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Lismore Castle is located in the town of Lismore, in County Waterford in Ireland. 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 Lismore. In 1363, the diocese was united with that of Waterford, although it retained its cathedral until the Reformation.
The castle passed to Sir Walter Raleigh in 1589 and Raleigh sold it to Richard Boyle, Earl of Cork, in 1602. He immediately set about fashioning the countryside round Lismore in the English way, with stocked deer parks, fruits orchards, fish ponds and other features of the English Lordly manor estate. In 1753, the castle passed to the 4th Duke of Devonshire on his marriage to Lady Charlotte and the present castle is still owned by the Devonshires.
Spread over nearly 3 hectares, the historic gardens at Lismore Castle in County Waterford are divided into two very distinct and different halves. The gardens contain a fine collection of magnolias, camellias, rhododendrons, herbaceous borders and contemporary sculpture and a remarkable yew walk where Edmund Spenser is said to have written ‘The Faerie Queen’.