Ballytarsna-Hackett Castle is a 15th century fortified tower house. Originally added to the existing castle of 1220, it was built in 1480 to provide the Hackett family with a safe and private accommodation apart from the older castle. The Hacketts were ousted from the then Hackett Castle in 1655 by a small Parliamentarian force, due to their support for the Catholic Confederation of Kilkenny. It fell into ruin in the 18th Century. Lovingly restored by us between 1999 and 2009, it is now available for you to enjoy. The entire top story is now being offered for Bed & Breakfast.
Located on the 5th story, this lofty and marvelous room offers spectacular views of the Tipperary countryside, including the Rock of Cashel. It is a self-contained, ensuite (yes, it has a toilet) assembly of everything you will need to make your stay as enjoyable as possible. A large and elegant four-poster bed is in one corner. The other three corners are occupied by a small library and sitting area, a large free-standing bath tub and finally a 19th century armoire for your clothes. At the end of a narrow passage is your private toilet. In the other direction at the end of a small side chamber is the castle DUNGEON. This grim feature hopefully will not be needed. One occupant has carved the date 1536 into the wall.
Breakfast is served in the cozy ground floor kitchen, ensconced between 9 foot thick defensive walls. Evening meals are available on request and are served in the Great Hall of the castle. This candle lit room is warmed by the large 15th century fireplace. Packed lunches are also available if desired for your outings.
Ballytarsna-Hackett Castle is centrally located in County Tipperary. Situated in the countryside on 3 beautiful acres, we are only 10 minutes from the tourist town of Cashel and Thurles, which contain good pubs and restaurants. We are in the middle of many historic tourist attractions. Dublin airport is 1 hour 50 minutes by car and Shannon airport is 1 hour 30 minutes.
Finally, a word of caution; There are 64 stone steps to reach your room. There is no wheel chair accessibility and you should be fairly fit to make this climb. This building is a listed ancient monument and there is strictly no smoking or pets allowed. We look forward to having you as our guest and hope you will enjoy a unique and rewarding experience in this fine medieval fortress.
The Tipperary School of Stonemasonry is located here too! If you would like to take a course while here, just let us know.
John and Margaret's castle was absolutely incredible to say the least. They showed us pictures of what the castle had looked like prior to their restoration, they amount of work that they have put into their home is unbelievable. If you are traveling anywhere in Ireland, this is a must stay! We were late checking in (~7 or 8pm) and we were greeted with tea/coffee and delicious scones. John and Margaret gave us a full tour of the castle and even brought us up to the battlements (amazing views from up there!). The full Irish breakfast they served us in the morning was absolutely incredible as well, best breakfast that we have had while on vacation here in Ireland.
In one word Wonderful! John and Margaret were perfect hosts! They were truly interested in our enjoyment during our stay. They are so friendly we feel like we have life time friends now! Their castle is incredible, it is not a reproduction as many castles are, it is a real castle! The care in their restoration is very evident! We were celebrating our wedding anniversary and it was something we shall never forget. Absolutely perfect!
Unique and Friendly! Our stay was fantastic, the hosts were welcoming, friendly, and helpful with the suggestions of local places to visit. Let's not forget the castle - Totally cool! We has our son with us, it was a very special experience for him (and all of us). A big thanks to John and his lovely wife!
This place is simply amazing. The pictures don't do it justice. Margaret and John are a delight and we thoroughly enjoyed the many conversations with them over our 2 day stay.
This truly was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that can't be missed. If you have the opportunity to stay in this 15th century castle, you must take it.
I hardly know where to begin to describe this experience. I'll start with the warm and sincere welcome. Margaret greeted us at the door and quickly bustled us in out of the blustery October weather for a cup of tea and homemade scones. That was followed by a thorough tour of the castle and the story if its history, its refurbishment, and its day to day operation. It's a fascinating story and a great way to learn about past and modern Ireland - and of course stonemasonry. You may think you aren't interested in masonry - but after you stay here you will have a new appreciation for everything else you'll see in Ireland!
We pre-arranged an Irish dinner which was delightful - I recommend this if it's available. The bedroom at the top of the castle is amazing and very comfortable. Overall, the experience felt like a fairytale adventure into worlds long gone, but with modern amenities and conveniences with genuinely welcoming and warm hosts to guide you along the way.
The only negative about our experience was that it was too short. Book 2 nights here if you can and use this as a base to explore the Rock of Cashel and the other local heritage sites your hosts will recommend.
This will definitely be a 2 night stop on my next trip to Ireland!
Great place. Wonderful hosts and an amazing breakfast. The Irish breakfast was the best I had in the country. If you like castles, you'll love the place. Some steep steps and tight passage to a huge room on the top floor. Amenities aren't 5 stars, it is a castle after all. The owner's stories how he meticulously detailed to restore this castle was very interesting over the last 10 years. A great experience and a memory of a lifetime. You need at least 2 days to take it all in. Cashel and Holy Cross towns are just 15 min. drive in each direction.
Honestly there is not much else to add that people have not already mentioned. The place was absolutely incredible, the people were friendly and welcoming, and we did not want to leave. My wife and I felt like part of the family enjoying conversation and breakfast during our stay.
This was the best airbnb experience we had, to date. Our stay in this Castle was worth the trip to Ireland alone ! Margaret and John were very welcoming and gave us a true taste of Ireland's legends, history and culinary traditions. For this one night, not only the room was the most beautiful room we have ever stayed in but we also felt home. Be prepared: the listing's picture look very good, but they do not do this room justice ! Once you step in there for the first time, you will be blown away by the attention they put in every detail of the room.
Next time we will com to Ireland, we will definitely come back.
How can I start ... from the moment we met with our host Margaret we were made to feel right at home. We were greeted with fresh scones and tea and got to chat with Margaret about the castle and its history. The castle is truly breathtaking and is a real credit to John who has spent the last 15 years making it into what it has become today and to Margaret for making it into a family home. The room itself is located on the fifth floor and is beautifully decorated and offers stunning views of the Tipperary landscape. If you're looking for something special then this is the place for you!
This was our first experience using airbnb and we certainly chose right! Margret was an excellent host and made us feel very welcome throughout our stay. From being welcomed with tea and scones to her detailing their momentousness undertaking in restoring this fabulous property to it's former glory.
The room was beyond our expectations and we couldn't want for anything, we very much enjoyed having a bath in the morning whilst staring up and the spectacular roof, I truly felt like a medieval lord but with the modern comforts!
The only negative we have is that we stayed one night or were "One night stands" as Margret put it. Think we will defiantly have to go back when we are next in Ireland and possibly even arrange a masonry lesson as well.
Amber and James