, Ireland. According to legend, kissing the stone endows the kisser with the gift of gab (great eloquence or skill at flattery). The stone was set into a tower of the castle in 1446. The castle ...read more

Walls of Derry

Walls of Derry

A walk around Derry’s walls reveals a splendid city crammed full of history, heritage, interest and a vibrant cultural scene. Derry (Londonderry) is the only remaining completely walled city in Ireland and one of the finest examples of Walled Cities in Europe. The Walls were built during the period 1613-1618 by the honourable, the Irish Society as defences for early seventeenth century settlers from England and Scotland. The Walls, which are approximately 1.5km in circumference, form a walkway around the inner city and provide a unique promenade to view the layout of the original town which still preserves its Renaissance Style street plan to this day. The four original gates to the Walled City are Bishop’s Gate, Ferryquay Gate, Butcher Gate and Shipquay Gate. Three fur...read more

Glencolumbcille

Glencolumbcille

Glencolmcille or Glencolumbkille is a coastal town located on the southwest Gaeltacht tip of County Donegal, Ireland. Gleann Cholm Cille is still an Irish-speaking community though this is in decline; English has became the predominant language in recent years. The name translates into English as the Valley of Saint Columba. Saint Columba (Irish: Colm Cille) is one of Ireland's three patron saints (along with Saint Patrick and Saint Brigid). Colm Cille and his followers lived in the valley and the ruins of several of their churches can still be seen there. Following a dispute with the church about the right to copy religious manuscripts, Colm Cille went into exile on the isle of Iona off the west coast of Scotland. Between 4000 and 3000 BC, farming people settled in the area and ...read more

Donegal Castle

Donegal Castle

Built by the O Donnell chieftains in the 15th century on the river Eske at the centre of Donegal Town. Rebuilt in Jacobean style in 16th century by Sir Basil Brooke after Hugh O Donnell burnt it to the ground rather than let the castle fall to enemy hands. Information panels chronicle the history of the castle and guided tours are available. The castle opens each season from mid March to the end of October. Donegal (Irish, Dún na nGall), translates as Fort of the Foreigner possibly coming from a Viking fortress in the area destroyed in 1159. However, due to hundreds of years of development, no archaeological evidence of this early fortress has been found. The elder Sir Hugh O’Donnell, wealthy chief of the O’Donnell clan, built the castle in 1474. At the same ti...read more

St. Patrick's Grave

St. Patrick's Grave

Cross Strangford Lough by ferry to visit the St. Patrick Centre and the saint’s grave at Down Cathedral. Down Cathedral is a Church of Ireland cathedral. It stands on the site of a Benedictine Monastery, built in 1183. Saint Patrick's remains are buried in the graveyard. Magnificent stain glass windows, box pews and beautiful organ case enhances this interesting building. About Saint Patrick:He is said to have been born Maewyn Succat (Latin: Magonus Succetus) and was a Roman Britain-born Christian missionary and is the patron saint of Ireland along with Brigid of Kildare and Columba. When he was about sixteen he was captured by Irish raiders from his home in Scotland and taken as a slave to Ireland, where he lived for six years before escaping to mainland Europe on a ship wi...read more

Christ Church Cathedral

Christ Church Cathedral

Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin is the elder of the city's two mediæval cathedrals, the other being St. Patrick's Cathedral. It is officially claimed as the seat (cathedra) of both the Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic archbishops of Dublin. In practice it has been the cathedral of only the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin, since the Irish Reformation. Though nominally claimed as his cathedral, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin uses a church elsewhere, St Mary's in Malborough Street in Dublin, as his pro-cathedral (acting cathedral). Christ Church Cathedral is located in the former heart of mediaeval Dublin, next to Wood Quay, at the end of Dame Street . However a major dual carriage-way building scheme around it separated it from the original mediaeval str...read more

Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle

Dublin Castle (Irish: Caisleán Bhaile Átha Cliath) off Dame Street, Dublin, Ireland, is a major Irish governmental complex, formerly the fortified seat of British rule in Ireland until 1922. Most of the complex dates from the 18th century, though a castle has stood on the site since the days of King John, the first Lord of Ireland. The Castle served as the seat of English, then later British government of Ireland under the Lordship of Ireland (1171–1541), the Kingdom of Ireland (1541–1800), and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1800–1922). Upon establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922, the complex was ceremonially handed over to the newly formed Provisional Government led by Michael Collins. Dublin Castle fulfilled a number of r...read more

Kilmainham Gaol

Kilmainham Gaol

Kilmainham Gaol (Irish: Príosún Chill Mhaighneann) is a former prison, located in Kilmainham in Dublin, which is now a museum. It has been run since the mid-1980s by the Office of Public Works (O.P.W.), an Irish Government agency. Kilmainham Gaol has played an important part in Irish history, as many leaders of Irish rebellions were imprisoned and some executed in the jail. The jail has also been used as a set for several films. When it was first built in 1796, Kilmainham Gaol was called the 'New Gaol' to distinguish it from the old jail it was intended to replace - a noisome dungeon, just a few hundred metres from the present site. It was officially called the County of Dublin Gaol, and was originally run by the Grand Jury for County Dublin. Over the 140 years it se...read more

