About this listing
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
What a wonderful experience. Margaret was simply wonderful. You could not have asked for a more hospitable hostess. She went above and beyond what we'd expected, greeting us with tea and scones, offering to take us into town, and giving us a history of the Tower House and renovations. We felt like part of the family. The accommodations were stunning and it was quite a thrill to stay there.
I'd certainly recommend this to anyone (and already have). Frankly, this experience is reason enough to visit Ireland!
We had a breathtaking, amazing time with John and Margaret. They we so kind to us, especially giving us tea and scones when we came in late at night. We loved chatting with them over the delicious breakfasts Margaret cooked and learning about John's stories about building his castle. Our room and the castle was exactly what you'd expect...a fairy tale. Staying here was the highlight of our trip to Ireland!
Words cannot adequately describe this experience! Every part of it was perfect - the tour, the wonderful history, the scones upon arrival, the comfortable, cozy, clean room, the extraordinarily kindness of John when we were wary of more driving, the amazing breakfast, and - best of all - the time we got to spend talking with John and Margaret, made this night the absolute highlight of our 2-week trip. Just wish we had booked it for longer. Don't miss the chance to stay here - I know we'll be back!
We stayed with John and Margaret on one of our last nights in Ireland and it made our trip complete! They were the nicest hosts, giving us tea and scones as we arrived, were so sweet with our baby and informative about the castle itself (both the history and the work it takes to maintain it). They both showed us a great time and the room itself is luxurious. Great breakfast in the morning as well. I wouldn't come back to Ireland without another visit to their castle!
Myself and my 5 year old daughter visited and were made so welcome by Margret, John and lovely Grace that we were sad to leave and struck by their generosity and friendliness. The Castle is impressive and is an incredible accomplishment really, it's hard now to imagine it a ruin and I was struck by how homely it was despite it's medieval design, but that's as much the hosts as it was the castle. A tranquil location and a lovely way to experience some Irish hospitality in a truly unique property that let's you get a glimpse of history first hand.
Our family had a wonderful stay at John & Margret's castle. They were warm & welcoming. John gave us a fantastic tour of the castle. The room was absolutely splendid. The pictures online do not do it justice. We were offered tea & scones when we arrived and a delicious Irish breakfast the next morning. John & Margret are quite lovely & it was a joy getting to know them.
I've stayed at several AirBnB castles during my trip to Ireland, and this is the best!
If you're going to treat yourself, stay with John and Margaret and have an amazing historical experience.
About the Host, John
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.