Ballyseede Castle, Tralee Ireland, is an impressive building and has a history dating back to the 1590’s. Wonderfully transformed into a hotel in 1965, Ballyseede Castle offers 23 ensure-bedrooms. Three function rooms and beautiful reception rooms and an enchanting formal garden.
Kerry Castles & Forts
Ballyheigue Castle near Tralee, Co Kerry, now host to the Ballyheigue Golf Club. The Crosbie family, who owned the land since Elizabeth I awarded it to them in the 16th century, built the castle in 1812. A good portion of the castle was burned down by the IRA during the War of Independence, which spanned from 1918 to '21. The remains of it are said to be haunted. A paranormal experience was reported in the 1960s on the anniversary of the Danish Silver Raid that took place on these grounds in 1731.
Carrigafoyle Castle - built by Conor Liath O'Connor-Kerry in the 1490s, and considered one of the strongest of Irish fortresses - was a large tower house, of the type particularly common across the north of the province of Munster. It stood on a rock in a small bay off the Shannon estuary. The castle was referred to as the guardian of the Shannon, because of its strategic command of the shipping lanes that supplied the trading city of Limerick, some 20 miles (32 km) upriver. The bay at Carrigafoyle was shielded from the estuary on the northern side by a wooded island.
Dunbeg Fort, Co Kerry, built in the Iron Age, Dunbeg Fort is an impressive and elabourate example of a promontory fort. Its location makes it one of the most dramatic archaeological sites on the Dingle Peninsula. It is built on a sheer cliff which projects South into Dingle Bay, at the base of Mount Eagle on the Slea Head Road. The Visitor Centre above the Stone House Restaurant features a 10 minute audio-visual presentation on the history of Dun Beg Fort.
The Gallarus Oratory was built and used by local farmers of the area at an early date, estimates of which generally range from the 6th century to the 9th century. But some scholars date it to the 12th century, based on the shape of the east window. The Gallarus Vistor Centre brochure gives a date of c.700 AD; Lonely Planet Ireland opts for c.800 AD. Like most of Ireland, the area suffered from attacks by successive invaders. Vikings and Anglo-Normans burned, pillaged and destroyed the settlements around Gallarus and the oratory was abandoned.
Listowel Castle was built in the 15th century and was the last fortress of the Geraldines to be subdued. It fell after 28 days siege to Sir Charles Wilmot on the 5th November, 1600, who had the castle's garrison executed in the following days. One of the best examples of Anglo-Norman architecture in Kerry, the castle has now been restored to some of its former glory. The castle is open to the public for tours on a daily basis.The castle became the property of the Hare family, the holders of the title of Earl of Listowel, after reverting away from the Fitzmaurices, Knights of Kerry.
Minard Castle is said to have been built by the Knight of Kerry, and it is the largest fortress on the peninsula. It is one of the locations used in the film "Ryans Daughter", where Rosy met the English Captain. Heed the warning signs on the castle. The beach beside the castle is a storm beach, and has large sandstone boulders, which were used for ogham stones in the locality, and are of unique geological interest.
Ross Castle located on the edge of Lough Leane, in Killarney National Park, County Kerry, Ireland. Built in the late 1400s by local ruling clan the O'Donoghues this dream-like setting is on the shore of Killarney's Lower Lake. It is possible to go on boat trips on the lake leaving from Ross Castle during the summer.