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
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.
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
We had a fantastic experience staying at John and Margaret's castle. They were very welcoming upon our arrival, and John gave us a wonderful tour of the renovated castle. It is amazing how much work try have put into restoring this piece of history. The bedroom we stayed in was at the very top, and provided beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. The stay was very comfortable. John and Margaret also gave us the full Irish breakfast experience the following morning, which was wonderful.
We've never stayed in a place like this and it was a wonderful experience. The claw foot tub was lovely and the furniture suited the castle perfectly. Be warned that the steps leading up to it are no joke -- but the effort was worth the reward. It's very remote, so make sure your GPS is up to date and study the map before heading there.
Was expecting good things having read so many positive reviews but all our expectations were surpassed. The castle restoration is really impressive and the guest/master bedroom where you will stay on the top floor is incredible! Great hosts! Thanks John and Margaret
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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