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
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.
Margaret and John were wonderful hosts who welcomed us into their beautiful home. The castle is even more beautiful in real life and we consider ourselves very privileged to have been able to stay in it and learn about the history. Our room was presented beautifully, very clean and exactly as shown in the pictures. From the scones and tea on arrival, to the treats left in the room and the delicious traditional Irish breakfast in the morning, we were looked after during our entire stay. Our only regret, is that we didn't stay longer than one night! Thank-you again Margaret and John, you were wonderful hosts who went above and beyond and we will be forever grateful!
It was such an amazing experience staying with John and Margaret! They made us feel so welcome and the castle is stunning. The room was very comfortable abd the breakfast in the morning was great! We will definitely stay here again if we are in Ireland.
John and Margaret were incredible. We loved the stories about the wonderful castle and learned so much. Every castle we went in afterwards we knew what some of the unique features were because of what John taught us. My kids talked about the breakfast the entire meal. John your eggs were incredible and Margaret the rest of the meal was awesome! Favorite place EVER!
Extremely cozy, historic and fascinating. Our hosts were very warm and contributed immensely to an all around one-of-a-kind experience. The food was excellent, the stories and tour of the castle and grounds fulfilled all of our greatest expectations. This is why we travel.
We loved our 2 nights at the top of the castle. It's not just a bed for the night, it's an experience in itself. What a special place. John and Margaret are very friendly and personable and are willing to share their amazing castle story and their delicious breakfasts. And be sure to believe them, have a small bag ready to bring your things to your room. We loved the heated floors, even in the summer.
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.