Kilfeacle, Co. Tipperary
Grantstown Castle is a 15th-century castle for self-catering holidays, set at the heart of the Golden Vale, County Tipperary, just two hours' south-west of Dublin.
The 500-year-old castle has been meticulously restored over two decades. The previous owners began the mammoth task in 2000, with the current owner, Cecil Farrar, acquiring Grantstown in late 2014 and spending the next 12 months finishing the job, before becoming the first person to sleep in a proper bed in Grantstown Castle for over 350 years.
Grantstown Castle can sleep up to seven overnight guests in its four bedrooms, each of which is individual in styling and aspect.
Grantstown Castle is comprised of six floors, each connected via a stone and oak spiral staircase (72 steps in total).
The ground floor is divided into three areas; a modern fitted kitchen, a dining room and bathroom with toilet, wash basin and electric shower.
The first floor comprises a double bedroom, which is spacious and comfortable and has a combination of period and bespoke furniture.
The second floor is the vaulted bedroom with the same combination of furnishings as the first-floor bedroom. There is also an en-suite bathroom with a toilet and wash basin.
The Great Hall is on the third floor. This was the original living area of the castle. The room contains three sofas and other soft seating. There is a banqueting table, which can seat up to twelve guests. The 'Library' section contains a varied selection of books from Irish, English, American and Canadian authors, some DVD's, CD's and games.
The fifth floor is the ‘Minstrel Gallery’, which surrounds the upper space of the Great Hall and gives access to the attic room within the roof of the castle.
There is also a bathroom on the fifth floor with toilet, wash basin and bath.
There is both a double and single bedroom on the sixth floor.
Grantstown castle was first built during the Tudor period. Cecil, the current owner, believes the building could be dated as early as 1480, but it was certainly in existence during the reign of Henry VII, father of Henry VIII. The first documented evidence is found in the much-cited "Ormond Deeds" of 1549, when the castle was owned by the very prominent 'de Burgos' family.
An enormous effort was made to restore the castle as it would have appeared at the time of its construction. The battlements, in particular, have been heavily restored using beautiful hand-worked Irish limestone. All the original corbels were utilised to support wooden beams; although not original, some of these beams are as many as 200 years old. Most of the window stonework is original, only two windows have required a complete ‘re-build’. All the doors are American oak, as are the double beds (constructed within the rooms they occupy as it is not possible to get very large pieces of furniture up the spiral stairs!), and the table in the Great Hall.
A great deal of the furniture is 17th-century English (rather more easily available than Irish furniture of that period), in order to give a period effect to the rooms, where possible. The walls are adorned with oil paintings and tapestries. The oldest painting is from 1570 and the newest is from the Art Deco period. The sofas in the Great Hall were specially commissioned and arrived in individual parts which were then assembled within the room.
County Tipperary has a lot to offer its visitors. There are mountains to climb, delightful walks, horse trekking and excellent golf courses throughout. It is a large county that has rivers, mountains and lakes so has a wide variety of activities to meet most needs.
The town of Cashel is very historic and well worth a visit. Just 10 kilometres from Grantstown is the home to one of Ireland's most important historic sites, The Rock of Cashel. Chez Hans is a high-end restaurant with a long history of providing excellent food. Pre-booking is essential!
The Cellar Bar/Bailey’s Hotel on the high street is an excellent all-around choice. Alternatively, you could purchase food in one of the local supermarkets and make use of the castle's kitchen. Cecil is more than happy to recommend a local caterer who can bring freshly prepared food to the castle.
For guests who wish to explore Ireland's ancient past, a visit to Lough Gur Neolithic Heritage Centre, 43 kilometres away, is well worth a visit. Follow this up with a visit to the Hunt Museum in Limerick to complete an unforgettable day.
Cahir Castle is one of Ireland's best restored ancient castles. It is a mere 22 kilometres away. Another interesting place nearby is Swiss Cottage, a ‘cottage-orne’, an afternoon playground for the former owners of the castle.
|Exclusive Use||1 night||3 night||7 night|
|Base Price (up to four guests)||€550||€1,485||€2,970|
The rates detailed above are for exclusive hire of Grantstown Castle on a self-catered basis for four guests for 2020 stays. Each additional guest is €50 per night. Maximum of seven guests.
Set at the heart of the Golden Vale, in County Tipperary, just two hours south-west of Dublin, Grantstown Castle sits on the most fertile land in all of Ireland.
The views from the battlements at the top of the castle are phenomenal, with the Galtees, Ireland's highest mountain range, to the south and the Silvermine mountains to the north. The Rock of Cashel to the east is visible to the naked eye but it is not always easy to recognise without some assistance; small binoculars are provided.
Easy access to a variety of cities in this region makes Grantstown a popular choice with guests touring around Ireland, often their first stop before heading west.
Shannon Airport, 77 kilometres
Waterford Airport, 91 kilometres
Cork Airport, 106 kilometres
Dublin Airport, 188 kilometres