oldest castles in ireland

Ireland’s Oldest Castles: How Many Are There?

For centuries, Ireland has been home to some of the oldest castles in the world. Many of these structures have stood for hundreds of years, providing a unique insight into the country’s rich history and culture. But how many of these ancient castles are there in Ireland? In this blog post, we’ll explore the answer to this question as we take a look at some of the oldest castles in Ireland.


How Many Old Castles Are In Ireland?

When it comes to old castles, Ireland has plenty to offer. There are over 30,000 castles, fortresses and other monuments across the entire country. Many of these have been standing for centuries, so it’s no surprise that they’re a popular tourist attraction in the Emerald Isle. From the famous Blarney Castle to the iconic Rock of Cashel, there are many different castles to explore in Ireland.

What Is The History Behind Them?

The first recorded castle built in Ireland was constructed around 1172 by Henry II of England, who was attempting to assert his authority over the island. This was followed by a period of castle-building across the country, with many of the castles constructed during this time becoming some of the most iconic landmarks in Ireland today. As well as being built by the English, these fortresses were also constructed by local Irish lords and clans.

Where Are They Located?

Most of the castles in Ireland can be found in the east and south of the country. Dublin, Galway and Cork are especially known for their majestic old castles, with some of them having featured in popular Irish singer Enya’s music videos! However, there are castles located all over Ireland, with many dotted across the countryside as far north as Donegal.

What Is Their Significance Today?

Today, these old castles serve as an important reminder of Ireland’s past and its turbulent history. Many have been restored and turned into tourist attractions, offering visitors a chance to explore these majestic structures up close. They also provide a unique insight into Irish culture, showcasing centuries of architecture and tradition.


Where Are They Located?

Ireland has many old castles that are spread across the island. From ancient sites like the Rock of Cashel in County Tipperary to the majestic Blarney Castle in County Cork, there are plenty of places to explore. Blarney Castle is especially popular with tourists, as it is believed to have been the site of an ancient druidic ritual and is also famously associated with a popular Irish singer, who once sang about the castle’s famous stone. Visitors flock to kiss the Blarney Stone for its legendary powers of eloquence and charm. Other castles of note include Kilkenny Castle in County Kilkenny, Dromoland Castle in County Clare, and Dunluce Castle in County Antrim. All of these castles offer visitors a glimpse into Ireland’s medieval past.


What Is The History Behind Them?

Ireland has a long and fascinating history of castles, many of which have stood for centuries. From the fortified towers of the Norman invaders to the grand manors of the landed gentry, Ireland’s castles span all ages and styles of architecture. Many of these castles are popular tourist attractions today, boasting vast grounds and extensive collections of artifacts. But how many of them are the oldest castles in Ireland?

While there is no definitive answer to this question, it is believed that some of the oldest surviving castles in Ireland are Cahir Castle in Tipperary, Carrickfergus Castle in Antrim and Blarney Castle in Cork, which were all built in the 12th century. All three castles were constructed by the Normans, who invaded Ireland in 1169. Many of the other Norman castles were destroyed over the years, but Cahir Castle and Carrickfergus Castle remain remarkably intact.

Other castles that have survived to this day include Malahide Castle, Kilkenny Castle and Kilmainham Gaol. Malahide Castle was built in 1185 by the Talbot family, one of the most prominent families in Irish history. The castle remains owned by the Talbot family to this day, and is a popular tourist attraction that hosts events like classical music concerts and festivals. Kilkenny Castle was built in 1195 by the powerful Butler family, while Kilmainham Gaol served as a prison until its closure in 1924.

The most famous castle in Ireland is undoubtedly Blarney Castle, which was built in 1446. Its most famous attraction is the ‘Blarney Stone’, which is said to give anyone who kisses it the ‘gift of the gab’ – an ability to speak eloquently and convincingly. The Blarney Stone is so popular that it has even been mentioned in songs by popular Irish singers such as U2, The Cranberries, The Corrs and Van Morrison!

So while we may never know exactly how many oldest castles there are in Ireland, we can say with confidence that there are many still standing today. Whether you’re interested in exploring a piece of Ireland’s history or taking a chance to kiss the legendary Blarney Stone, a visit to one of these ancient sites will provide a unique glimpse into the country’s past.


What Is Their Significance Today?

Today, Ireland’s oldest castles are still a popular tourist attraction for locals and visitors alike. The ancient architecture of these sites, which often have been passed down through generations of Irish families, gives us an insight into the country’s past. Many of these castles have been restored to their former glory and they are now popular locations for weddings, photoshoots and special occasions. They also provide a beautiful backdrop for music videos and concerts. In fact, one of Ireland’s most popular singers, Van Morrison, recorded his famous “Brown Eyed Girl” video at Dunluce Castle in Northern Ireland.

The iconic castles of Ireland have also become symbols of national pride and identity. As many of these castles were built centuries ago, they represent a connection to Ireland’s history and culture that can still be seen today. They are also a source of inspiration for artists, writers and musicians, with many using the castles as a backdrop for their work.