Trinity College & Book of Kells

Trinity College & Book of Kells

Trinity is located in the centre of Dublin, Ireland, on College Green opposite the former Irish Houses of Parliament (now a branch of the Bank of Ireland). The campus occupies 190,000m² (47 acres), with many buildings, both old and new, ranged around large courts (known as "squares") and two playing fields. The Library of Trinity College is a copyright library for Ireland and the United Kingdom, containing over 4.5 million books and significant quantities of maps, manuscripts and music. The Library of Trinity College is the largest research library in Ireland. As a result of its historic standing, Trinity is a legal deposit library (as per Legal Deposit Libraries Act 2003) for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and has a similar standing in Irish law....read more

Aras an Uachtarain

Aras an Uachtarain

The original house was designed by park ranger and amateur architect, Nathaniel Clements in the mid eighteenth century. It was bought by the administration of the British Lord Lieutenant of Ireland to become his summer residence in the 1780s. His official residence was in the Viceregal Apartments in Dublin Castle. The house in the park later became the Viceregal Lodge, the "out of season" residence of the Lord Lieutenant (also known as the Viceroy), where he lived for most of the year from the 1820s onwards. During the Social Season (January to St. Patrick's Day in March) he lived in state in Dublin Castle. The house was left empty for some years, until the office of President of Ireland was created in 1937. In 1938, the first President, Douglas Hyde lived there temporarily while...read more

Glasnevin Cemetery & Museum

Glasnevin Cemetery & Museum

Glasnevin Cemetery is the largest cemetery in Ireland and was first opened in 1832. It was established as a place where people of all religions and none could bury their dead with dignity; the cemetery has grown to become a national monument and is a vital part of the Irish Heritage story. Glasnevin Museum is a must see for anyone interested in Irish Heritage and Genealogy. The exhibitions over two floors, shows the social, historical, political and artistic development of modern Ireland through the lives of the generations buried in Ireland’s necropolis. The tour includes a visit the crypt of Daniel O Connell. Other Museum facilities include the Tower Cafe which offers a wide and varied menu and the Glasnevin Trust Shop which stocks exclusive gifts and souvenirs. Glasnevin...read more

Rathfarnham Castle

Rathfarnham Castle

Rathfarnham Castle is situated in the village of Rathfarnham 3 miles south of Dublin. The castle is a large white four storey Georgian house consisting of a square house with towers at each corner, it is set in formal gardens and on part of the estate visitors can see a Roman Triumphal Arch used as the grand entrance. Legend has it that the ghost of a woman haunts the ballroom. Two suitors decided to incarcerate their loved one behind the ballroom’s wooden panelling, the winner of the duel for her affection would set her free. Unfortunately both of them died and so she remained there for 130 years. The castle is undergoing a huge refurbishment programme but remains open to the public where visitors are able to witness conservation in action. ...read more

Croke Park

Croke Park

Croke Park (Irish: Páirc an Chrócaigh) is a GAA stadium located in Dublin, Ireland. Often called Croker by GAA followers, it serves both as the principal stadium and headquarters of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA).  Steeped in history, this landmark arena is the largest stadium venue in Ireland. Following its recent redevelopment, Croke Park now has capacity for 82,300 people and is the fifth largest stadium in Europe. Since 1884 the site has been used primarily by the GAA to host Gaelic games, most notably the annual All-Ireland finals in football and hurling. In addition to the cream of gaelic sports players, the best of Australia's A.F.L talent have played here. Muhammad Ali fought here, U2 and Tina Turner performed here. Croke Park also played host to the spect...read more

Four Knocks

Four Knocks

Four Knocks is a Passage Chamber Tomb built about 5000 years ago. It is located 10 miles southeast of Newgrange between Ardcath in County Meath and the Naul in County Dublin. The name Fourknocks may be from the Irish Fuair Cnocs meaning Cold Hills. These passage graves are decorated with abstract art and bear the first depiction of a human face found in prehistoric art in Ireland. Three earthen mounds were excavated by the National Museum in 1950-1952. One covered a passage grave to crucification plan, with decoted uprights and lintels resembling the Newgrance designs. The contents of this tomb were intact and so the results were of immense importance and value to students of the megalithic period in Ireland and the world. The contents found were of great importance with fragmentary human ...read more

St. Doulagh's Church

St. Doulagh's Church

St. Doulagh's Church in Kinsealy occupies the site of a 7th century monastic settlement founded by St Doulagh. The present structure is an amalgam of a 19th century entrance and a 13th century church. A small room called the Hermit's Cell is reputed to be the burial place of the founder. St Doulagh's Church, is one of two churches in the "United Parishes of Malahide, Portmarnock and St Doulagh's" in Fingal, Ireland. It is the oldest stone-roofed church still in use in Ireland. The church is situated approximately 10 kilometres from Dublin city, just north of the hamlet of Balgriffin. Very little is known of St Doulagh who gave his name to the church. It is calculated that he lived in the early 7th century and was a hermit/anchorite. He is said to have lived isolated, in a cell attached to ...read more

