Lismore Castle has been the Irish home of the Dukes of Devonshire since 1753 and is possibly the most spectacular castle in Ireland.
Lismore Castle has been the Irish home of the Dukes of Devonshire since 1753 and is possibly the most spectacular castle in Ireland. Situated in a panoramic position overlooking the Blackwater Valley it has views over rolling, wooded hills to the Knockmealdown Mountains beyond. Whilst being totally private, the Castle is on the outskirts of the Heritage Town of Lismore and a mere 200 yard walk to all its amenities.
Henry II visited Lismore in 1171 and chose a site for a castle. Raymond le Gros and his Anglo-Normans ransacked the town two years later and Henry’s castle site was built upon by Prince John in 1185. These events marked a decline in influence for monastic Lismore. In 1363, the diocese was united with that of Waterford, although it retained its cathedral until the Reformation.
The castle passed to Sir Walter Raleigh in 1589 and Raleigh sold it to Richard Boyle, Earl of Cork, in 1602. He immediately set about fashioning the countryside round Lismore in the English way, with stocked deer parks, fruits orchards, fish ponds and other features of the English Lordly manor estate. In 1753, the castle passed to the 4th Duke of Devonshire on his marriage to Lady Charlotte and the present castle is still owned by the Devonshires.
Lismore Castle today is very much a family home. Although NOT opened to the public, the Lismore Castle Gardens can be visited.