Killahara Castle – Ireland
Killahara Castle, set among the hills of Tipperary, is a recently restored tower house, offering the best in Celtic castle design and tranquility within its ancient walls. It has a large fully equipped kitchen, a lounge with a huge fireplace and seven bedrooms (five double and two single) plus two additional camp beds for overflow.
Killahara Castle has three bathrooms, tucked away within the old garderobes, provide showers in a unique setting. In addition, the penthouse suite with views across all of Tipperary through its glass end gables, contains a claw footed bath.
The castle, until April 2008, stood as a shell.
It had had no roof, probably since the mid sixteen hundreds when Cromwellian forces ‘slighted’ the building.
It had no floors or windows – absent since 1921, when the building was burnt out by the ‘Black & Tans’. Only one burnt wall plate remained.
The lower level window openings were wider than originally, courtesy of the 1853 restoration attempt. The surrounds of some of the widened opes were crumbling owing to the fact that, as that (1853) restoration had run out of steam, some openings had been hastily patched up with poorly supported brickwork rather than with stone mullions, transoms, and lintels.
At the top, the parapet crenellation and machicolation was absent. Like the roof, these were proabably missing from the early years of the castle. (The Cromwellian ‘slighting’ process, logically, included toppling defensive features of castles.)
All around the wall walk was a very old and most unusual concrete barge. It had been created as part of the 1904 restoration. Trees and ivy were growing on top of the barrel vault and were encroaching on the stonework at the top. The inner parts were continually saturated. The damp and lichen had caused many patches of the lime render to crumble. Birds nested throughout.
HOWEVER: standing on a rock with all of its quoins still in place, the overall structue of this building was exceptionally well preserved. Furthermore, the barge on top had helped stem the decay of the decapitated walls from the top.
The ancient spiral stairs on Killahara Castle, unchanged for hundreds of years, and trodden by the likes of Black Jack Fogarty, take you up through the five floors of Killahara Castle. Killahara Castle, a place of legend and beauty, provides an ideal getaway for family reunions, birthday celebrations with a difference,weekend retreats, hill walkers or honeymooners who want to shut the world out for a few days. Come to Killahara and experience an Ireland lost in the mists of time.