Kylemore Abbey

Kylemore Abbey

Visit Kylemore Abbey, a 19th century mansion with an exquisite chapel and reception rooms. The Abbey is the oldest of the Irish Benedictine Abbeys. It is a Benedictine monastery founded in 1920 on the grounds of Kylemore Castle, in Connemara, County Galway, Ireland. The abbey was founded for Benedictine Nuns who fled Belgium in World War I. At Kylemore, the nuns opened their international boarding school and established a day school for local girls. They also ran a farm and guesthouse; the guesthouse was closed after a devastating fire in 1959. A section of the Abbey (the enclosure) is retained strictly for the nuns’ use and is not open to the public; here the nuns devote themselves to their monastic life of prayer and work. Originally called Kylemore Castle, it was built be...read more

Dunguaire Castle

Dunguaire Castle

Dunguaire Castle (Irish: Dún Guaire) is a 16th-century tower house on the southeastern shore of Galway Bay in County Galway, Ireland, near Kinvarra. The castle's 75 foot-tower and its defensive wall have been restored to excellent condition, and the grounds are open to tourists during the summer. Dunguaire castle is one of the most visited and photographed castles in the West of Ireland, conveniently located as it is, by the roadside on the way into the picturesque, seaside village of Kinvara. The castle was built by the Hynes clan in 1520, a family who may have been associated with the area since 662, when the site is believed to have once been the royal palace of Guaire Aidhne, the legendary king of Connacht and progenitor of the clan. Dunguaire Castle was transferred in the 17th ...read more

Galway Cathedral

Galway Cathedral

Galway Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St. Nicholas. Perhaps with the hint of a nod to Brunelleschi’s Duomo in Florence, the large octagonal dome of Galway’s Catholic Cathedral rises above the roofs of the medieval city. Providing a full side view to those crossing a bridge over the Corrib, it was the last major stone church to be built in Ireland, at a time (1957-65) when concrete was already well established as the main medium of construction. The brainchild of Bishop Michael Browne, it was intended to be a church which would be, in his own words, ‘solid, dignified and worthy of Galway’ and hopefully of the Good Lord as well. Dedicated to Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St. Nicholas, it was designed by J.J. Robinson, over whose shoulder th...read more

Muckross House, Gardens & Traditional Farms

Muckross House, Gardens & Traditional Farms

This nineteenth century Victorian mansion is set against the stunning beauty of Killarney National Park. The house stands close to the shores of Muckross Lake, one of Killarney's three lakes, famed world wide for their splendour and beauty. As a focal point within Killarney National Park, Muckross House is the ideal base from which to explore this landscape.Muckross House was built for Henry Arthur Herbert and his wife, the water-colourist Mary Balfour Herbert. This was actually the fourth house that successive generations of the Herbert family had occupied at Muckross over a period of almost two hundred years. William Burn, the well-known Scottish architect, was responsible for its design. Building commenced in 1839 and was completed in 1843.Originally it was intended that Muckross House ...read more

Molly Gallivans Cottage & Farm

Molly Gallivans Cottage & Farm

At Molly Gallivan you will experience the simple lifestyle in rural Ireland before the days of electricity and modern conveniences. Molly’s enchanting cottage is over 200 years old. Her farm is complete with animals, fowl and traditional farm machinery. The house is over 200 years old! Originally a single story thatched cottage, part of which still remains, it was extended, raised and slated in the early 1900s. There has been little change since then. The house as it is today was home to one of Molly’s descendants until 1997. The large open hearth, where the fire rarely if ever went out, was the only energy source providing hot water, heat and cooking facilities. Molly Gallivan was widowed with seven small children Molly Gallivan had to call on all her resourcefulness ...read more

Staigue Fort

Staigue Fort

Staigue Fort is probably the finest example of a stone fort in Ireland and is about 2500 years old. It is built of stone common to this district and is almost circular, 27 metres in diameter. The wall almost 4 metres (13ft) thick at the base and 2 metres (7ft) thick at the top. The north side is still perfect with some of the old coping stones, 90cm (3ft) long, still in position. The wall is 5.5 metres (18ft) high on the north and west sides. It has a square-headed doorway and inside are two small chambers. One on the west side and another on the north. The stairways, which are probably the most interesting feature of the fort, run inside the wall almost to the full height of the wall, and these stairs lead to narrow platforms on which the fort's defenders stood. The fort holds ...read more

Kilkenny Castle

Kilkenny Castle

Kilkenny Castle (Irish: Caisleán Chill Chainnigh) is a castle in Kilkenny, Ireland. It was the seat of the Butler family. Formerly the family name was FitzWalter. The castle was sold to the local Castle Restoration Committee in the middle of the 20th century for £50. Shortly afterward it was handed over to the State, and has since been refurbished and is open to visitors. Part of the National Art Gallery is on display in the castle. There are ornamental gardens on the city side of the castle, and extensive land and gardens to the front. It has become one of the most visited tourist sites in Ireland. Kilkenny castle was the venue for the meeting of the General Assembly, or parliament, of the Confederate Ireland government in the 1640s. Awards and conferring ceremonies...read more

