A snowy morning at the tower.Ballytarsna Hackett Castle.

Private room

8 guests

2 bedrooms

5 beds

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Ages 2 - 12
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Under 2
8 guests maximum. Infants don’t count toward the number of guests.
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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.

When restoring this tower, we have maintained its status as a fortress. We also have made a decision to make it warm and comfortable. It is a cozy country home ensconced between between castellated battlements, authentic and usable!

The space

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.

Guest access

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!

IF YOU ARRIVE BEFORE 6PM, you will be greeted with home made scones and tea.

Interaction with guests

We'll be around most of your stay f you need help with anything at all.

Just ask!

Other things to note

Due to the steep 64 stone steps to the top floor our home is not suitable for kids under 8 years..Parents would have to carry younger kids up and down and this is not an easy journey ! Total supervision is required at all times with kids for safety reasons in our unique home.

The space
Bathrooms: 2
Bedrooms: 2
Beds: 5
Check In: 4PM - 8PM
Check Out: 12PM (noon)
Room type: Private room


Extra people: 89 / night after 2 guests
Weekly Discount: 15%
Weekend Price: 280 / night
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Sleeping arrangements
Bedroom 1
1 queen bed, 2 single beds
Bedroom 2
2 double beds

House Rules
No smoking
Not suitable for pets
No parties or events
Check in time is 4PM - 8PM

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. Do not open the windows in the room except for those indicated. The ones with bird wire are fine.
There is NO SMOKING or pets allowed.
This IS NOT a place for loud partying and drinking to excess. If this is what you want, this is not the place for you. This is our home and loud and raucous behaviour will not be tolerated. You will be told to leave.

You must also acknowledge
Must climb stairs - There are 64 stone steps to your room, each one 22cm high on average. You must be fit to make this climb. Don't plan on lugging large or heavy bags up



Cancel up to 5 days before your trip and get a full refund. Cancel within 5 days of your trip and the first night is non-refundable, but 50% of the cost for the remaining nights will be refunded.

Safety features
Smoke detector
Carbon monoxide detector
First aid kit
Fire extinguisher

1 night minimum stay

249 Reviews

Check In
Brendan User Profile
July 2017
Nothing beats a night in a castle while on holidays in Ireland! Far better than even the pictures showed. Highly recommended.

Naomi User Profile
June 2017
One of the things I insisted on doing during my Ireland trip was to stay in a castle, and this place was the perfect match! It felt romantic and luxurious. Margaret was a wonderful host and shared the history of the house. She also made a delicious traditional Irish breakfast. A very memorable experience!

Christina User Profile
June 2017
There are no words. By here are some. Romeo the cat is a total gentleman. He greeted us at the door and tolerated much petting. The stairs are steep indeed but we made it just fine! The history and attention to detail of the tower house is beyond words--it is simultaneously luxurious and historic.

Johnna User Profile
June 2017
You couldn't ask for a better host, location, or castle for your stay! It was truly a unique and amazing experience. The castle is nicely done and they have thought ahead to meet all of your needs. Love, love, loved it!

Vanessa User Profile
June 2017
Staying in Hackett Castle was such a special experience! My husband and I both agree it was the number one highlight of our entire trip to Ireland. We really enjoyed exploring each floor and the details put into restoring the tower. It also helped us to understand the layout of other towers that we visited (Blarney, etc.) and made us feel we participated a bit in Irish history. Margaret and John were wonderful, and we appreciated learning from them.

Daniel User Profile
June 2017
Our family LOVED our visit here. We spent two nights at the castle and it was without a doubt the highlight of our trip to Ireland. Our children loved it so much they didn't want to leave. The pictures don't do it justice. It's even more spectacular in person. When you enter through the castle gates, you arrive at the newly restored castle. Beware as you enter the front door as the murdering hole is directly above your head. If you're lucky enough to make it through that door, the family kitchen is immediately on your left. It's warm and inviting and you will have the most delicious meals of your trip to Ireland in this room. We can't stop talking about the Irish sausages. As you walk up a set of very steep and curvy stairs, you will pass the family's living quarters. (Reminder: this is someone's home. The family is kind enough to share their home with us, so please be respectful). Further up the right-handed staircase (ideal for right-handed sword fighters), you will come to the living room and bathroom and a dining area. It's the perfect place to curl up and read a good book. Continuing on...you will reach the first bedroom. In this very spacious bedroom, you will find two large double beds (queen size?). Our three kids absolutely loved sleeping in this room. It's beautifully decorated and you definitely feel like you are sleeping in a castle. Now for the best part...make your way to the top room of the castle. In this huge living space, you will feel like a king or a queen. The views are spectacular, taking in the Irish countryside all around the castle. There's a regal queen size bed in the room, a library seating area and a bathtub tucked away. Enjoy some wine and chocolates while you sit by the castle window. You have your own private bathroom but beware of the dungeon. I'm pretty sure it's used for any guest who misbehaves. We made sure to let our kids know about that one. If you've been looking to stay in a castle, this is it. You will have all of the modern amenities while also getting a real feel for what it would've been like to live in a castle. It made every other castle visit in Ireland so much more interesting as we truly understood how people lived in a castle. The hosts were amazing. The food was delicious. We felt welcome and we learned so much from this lovely family. You will not regret staying here. This was way above our housing budget for our trip, but we decided to splurge for two nights. We saved money on other accommodations. It was well worth it. Things to consider: -- If you're looking for a party place, this isn't it. This is someone's beautifully restored home and there's a family living in it. It's not ideal for a late night party house. -- Pack a small...

Sonya User Profile
June 2017
We absolutely LOVED our stay in this castle! From the moment we arrived, Margaret was such a warm and welcoming hostess! The highlight of our stay was visiting with her and listening to her wonderful stories of Ireland and the Irish people. Margaret and Grace prepared amazing scones and sweet bread and the Irish breakfast was glorious. The castle was beautiful and such an incredible experience. John and Margaret lovingly restored their castle down to every last detail! They made it so cozy and inviting for their guests! The beds were so comfortable and the views were amazing! We can't thank them enough for the amazing memories we made there! Our stay was the perfect start to our highly anticipated visit to Ireland!

Cashel, IrelandJoined in May 2013
John User ProfileJohn is a superhost.

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. Aqua

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