Hackett Castle is a 15th century tower house. It is like a keep, but has one major difference. Where a keep is a powerful thick-walled tower with few openings except arrow loops, an Irish tower house in a home for the family, that resembles a keep.
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 40
minutes by car and Shannon airport is 1 hour 25 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.
See the Guidebook to see all the things to see and do within an hour of the castle. You can easily spend 2 days here seeing them all. There is much history and monuments all around us.
Once you are here, feel free to use the Great Hall as a sitting room along with us or without us. You are also welcome in the kitchen. Make yourself at home!
We are surrounded by historic monuments and hiking trails through the mountains (little ones). Castles, abbeys, music and good pubs and restaurants. All within an hour of the castle. See our Guide book!
If you want to use public transport to get here, the train can get you to Thurles, which id 15 minutes from here. If you come by bus, Cashel is your best bet, also 15 minutes away. We'll come and get you after that.
Please be slow and deliberate on our stairways . In 530 years,no one has been injured on them (as far as we know!). Just be careful. We HIGHLY recommend that you do not try to drag large suitcases up the stairs. Most people repack a small bag to carry up with their needed items for the night.
There is no smoking or pets allowed
Upon arrival we were in awe of the building's sheer size. We were warmly welcomed with tea, coffee, and scones, over which we shared in a lovely chat with our hosts.
John's extensive knowledge of tower houses and the Irish history thereof was very impressive and very interesting; it really added to the "oh my gosh, we're staying in a castle!!" feeling.
The room itself is at the top of the tower and is only accessible by stairs. For a fit and able-bodied person with a small bag it's no problem. The room is absolutely palatial and the view in the morning is just breathtaking. John also took us up to the battlements in the morning (dress warmly!) for an unrestricted view and some more history of the building, the property, and the 15C era in general.
The full Irish breakfast was delicious and we certainly didn't leave hungry. :)
On arrival we were made feel very welcome by hosts Margaret, John and their children. We were warmly welcomed with tea and scones and ended up chatting for a couple of hours around the kitchen table. Our hosts advised us where to eat in Cashell and John showed us to our beautiful bedroom at the top of the tower. The room is at the top of a spiraling staircase making you feel like you are stepping back through time. The Carignan's showed us the rest of the rooms along the way - living room and bedrooms and when we reached our bedroom at the top we were blown away by the comfort - big bed, underfloor heating, free standing bath plus all the personal touches - bottle of wine, chocolates, lots of candles, basket of toiletries.
We had a great sleep in a very comfy bed followed by a delicious full Irish brekkie with lots of chat and info about the castle's history and renovation.
This is a real, fully functioning tower so guests need to be limber enough to climb to the top. Our hosts opened their unique home to us, showing us all the nooks and crannies of the original building.
Margaret is warm and welcoming and being local she and my husband (also from Tipperary) knew places/people in common. John is a very interesting man, full of stories and history. No wonder we chatted for hours.
We hope we meet again!
Staying here with Margaret and John is truly one of the best experiences you could have in Ireland! Staying here is an experience in itself. Margaret and John are incredible hosts with a wealth of knowledge. You will not be sorry if you choose to stay here! Breakfast was also exceptionally tasty.
There aren’t enough words I could say to truly describe how awesome this castle is or how wonderful the hosts are. From the attention to detail in making us feel welcome and comfortable in this castle, to the entertaining spirit of the hosts John and Margaret, this is absolutely the best place in the world I have ever stayed. The accommodations are lush, the castle is filled with history (both from its original owners and from its modern-owners’ abilities to rehab it), and we had an absolutely wonderful time.
Many thanks again to John and Margaret, we can’t wait to see both of you and your castle again!
There are really no words to describe our experience at John and Margaret's castle. We were immediately greeted by the family with tea, scones and wonderful conversation. When we finished, John took us on a tour of their incredible castle and filled us in on all of it's history. The room that you stay in is on the 5th floor of the tower and has the most incredible view. They have the room stocked with everything you could ever need from snacks and wine to anything you would need for a bath. It is definitely a 5 star experience and if we could give more stars we would. The next morning Margaret made us the most delicious full Irish breakfast and we chatted with the family for hours. We even got to meet some of their friends and family who stopped by. They made us feel like a part of their family. If you get the opportunity to stay with John and Margaret, take it. I promise you that you won't regret it. Our stay was absolutely magical and it was the highlight of our 45 day trip through Europe!
The accommodation is amazing and shows the hard work, effort and love that has been put into it. The hosts were fantastic, great welcome and thorough guided tour and explanation. The full irish breakfast was a real treat too. Great conversation, great room in a unique B&B.
Everything was exactly as described if not better! Anthony was so helpful, we got lost and were 2 hours late. He gave me a call and stayed one the phone until we made it to the castle where he waiting with a flashlight to wave us in. He made great suggestions on where to grab a late dinner and made us feel right at home.
The castle itself is remarkable, I wish we could have stayed longer.
His wife Margaret made us the best traditional breakfast we had had in Ireland and spent all morning visiting with us. They really do a wonderful job of making you feel at home. I hope we get the chance to come back again.
Hi,we are John and Margaret and we are delighted to be listing our unique home. I am originally from the US. I am a pilot, stonemason and historian.Margaret from the locality and grew up playing in the ruins of Ballytarsna-Hackett Castle, never thinking anyone would ever live in it, least of all her!! It's a very warm and romantic place to live and a great family home. It's a work in progress and we are very proud of the stage it is at now. We both enjoy meeting new people and we very much look forward to greeting you with tea and home made scones!
We look forward to welcoming you to Ballytarsna-Hackett Castle, our home.