Jerpoint Abbey

Jerpoint Abbey

Jerpoint Abbey is a ruined Cistercian abbey, founded in the second half of the 12th century, near Thomastown, County Kilkenny, Ireland. It was constructed in 1180, probably on the site of an earlier Benedictine monastery built in 1160 by Domnall Mac Gilla Patraic, King of Osraige. Jerpoint is notable for its stone carvings, including one at the tomb of Felix O'Dulany, Bishop of the Diocese of Ossory when the abbey was founded. The abbey passed into the possession of James, Earl of Ormand, in 1541 and has been a national monument and has been in the care of the Office of Public Works since 1880. Close to Jerpoint Abbey, at Newtown Jerpoint, are the ruins of a church where a local legend places the grave of Saint Nicholas! The most remarkable part is a reconstructed 15th Century sculptured c...read more

Jerpoint Park

Jerpoint Park

Immerse yourself at the Heritage Site in Jerpoint Park, where the Lost Town of Newtown Jerpoint a deserted Medieval town dating back to 1200 AD, when it was founded near a crossing point on the River Nore not far from Thomastown and the Cistercian Jerpoint Abbey. The medieval lost town of Newtown Jerpoint is just west of the Cistercian Jerpoint Abbey, near Thomastown, County Kilkenny, Ireland. Visitors can experience estate country pursuits in a unique heritage setting from pony & trap rides, sheep dog demonstrations, fishing for salmon & trout on the River Nore, horse riding across open countryside with breath taking views, before soaking up the regal atmosphere of Belmore House Tea Rooms & sampling the delicious homemade delights. A walk through the meadows of Jerpoint Park i...read more

Strokestown Park House

Strokestown Park House

Travel to County Leitrim to visit Strokestown Park House. There are three parts to see - the 18th century mansion with its original furnishings; the four-acre walled garden, restored to look as it would have during the heyday of the estate; and the Famine Museum. Strokestown Park House is an 18th century mansion which has been faithully restored. It is unique in that it retains its original furnishings and professionally guided tours allow visitors to browse freely through the stately surroundings. The 4 acre 18th century walled pleasure garden has been fully restored to its original splendour. Its piece de resistance is its herbaceous border which is recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest herbaceous border in Britain & Ireland. The Famine Museum uses a combin...read more

Manorhamilton Castle

Manorhamilton Castle

Situated on the northern side of the town of Manorhamilton on the R280 road, just to the north of the main Sligo to Enniskillen road, is a seventeenth century plantation castle. The castle is situated on a local high point and enclosed on the eastern side by a tributary of the Owenmore River. The history of Manorhamilton Castle is interwoven with the overall history of Ireland and Northern Ireland in particular. Manorhamilton Castle was built between 1634 and 1638 by Sir Frederick Hamilton, a Scotsman and British courtier, who had been granted land in this area of Leitrim in 1621. In 1974 the Elliott family sold their interest in the Castle to Frank O’Rourke who remained in possession of the Estate until July 1993 when it was acquired by the present owners, Anthony and Maura Daly. Ma...read more

King Johns Castle

King Johns Castle

Experience 800 years of history in Limerick City. King John’s Castle is situated in the heart of Limerick’s Medieval Heritage Precinct, on the River Shannon at “Kings Island”. The Castle was built between 1200 and 1210. It was repaired and extended many times over the following centuries. King John’s Castle remains a most impressive Anglo-Norman fortification. It retains many of the pioneering features which made its construction unique for its day. Its massive gatehouse, battlements and corner towers await exploration! Features include: 13th Century Anglo-Norman Castle with panoramic views of Limerick City, the River Shannon and surrounding countryside. The visitor centre contains an imaginative historical exhibition, which recounts the history of t...read more

St. Marys Cathedral

St. Marys Cathedral

St Mary's (also known as Limerick Cathedral), is a cathedral of the Church of Ireland in Limerick city, Ireland which is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Previously the cathedral of the Diocese of Limerick, it is now one of three cathedrals in the United Dioceses of Limerick and Killaloe. The cathedral is open to the public throughout the week, subject to church services.  Limerick Cathedral dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary was founded in 1168 and is the oldest building in Limerick which is in daily use. It has the only complete set of misericords left in Ireland. The Cathedral has seen many changes as the city expanded around it and it remains today the oldest and most historic building in Limerick. No trip to the City is complete without visiting this historic building at t...read more

