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
I got to be a tour guide in my own country for once as my best friends from the U.S. visited Ireland for the first time! The most amazing experience by far and away was staying in this magnificent castle - not only for my friends but also for me. John and Margaret - your labor of love has become a spectacle of old and new Ireland that you selflessly allow the rest of us to share. I can't wait to come back!
What an amazing B & B. John and Margaret are fantastic hosts and it was wonderful to be given the opportunity to feel like we'd stepped back in time and experienced a mediaeval moment. From the home cooked scones and a cuppa on arrival to the wine and chocolates waiting for you in your bed chamber it was first class. Thanks Margaret for the lovely Irish breakfast and thanks to Grace for the very tasty eggs. Thanks John for sharing your knowledge of stone setting and castle reconstruction.
Absolutely fantastic!! This castle exceeded our expectations and the hostess went above and beyond. There was tea and scones waiting for us on arrival and the Margaret gave us a lovely tour. You can go all the way up to the battlements and the view is wonderful. The room is luxurious and beautiful - the ceiling is most impressive. You will live like kings, and be very glad you stayed here.
We can't brag on this fabulous family enough! Staying here is a one of a kind experience and you won't regret it. The room is fantastic, the tour of the castle tower magical, and you couldn't ask for more accommodating hosts. We were so spoiled when we left! They aren't joking about the stairs going up to the room though, they are quite steep, so plan accordingly as you don't want to carry a lot!
What to say? Greeted into the snug kitchen on the ground floor, and out of the cold wind, to a plate of fresh scones, jams, and fresh coffee. John and Margaret are able to make you feel as though you have already been friends, and are just returning for another hello. Although he is American, his last 15 years in Ireland have made John just as capable of good craic as his wonderful locally born wife, Margaret. We learned so much about castle lore and construction, that our tour of famous Cashel the next day was almost anticlimactic. John's advice to "just take one step a second, and you'll be there in one minute", was sound advice for navigating the 64 original stone steps to the top floor suite. Take your time, and enjoy the views out the slit windows of the green countryside. The top floor suite was more elegant than the photos could describe, and made it so tempting to ditch our plans to see all the local important old stuff, and just stay put. Next time..
The floors were heated, and the room was draft free and cozy. Plenty of towels, soaps, shampoos, and...because John is originally from America, top sheets along with the duvet!
Huge Irish breakfast each day made to order; good company made it hard to get on the road..but the company is always more important, anyway. Including Grace, their clever daughter (thanks for my last fried egg, Grace).
Thank you for all the good company, and great information--a perfect start to a magical stay in Ireland. We will be back.
John and Margaret were wonderful hosts. They had tea and delicious scones waiting for us upon our arrival and shared with us the history of their amazing home. The castle is beautiful, inside and out. Climbing the stairway was definitely an experience I will never forget! The room is very quiet and cozy, with all of the amenities you could possibly need. The views are spectacular! You are surrounded by the beautiful Irish countryside every window you look out of. The castle is only about 15 minutes away from Cashel which has many restaurants and shops to explore as well as the Rock of Cashel. I would very highly recommend staying with John and Margaret if you are visiting the area! It's an experience you won't forget!!
Upon driving down the road you see the castle in the distance and I was in complete awe. Then you enter and greeted with a smile by John and his lovely wife Margaret who has tea and scones waiting for you. The family is warm and welcoming I could chat with them for hours. John's extensive knowledge of castles and the restoration he has completed is truly amazing. He allowed us to explore every inch of the castle including the dungeon. And the suite was AMAZING from the four poster bed to the claw foot tub, wine, chocolates, even a bountiful basket of toiletries their attention to detail was impeccable. The entire experience was like living out a fairytale. Thank you John and Margaret for an opportunity of a lifetime, and for bringing my dreams to life.
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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