Immerse yourself in the history of the Irish from the stone-age people who came here 10,000 years ago, the first farmers, the bronze and iron ages, the arrival of St Patrick and Christianity, the invasion by the Vikings and Normans. Handle items from all these periods and coins from the time the castle was built in the late 1,400’s.
This 15th century castle has been lovingly restored and mixes the ancient with modern comforts.
You will have the exclusive use of the castle during your stay.
The castle is normally rented in its entirety and caters for up to seven guests.
However, a couple can be accommodated by separate negotiation (a double room plus use of communal areas).
Guests who book for two or more nights are offered my services as a guide to historic sites during the middle day of their stay.
All guests are welcomed with a detailed tour of the entire castle. This includes a summary of Irish history and explains why castles like Grantstown were built. I then take my guests on a tour of the building floor by floor to ensure that they can maximise the facilities during their stay.
The tour ends at the level of the battlements when guests can enjoy the full 360 degree panorama that this unique view of the Golden Vale gives. As they gaze down on the deep green fields below they frequently say that this truly is the Emerald Isle that they were expecting to see.
The 500 year old castle has been meticulously restored. Each floor is unique and architecturally fascinating.
Grantstown castle was built during the first part of the 'Tudor' period. I suspect the building date could be as early as 1480 but it was certainly in existence during the reign 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.
I have left a printed comprehensive history of the castle in a folder which is on the coffee table in the Great Hall. I have also loaded a copy onto a laptop which is also available to guests in the Great Hall. It contains a huge number of photos showing Grantstown as a ruin and then through all the various stages of restoration.
The castle is comprised of six floors, connected via a stone and oak spiral staircase.
The ground floor is divided into three areas: a modern fitted kitchen, a dining room and bathroom with toilet, wash hand basin and electric shower.
The first floor comprises of a double bedroom which is spacious, comfortable and with a combination of period and bespoke furniture.
The second floor is the vaulted bedroom with the same combination of furnishings as the bedroom below. There is also an ensuite bathroom with a toilet and wash hand basin.
The Great Hall is on the third floor. This was the original living area of the castle. The room contains three bespoke sofas and other soft seating. There is a banqueting table, which can seat up to 12 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 a bathroom on the fifth floor with toilet, wash hand basin and bath.
There is a single bedroom on the sixth floor.
The castle has great battlements which are accessible at the top of the staircase.
They are on two levels, the higher level is accessed by narrow stone steps which 'hang' from the wall of the castle.
The views from the top of the castle are extensive and include the Galtee mountains to the south, (the Galtees are Ireland's highest inland mountain range, taking the form of a high ridge which rises up almost sheer from the surrounding plain. The highest peak is Galtymore, which rises to 917 m (3,009 ft). The Silvermine mountains to the north, (the highest peak of the range is Slieve Ciamalta or Keeper Hill. A partial view of the Knockmealdown mountains beyond the Galtees. Slievenamon mountain visible to the south east is a striking conical mass, (it stands at 721 m (2,365 ft).
The Devil's Bit mountain is seen on a clear day to the north east.
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.
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 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 was 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 other 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.
Every effort has been made to make the castle as comfortable as possible for guests. Fine linen will be found in all the beds and large luxury towels and bath-robes are provided in each of the bedrooms.
Will the castle be free of spiders and their webs? Lets face it, a lot of generation of spiders have occupied the building over the past 500 years. Thankfully the spiders largely remain out of sight but the constant fight to rid the place of all the webs goes on.
I try desperately hard to ensure the castle is as clean as possible but some of the mortar ends up as bits of grit on the stairs despite my best efforts on a daily basis.
The castle is six storeys high (22 metres), so it is 72 steps to the top via the spiral staircase. Guests will be able to access all the floors in the castle listed above. Access to the battlements will be in the presence of the host only.
We advise guests, particularly those who are in the attic bedroom, to have a light night-bag which with to bring their belongings up and down the stairs. Large suitcases would be tiresome to haul up the staircase, although this is possible for the first and second floor bedrooms.
Whilst every effort has been made to make the castle safe, please be aware some doorways are rather low, and the staircase itself is not accessible for the less-abled. Your host will repeatable remind guests to 'mind their head' when there is a low doorway. Please take care, we want everyone to have the most enjoyable experience when they visit. There are two prisons (oubliettes) within the walls of the castle, access to one of these is covered with reinforced glass which allows the room to be viewed.
The original entrance to the other prison is covered with a stout timber hatch. However, there is now easy access to this particular room via a new doorway broken through the stone wall about ten years ago. Prior to this, the access to this oubliette was down a deep shaft.
Guests are allowed to use the kitchen which has an electric cooker, a Combi microwave, fridge/freezer, food processor, kettle, toaster and dishwasher. Tea, coffee, bread, butter, jam/honey are provided and I like to supply some eggs and cereal for breakfast. I also supply some olive oil and a range of dried herbs, salt and pepper.
Once I have done the tour of the castle and explained how to use the various facilities I tend to allow guests to simply get on with enjoying the place.
My goal is to make you feel welcomed, comfortable and well informed.
County Tipperary has a lot to offer its visitors. There are mountains to climb, an excellent golf course at Dundrum House Hotel which is just four miles away.
The Rock of Cashel is one of Ireland's most important historic site's and is six miles distant.
The town of Cashel is very historic and worth visiting.
Altogether I can accommodate up to seven people as there are three beautiful and characterful double bedrooms and then a small single room.
Grantstown Castle is in the middle of one of the two arms of the Golden Vale. The farmland in the area is amongst the best in Ireland and is largely used for dairying in this area but is more mixed wider afield.
Six mountain ranges can be seen from the battlements on most days. The largest of these are the Galtee mountains . Further south and 'behind' te Galtees are the Knockmealdowns, The Comeragh mountains to the South East, Slievenamon to the East, the Devil's Bit to the North East and the tips of the Silvermines due north.
Kilfeacle, Tipperary, 愛爾蘭