Ceide Fields Visitor Centre

Ceide Fields Visitor Centre

The Céide Fields (Irish: Achaidh Chéide) is an area situated on the north Mayo coast in the west of Ireland. This location contains one of the oldest known field systems in the world. Using various dating methods, it was discovered that the creation and development of the Céide Fields goes back some five thousand years. This dates them before the building of the pyramids of Egypt and Stonehenge. Visit the multi-award winning Centre, which has exhibitions, audio-visual show and tearooms and take a guided tour with our professional guides and discover a buried wall for yourself using a centuries old method of probing. Experience the unique ecology of the bogland, with it's colourful mosses, sedges, lichens, heathers, flowers and insect-eating sundews while list...read more

Ballintubber Abbey

Ballintubber Abbey

Ballintubber Abbey is situated two kilometres northeast of the village of Ballintubber, County Mayo in Ireland. Founded in 1216 by Cathal Crovderg O'Connor, Ballintubber Abbey is an important sacred Irish historical site which will celebrate its 800 year anniversary in 2016.  When St Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland in c.441AD, he founded a church at Ballintubber. The present Abbey was founded in 1216 by King Cathal O'Conor. It is the only church in Ireland still in daily use that was founded by an Irish king. Visit Ballintubber Abbey, known as “the Abbey that refused to die.” Through its many vicissitudes, including burning by Cromwell's army in 1653, the Abbey has remained a place of worship despite years of continuous attacks and religious repression. The abbey h...read more

Knock Shrine

Knock Shrine

The Story of Knock in East Mayo began on the 21st August 1879 when Our Lady, St. Joseph and St. John the Evangelist appeared at the south gable of Knock Parish Church. The personal pilgrimage of Pope John Paul II in 1979, commemorating the centenary of the apparition, inspired an even greater devotion to the Shrine and endorsed the indelible seal of Vatican approval. Mother Teresa of Calcutta visited the Shrine in June of 1993. One and a half million pilgrims visit the Shrine annually. On the evening of 21 August 1879, people whose ages ranged from five years to seventy-five and included men, women, teenagers,children, witnessed what they claimed was an apparition of Our Lady, St Joseph, and St John the Evangelist at the south gable end of the local small parish church, the Churc...read more

Boyne Valley

Boyne Valley

The Boyne Valley, located in the North-East of Ireland and encompassing counties Louth and Meath is a World Heritage Site and is the largest and one of the most important prehistoric megalithic sites in Europe. The Prehistoric inhabitants of the area built huge burial tombs on the banks of the river Boyne and on hilltop sites such as Loughcrew. Today, the Neolithic passage tombs of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth which are older than the pyramids in Egypt and pre-date Stonhenge by 1000 years continue to attract huge numbers of visitors from all around the world. The area is believed to contain around 40 passage tombs in total. Archaeologists classified Newgrange as a passage tomb, however, Newgrange is now recognised to be much more than a passage tomb. Ancient Temple is a more fitting classif...read more

Hill of Tara

Hill of Tara

The Hill of Tara (Irish Teamhair na Rí, "Hill of the Kings"), located near the River Boyne, is an archaeological complex that runs between Navan and Dunshaughlin in County Meath, Leinster, Ireland. It contains a number of ancient monuments, and, according to tradition, was the seat of Árd Rí na hÉireann, or the High King of Ireland. Current scholarship based on the research conducted by the Discovery Programme, indicates that Tara was not a true seat of Kingship, but a sacral site associated with Indo-European Kingship rituals. At the summit of the hill, to the north of the ridge, is an oval Iron Age hilltop enclosure, measuring 318 metres (1,043 ft) north-south by 264 metres (866 ft) east-west and enclosed by an internal ditch and external bank, known...read more

Newgrange

Newgrange

One of the great wonders of the ancient world, Newgrange is older than Stonehenge, Mycenae or even the Pyramids of Egypt. Foremost among the passage-tombs of Europe, Newgrange has long evoked the wonder of archaeologists and laymen alike. The magnificent entrance slab - 'one of the most famous stones in the entire repertory of megalithic art' - is especially satisfying, the confidently executed spiral and lozenge motifs still crisply defined after 5,000 years. The triple spiral, found only at Newgrange, occurs both on the entrance stone and inside the chamber. The passage is long, over 60 feet (20m), and leads to a cruciform burial chamber with a corbelled roof which rises steeply upwards to a height of nearly 20 feet (6m). There are regular tours of the different sites, but adva...read more

Trim Castle

Trim Castle

Trim Castle in Trim, County Meath, Ireland, on the shores of the Boyne has an area of 30,000 m². It is the remains of the largest Norman castle in Europe, and Ireland's largest castle. It was built primarily by Hugh de Lacy and his son Walter. The main central three-story building, called a keep, donjon or great tower, is unique in its design, being of cruciform shape, with twenty corners. It was built in at least three stages, initially by Hugh de Lacy (c.1174) and then in 1196 and 1206 by Walter de Lacy. The keep was built on the site of a large ring work fortification that was burnt down in 1172 and rebuilt in 1173, following attacks by the Gaelic King of Connacht, Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair Rory O'Connor. Much of the interior of the castle was archaeologically excavated...read more

