Lismore Castle

Lismore Castle lies in the town of the same name on the south bank of the River (Munster) Blackwater, in County Waterford in Ireland.

The site of Lismore Castle was first occupied by an abbey which dated back to the 7th century. In 1175 this abbey was visited by Henry II of England. His son, who would become King John of England, built Lismore Castle in its place in 1185 to guard a crossing through the River Blackwater. It was destroyed soon after. After it was rebuilt it became the episcopal residence of the local bishop.

Being a possession of the Earls of Desmond it was damaged during the Desmond Rebellion of 1579. After the rebellion it was granted to Sir Walter Raleigh. By 1600 Lismore Castle was described as being 'broken and ruined'. After Raleigh had been locked up in the Tower of London for high treason he sold it to Sir Richard Boyle, Earl of Cork, who entirely rebuil it in 1621. Richard's son; Robert Boyle, the famous scientist, was born in the castle in 1627.

In 1643 Lismore Castle withstood an 8-day siege by Confederate Catholics. In 1645 they returned, led by Lord Castlehaven, and managed to take the castle after which it was ransacked. By 1650 it was still described as ruinous. In the 1660's the 2nd Earl of Cork rebuilt it but never made it his home.

Through marriage the castle went to the Cavendish family, who were Dukes of Devonshire, in 1753. The succesive dukes all carried out improvements to it. The 6th Duke of Devonshire; William George Spencer Cavendish, completely rebuilt Lismore castle as a 'quasi-feudal ultra-regal fortress' in Gothic style from 1811 on. It is the result of his rebuilding that we see today.

In 1932 the 9th Duke married Adele Astaire, the sister and dancing partner of Fred Astaire. She lived at Lismore until her death in 1981. At present the castle is still owned by the Dukes of Devonshire.

Lismore Castle is still a private residence so not accessible although it can be rented for weekstays by groups (for a hefty fee, I imagine). For a small fee you can however access the beautiful gardens and a small art gallery in some annex to the main castle. A great castle.


Gallery

Lismore Castle

Lismore Castle lies in the town of the same name on the south bank of the River (Munster) Blackwater, in County Waterford in Ireland.

The site of Lismore Castle was first occupied by an abbey which dated back to the 7th century. In 1175 this abbey was visited by Henry II of England. His son, who would become King John of England, built Lismore Castle in its place in 1185 to guard a crossing through the River Blackwater. It was destroyed soon after. After it was rebuilt it became the episcopal residence of the local bishop.

Being a possession of the Earls of Desmond it was damaged during the Desmond Rebellion of 1579. After the rebellion it was granted to Sir Walter Raleigh. By 1600 Lismore Castle was described as being 'broken and ruined'. After Raleigh had been locked up in the Tower of London for high treason he sold it to Sir Richard Boyle, Earl of Cork, who entirely rebuil it in 1621. Richard's son; Robert Boyle, the famous scientist, was born in the castle in 1627.

In 1643 Lismore Castle withstood an 8-day siege by Confederate Catholics. In 1645 they returned, led by Lord Castlehaven, and managed to take the castle after which it was ransacked. By 1650 it was still described as ruinous. In the 1660's the 2nd Earl of Cork rebuilt it but never made it his home.

Through marriage the castle went to the Cavendish family, who were Dukes of Devonshire, in 1753. The succesive dukes all carried out improvements to it. The 6th Duke of Devonshire; William George Spencer Cavendish, completely rebuilt Lismore castle as a 'quasi-feudal ultra-regal fortress' in Gothic style from 1811 on. It is the result of his rebuilding that we see today.

In 1932 the 9th Duke married Adele Astaire, the sister and dancing partner of Fred Astaire. She lived at Lismore until her death in 1981. At present the castle is still owned by the Dukes of Devonshire.

Lismore Castle is still a private residence so not accessible although it can be rented for weekstays by groups (for a hefty fee, I imagine). For a small fee you can however access the beautiful gardens and a small art gallery in some annex to the main castle. A great castle.


Gallery