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
My wife has always wanted to stay in a castle, so this was a real dream-come-true. It was a different experience than either of us has ever had, & one that we both very much enjoyed. The tower house is super interesting, our room on the top floor was breathtaking, & John & Margaret made our stay unforgettable. Margaret's warm nature makes you want to stay in & chat all day with a hot chocolate, & John's historical & building knowledge make you want to stay up all night hearing stories.
This B&B was one of our highlights of our trip to Ireland. It has made a lasting impression on us. Margaret was very, very welcoming. She made us feel like family. When we arrived, she spent time with us explaining the journey they had in restoring the castle from a ruin to a home and B&B. Their Castle / tower / home is amazing. The B&B room was well decorated and had much more charm and uniqueness than expected. We are so glad we booked this B&B.
How do I write a better review than the one last year? John, Margaret, and their beautiful daughter are the best hosts you could ever ask for. As 2nd time returning guests I can say we are not only good friends but more like family. I always wanted family in Ireland :-)
The Castle just keeps getting better and making more improvements all the time. John is an amazing mason worker, and Margaret is an amazing authentic Irish cook. (As well as a cook of other goods) we love the filters and location dearly. And will definitely keep in touch for years to come.
John and his family made us feel very welcome. John was great at texting us back when asking for specific directions on how to get to the tower house. The directions were easy to follow and we arrived with no problems. They offered coffee, tea and scones when we arrived.
The location is much more beautiful then the pictures. John has put a lot of hard work and love into this home. The room was exquisite and we truly enjoyed our stay. Although we were late for breakfast it was fantastic and we appreciate all the hard work. We feel like we had a true Irish experience. Would highly recommend staying at the Tower House.
We loved it here. Our hosts were lovely. John was very knowledgeable about his castle and castles in general. We very much enjoyed talking with him and his wife. The room itself was gorgeous. We wished we had stayed longer.
Our first AirBNB experience, and this might have spoiled all others to follow. A wonderful experience all-around; from the location near the Rock of Cashel, the uniqueness of a 15th century tower, and wonderful hosts. We were met by Margaret with hot tea and warm scones, and then had a tour of the restoration. The top floor is a bit of a climb, but so well appointed you'll feel like gentry. We stayed two comfortable nights, having dinner at the local pub, the Horse and Jockey. The location gave us a base to explore not only Cashel, but a number of sites within an 30 minute drive or less. Margaret gave us a few options for a full or lighter breakfast, then we'd drive off to see the sites. My wife said this was the best coffee she'd had in Ireland. John gave us a tour and history of the property and Margaret some of the Irish do's and don'ts. I'd not only recommend this property to other AirBNB guests, I'm sure to try and find a way to get family and friends a night or two here! the property really is a labor of love and it shows. Thanks again Margaret and John.
John & Margaret were very welcoming and I so enjoyed my two days there. Their home is one of the most incredible places I've ever been. The work and detail that have gone into this amazing place tells volumes about their love and dedication to this wonderful historical place. You will love the history lesson and taking a trip back in time.
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.