Clonmacnoise

Clonmacnoise

The monastery of Clonmacnoise (meaning  Meadow of the Sons of Nós) is situated in County Offaly, Ireland on the River Shannon south of Athlone. It was visited by the Pope in 1979. The site can be visited for a fee, via an Interpretative Centre. Clonmacnoise was founded in 546 by Ciarán, a young man from Rathcroghan, Co. Roscommon. Until the 9th century it had close associations with the kings of Connacht. The strategic location of the monastery helped it become a major centre of religion, learning, craftsmanship, and trade. The site includes the ruins of a cathedral, seven churches (10th -13th century), two round towers, three high crosses and the largest collection of Early Christian graveslabs. The site also includes original high crosses. Amongst the many remains at C...read more

Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery

Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery

The largest and one of the most important megalithic sites in Europe. Carrowmore (Irish: Ceathrú Mór, meaning Great Quarter) is the site of a prehistoric ritual landscape on the Knocknarea or Cúil Irra Peninsula in County Sligo in Ireland. It is one of the four major passage tomb cemeteries in Ireland. Around 30 megalithic tombs can be seen in Carrowmore today, and the traces of more (ruined) tombs have been detected. The tombs (in their original state) were almost universally 'dolmen circles'; small dolmens with boulder circles of 12 to 15 meters around them. The tombs are distributed in a roughly oval shape surrounding the largest monument, a cairn called Listoghil. The dolmen 'entrances' - crude double rows of standing stones - usually face the area of the...read more

W.B. Yeats Grave

W.B. Yeats Grave

Drumcliff is a village nestled under the foot of Benbulben just north orf Sligo Town. It is more famous now as the final resting place of W B Yeats whose grave is in the churchyard under a simple headstone with the inscription: 'Cast a cold eye on life, On Death Horseman pass by.' William Butler Yeats (pronounced /ˈjeɪts/; 13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939) was an Irish poet and dramatist and one of the foremost figures of 20th-century literature. A pillar of both the Irish and English literary establishments, in his later years Yeats served as an Irish Senator for two terms. He was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival, and together with Lady Gregory and Edward Martyn founded the Abbey Theatre, and served as its chief during its early years. In 1923, he was awarde...read more

Lissadell House & Gardens

Lissadell House & Gardens

Lissadell House is a neo-classical Greek revivalist style country house. Lissadell House and Gardens are located 7km north of Sligo Town on the Bundoran Road. Home of the Gore Booth family from 1834 -2003.  The house was the childhood home of Irish revolutionary, Constance Gore-Booth, her sister the poet and suffragist, Eva Gore-Booth, and their siblings, Mabel Gore-Booth, Mordaunt Gore-Booth and Josslyn Gore-Booth. It was also the sometime holiday retreat of the world-renowned poet, William Butler Yeats. He made the house famous with the opening lines of his poem, Since it was purchased by Edward Walsh and his wife Constance Cassidy in 2003, the House and Gardens have undergone extensive restoration. The House itself has a large collection of paintings and literature by George &lsquo...read more

Cahir Castle

Cahir Castle

Cahir Castle (Irish: Caisleán na Cathrach), one of the largest ancient castles in Ireland, was built in County Tipperary in 1142 by Conor O'Brien, Prince of Thomond, on an island in the river Suir. Standing tall, the castle appears to grow out of the rock, now situated in the town centre, Cahir castle is well preserved and has a guided tour and audiovisual show in multiple languages. The castle tour will take you down spiral staircases as well as into the deep dark prison dungeons. It is one of the best preserved standing castles of Ireland. In 1375, the castle was granted to James Butler, newly-created Baron of Cahir, for his loyalty to Edward III. The Butlers of Cahir sided with the Irish in the Elizabethan wars, and in 1599 the castle was captured after a three day siege by the a...read more

Rock of Cashel

Rock of Cashel

The Rock of Cashel, also known as Cashel of the Kings and St. Patrick's Rock, is a historic site in Ireland's province of Munster, located at Cashel, County Tipperary. The Rock of Cashel served as the traditional seat of the Kings of Munster for several hundred years prior to the Norman invasion, though few remnants if any of the early structures survive. The majority of buildings on the current site date from the 12th and 13th centuries. Cashel is reputed to be the site of the conversion of the King of Munster by St. Patrick in the 5th century A.D. The buildings which crown the Rock of Cashel present a mass and outline of great complexity, rivalling other sites in western Europe. The complex has a character of its own, unique and native, and is one of the most remarkable collec...read more

Lismore Castle & Gardens

Lismore Castle & Gardens

Henry II visited Lismore in 1171 and chose a site for a castle. Raymond le Gros and his Anglo-Normans ransacked the town two years later and Henry’s castle site was built upon by Prince John in 1185. These events marked a decline in influence for monastic years later and Henry’s castle site was built upon by Prince John in 1185. These events marked a decline in influence for monastic Lismore. In 1363, the diocese was united with that of Waterford, although it retained its cathedral until the Reformation. Lismore Castle is located in the town of Lismore, in County Waterford in Ireland. It was largely re-built in the Gothic style during the mid-nineteenth century by William Cavendish, 6th Duke of Devonshire. The castle site was originally occupied by Lismore Abbey, an i...read more

