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
We are unable to put into words the quality of hospitality provided by John and Margaret (and not forgetting Gracie) during our stay in their magnificent home. And a home it is ... from first stepping out of our car, we were made to feel welcome and also as though we were part of the family. The castle is simply indescribable in mere words, and their obvious love for it was immeasurable. The floor provided to guests was magnificent and we were also given free range of the rest of the floors pretty much. We believe that many guests just get settled and then leave to do other things before returning to sleep. However we greatly enjoyed the company of our hosts, the coziness of the beautiful kitchen and long talks about all kinds of things. This was a fabulous experience for us both and we feel we have made friends for life. Thank you John and Margaret, for everything. As you know, we did not want to leave and will miss you all very much.T
This is such an incredible place. We walked into the tower and found Margaret awaiting us with freshly baked scones and tea or coffee. It was a lovely Irish welcome. John arrived home soon after and the two of them regaled us with their stories and history of the castle. The amount of dedication and pure sweat put into this historic place leaves you in awe of them and their vision. There are no words to describe the magnificence of the current tower and the plans for going forward. Our room was spectacular and the views out the windows were breathless. John showed us each floor and the final pinnacle was our evening stay in the top room. In the morning after a full Irish breakfast we climbed to the top of the (email hidden)mething one can only dream of. It was an experience of a lifetime.
Well. Here is another 5 star review for John and Margaret's castle -which they very richly deserve. We were very warmly welcomed with tea and scones by Margaret while John was finishing up for the day on his latest project - an entry gate. When John finished he gave us the full tour floor by floor of his incredible tower castle. John's knowledge and sharing of the history of the castle and its times was nothing less than amazing - and so fascinating. Then there was the history of how he rebuilt the tower from a ruin. Incredible! Ask to see the pictures of how it looked when he started working on it.
I was a little under the weather when my husband and I arrived that afternoon. By the time we had climbed around the battlements in the wind I had the chills and couldn't stop shaking.
John got a wonderfully warm fire going in the Great Hall and after a while under blankets, with the help of some Jameson's, I stopped shaking. John has under floor heating throughout the bedroom as well as a lovely, huge, bathtub right in the room so the bedroom was very cozy and the bed was very comfortable - a four poster complete with canopy.
Breakfast was delicious and John sent me off with cough syrup and a decongestant. They could not have been warmer, or more caring hosts.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity! Whatever you do, don't miss it!!! I'm so glad we stayed there. It made our trip extra special.
Thank you so much John and Margaret.
We had a wonderful stay at John and Margaret's castle (yes, castle!), which John has lovingly rebuilt over many years. It's located in a beautiful area near Cashel, so it was a great place to explore Tipperary and the nearby sites. We immediately felt very welcomed by both John and Margaret, and we were graciously provided with some tasty scones and tea when we arrived so we could chat with the family in the kitchen. Both John and Margaret are very welcoming, and we felt very much at-home and comfortable the entire time. John is an amazing source of information and enthusiasm about the castle and the whole area and history, and we were fascinated by his stories. The tour he gave us of the castle was very impressive, including the amazing views from the top! Our room on the top floor was decorated very beautifully, with a medieval atmosphere and elegant 4-post bed, free-standing tub, and cozy sitting area. Breakfast was an excellent, traditional Irish breakfast, and we were very happy to linger and chat and hear more stories. We were definitely wishing our stay was longer than one night so we could enjoy their place longer - it was definitely one of the highlights of our trip! We would definitely recommend this beautiful castle and great hosts to any other travellers. Thank you John and Margaret for a truly memorable stay!
Within a few minutes drive of the Rock of Cashel, Ballystarna Castle was a convenient, unique and romantic experience. John and Margaret were so welcoming and kind. John gave us a tour of the castle along with a brief history, and even made me green tea in the morning when I didn't feel well. Margaret made us a lovely dinner and breakfast, despite still recovering from a recent car accident. The room was AMAZING. We felt like a lord and a lady living in our castle. A candlelit bath and four poster bed made us feel even more regal. A must-do experience for anyone visiting in the area. You won't regret it!
John was very welcoming when you arrive with tea, coffee snd scones. John gives you great detail on the history of the castle and the area. The castle is very comfortable as they add little extra's to make your stay more comfortable. We only met Margaret briefly but was a lovely lady. Recommended
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.
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