Once the stronghold of the powerful Butler family, Cahir Castle is one of Ireland’s largest and best preserved castles. Located on a rocky island on the River Suir in the centre of Cahir town.
An imposing 13th-15th Century structure, Cahir Castle was skilfully designed by Conor O’Brien to be a state-of-the-art defensive castle. Appearing to grow from the actual rock on which it stands, the castle has been the scene of sieges and bombardments for centuries.
The powerful Anglo-Norman family, the Butlers, came into the possession of the castle in 1375. The castle was captured three times in its history: it fell to Devereux, Earl of Essex, in 1599 after it had been battered for three days with artillery; it surrendered without a fight to Inchiquin in 1647; and again to Cromwell in 1650.
Over the centuries the Butlers considerably rebuilt and extended their stronghold. However, by 1599, the castle had reached its present appearance, with the only subsequent alterations taking place in the 1840s.
In 1961, the last Lord Cahir died and the castle reverted to the State. The castle retains its impressive keep, tower and much of its original defensive structure. Today, the castle also features an excellent audio-visual show which informs visitors about its eventful history.