Glendalough

Glendalough

Glendalough (Irish: Gleann Dá Loch, meaning Glen of Two Lakes) is a glacial valley located in County Wicklow, Ireland, renowned for its Early Medieval monastic settlement founded in the 6th century by St Kevin, a hermit priest, and destroyed in 1398 by English troops. History of Glendalough Kevin, a descendant of one of the ruling families in Leinster, studied as a boy under the care of three holy men, Eoghan, Lochan, and Eanna. During this time, he went to Glendalough. He was to return later, with a small group of monks to found a monastery where the 'two rivers form a confluence'. His fame as a holy man spread and he attracted numerous followers. He died in about 618. For six centuries afterwards, Glendalough flourished and the Irish Annals contain references to the deat...read more

Powerscourt House & Gardens

Powerscourt House & Gardens

Powerscourt Estate is located near Enniskerry, County Wicklow, Ireland, is a large country estate which is noted for its house and landscaped gardens, today occupying 19 hectares (47 acres). The house, originally a 13th century castle, was extensively altered during the 18th century by German architect Richard Cassels, starting in 1731 and finishing in 1741. A fire in 1974 left the house lying as a shell until it was renovated in 1996. The estate is today owned and run by the Slazenger family. It is a popular tourist attraction, and includes a golf course, an Avoca Handweavers restaurant, and a Ritz-Carlton hotel. The original owner of the 13th century castle was a man by the name of la Poer, which was eventually anglicised to Power. The castle's position was of strategic militar...read more

Ross Castle

Ross Castle

Ross Castle is located in Killarney National Park on the edge of Lough Leane in County Kerry. It was built in the early 15th Century by the Clan O’Donoghues Mor (Ross) and is a fine example of an Irish Chieftain stronghold. It is surrounded by a defensive wall with flanking towers, two of which still remain intact today. More recently Ross Castle is known for its association with the Brownes of Killarney who retained it until it became a Military Barracks up to the 19th century....read more

Glin Castle

Glin Castle

Glin Castle, one of Ireland’s most historic properties, has been in the FitzGerald family, hereditary Knights of Glin, for over 700 years. This enchanting castle with its superb interiors, decorative plasterwork, and collections of Irish furniture and paintings, stands on the bank of the River Shannon surrounded by formal gardens and parkland and in the middle of 500 acres of wood and dairy farm....read more

Westport House

Westport House

Westport House & Gardens, first opened to the public is 1960, is one of Ireland’s best loved heritage attractions. Designed by the famous architects Richard Cassels James Wyatt and Thomas Ivory in the 18th Century, the house enjoys a superb estate setting with lakes, terraces, wonderful grounds and wonderful views overlooking Clew Bay, Clare Island, the Atlantic Ocean and Croagh Patrick. ...read more

General Post Office

General Post Office

The General Post Office (GPO) is the HQ for the Irish Post Office situated on Dublin’s O’ Connell St. The GPO is one of Ireland’s most famous buildings and landmarks and is the last of the great Georgian buildings in Dublin....read more

Leinster House

Leinster House

Leinster House also known as the House of the Oireachtas (Tithe an Oireachtais) is the seat of the two Houses of the Oireachas( the National Parliament) encompassing of Dáil Eireann (The house of Representatives) and the Seanad Eireann (The Senate)....read more

Battle of the Boyne Centre

Battle of the Boyne Centre

The Battle of the Boyne was fought at the river Boyne in County Meath on the east coast of Ireland on 1st July 1690, over 300 years ago. The battle was fought between King William III and his father-in-law, King James II. They were commanding their own armies, on the Williamite side were 36,000 men and the Jacobite had 25,000 strong Army. They were fighting for the British Throne, Power in Ireland and French dominance in Europe....read more

Tower of London

Tower of London

The Tower of London is an imposing fortress situated on the north bank of the River Thames in London. This historic castle was founded by William the Conqueror in 1066 and it was initially a basic timber and earth structure. Around 1078 it was remodelled and the structure known as The White Tower was built....read more

Big Ben

Big Ben

Big Ben is over 150 years old and is one of London’s famous landmarks. It is the nickname of the Clock tower of the Palace of Westminster. Technically, Big Ben is the massive bell inside the clock tower, which weighs more than 13 tons. It is officially known as Elizabeth Tower since 2012 in honour of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee....read more

Stonehenge

Stonehenge

The breathtaking prehistoric monument located in the English county of Wiltshire, it stands as strong today as it did 3500 years ago. Documented as one of the most famous places in the world to visit, Stonehenge was built in three phases that consisted of over 30 million hours of labor....read more

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle is a medieval castle and royal residence in Windsor in the English county of Berkshire, notable for its long association with the British royal family and for its architecture .The original castle was built after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror....read more

St. Pauls Cathedral

St. Pauls Cathedral

The majestic St Paul's Cathedral in London was built by Sir Christopher Wren to an English Baroque design between 1675 and 1711. It was part of a rebuilding program which took place after the Great Fire of London and was completed within his lifetime. However St.Pauls Cathedral had an eventful history as there had been 5 different churches built on the site previously....read more

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square is a public space and tourist attraction in central London, England, built around the area formerly known as Charing Cross. It is in the borough of the City of Westminster. The name commemorates the Battle of Trafalgar (1805), a British naval victory of the Napoleonic Wars over France. At its centre is Nelson's Column, which is guarded by four lion statues at its base....read more

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace is the birthplace and childhood home of Queen Victory and where she found out she would be queen and where she met her future husband Prince Albert. It is now the royal residence of the British Royal family set in the heart of Kensington Gardens in London. It has been the royal residence since the turn of the 17th century and is the official London residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, their son Price George of Cambridge and Prince Harry of Wales....read more

Shakespeare's Birthplace

Shakespeare's Birthplace

Shakespeare’s Birthplace is situated in Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England. It is a special place and it is believed that William Shakespeare was born here in 1564 and where he spent his childhood. Shakespeare’s Birthplace is a refurbished 16th century half-timbered house. It is a very popular visitor attraction and now a museum open to the public, owned and managed by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. It is a must see for all lovers of British literature....read more

Glamis Castle

Glamis Castle

Glamis Castle is situated beside the village of Glamis in Angus , Scotland. Glamis Castle has been the home of the Lyon family since the 14th century and was the childhood home of Elizabeth Bowes- Lyon who married King George VI....read more

Inveraray Castle

Inveraray Castle

Inveraray Castle is the ancestral home of the Duke of Argyll, Chief of the Clan Campbell The ancient Royal Burgh of Inveraray lies 60 miles north west of Glasgow and the castle stands proud on the shores of Loch Fyne , Scotland’s longest sea loch since the 1400s. The castle rises grey-green above its park and is stunning against the ruggedness of the highland scenery....read more

Pembroke Castle

Pembroke Castle

Pembroke Castle (Welsh: Castell Penfro) is a medieval castle standing beside the River Cleddau in Pembroke, West Wales. It has a long and fascinating history, for it was around 1093 that Arnulf de Montgomery built the small inner bailey standing at the end of the promontory. The late 12th century keep is both an outstanding feature and architectural novelty, for it has a massive cylindrical tower with an unusual stone dome....read more

Caernarfon Castle

Caernarfon Castle

Caernarvon is architecturally one of the most impressive of all of the castles in Wales. Edward I started the building in 1283 and it marked a definitive chapter in his conquest of Wales, Caernarfon was constructed not only as a military stronghold but also as a seat of government and royal palace....read more

Tintern Abbey

Tintern Abbey

The Cistercian abbey of Tintern is one of the greatest monastic ruins of Wales. It was only the second Cistercian foundation in Britain, and the first in Wales, and was founded on 9 May 1131 by Walter de Clare, lord of Chepstow. It soon prospered, thanks to endowments of land in Gwent and Gloucestershire, and buildings were added and updated in every century until its dissolution in 1536....read more

Culloden Battlefield

Culloden Battlefield

On the sleet-filled morning of April 16th 1746, one of the most infamous days in Scottish history, the exhausted Jacobite forces of Chales Stuart known as “ Bonnie Prince Charlie” were defeated by a superior Hanoverian army. ...read more

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

One of Scotland’s grandest and most significant castles due to its imposing position and impressive architecture, Stirling Castle sits atop of Castle hill and commands the countryside for many miles around....read more

Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle is one of Wales’ leading heritage attractions and a site of international significance. Located at the heart of the capital, within beautiful parklands, the Castle’s walls and fairytale towers conceal 2,000 years of history. Roman soldiers slept here, noble knights held court here, and the Bute family, with extraordinary wealth and vision, transformed the Castle into a romantic Victorian fantasy. ...read more

Harlech Castle

Harlech Castle

Harlech Castle, located in Harlech, Gwynedd, Wales, is a medieval fortification, constructed atop a spur of rock close to the Irish Sea. It sits moodily against the beautiful backdrop of Snowdonia, North Wales. It was built by Edward I during his invasion of Wales. Over the next few centuries, the castle played an important part in several wars and withstood many sieges. UNESCO considers Harlech Castle to be one of "the finest examples of late 13th century and early 14th century military architecture in Europe", and it is classed as a World Heritage site....read more

Alnwick Castle

Alnwick Castle

Alnwick Castle is a medieval castle and also known as the Windsor of the North as it is the second largest inhabited castle in England. The castle was first erected in 1096 after the Norman conquest but has since been remodelled and renovated a number of times. The Duke of Northumberland and his family, the Percy’s, live in a part of the castle with the remainder being open to the public in the summer months....read more

Athlone Castle

Athlone Castle

Athlone Castle Visitor Centre is situated in the heart of the Midlands, on the banks of the river Shannon adjacent to St Peter and Pauls Church and the Luan Gallery. It was reopened in November 2012 following extensive renovations....read more