|Location||Kinnitty, County Offaly, Republic of Ireland (Google Map Location)|
|Open for Visitors||Yes|
|Owned by||Private Owners|
|Official Website||Kinnitty Castle Hotel|
|Rooms Available||Yes (Stays, Conferences, weddings, events)|
Kinnitty Castle, located in the beautiful village of Kinnitty, is a castle hotel surrounded by Slieve Bloom Mountains. It was initially built in the 11th century and rebuilt twice after that. Surprisingly, even after being rebuilt, the castle still has its authentic character and oozes charm. You will admire its gothic revival look. If you are visiting Ireland, don’t miss a chance to stay in this 4-Star castle hotel.
Kinnitty Castle History
Kinnitty Castle, also known as Castle Bernard, was first built in the 11th century; however, no one knows its exact building date. The old structure didn’t last long and was destroyed in 1209 by Murtagh O’Brien when Norman took it over. Its High Cross and Abbey Wall still remain. Later, the Normans were replaced by O’Carrolls of Ely. In 1630, William O’Carroll built a new castle near the old Abbey Wall.
In 1641, the castle was confiscated for being a part of the plantation of Offaly. Three years later, the estate and the castle were granted to Col. Thomas Winter for his military service by the crown. His family sold it to Thomas Bernard, who renamed it the house of Castle Bernard. He left the castle to his son Thomas Bernard, MP. You can still see a few original features of the castle.
In 1811, the wife of Thomas Jr., Lady Catherine Hutchinson, decided to extend the castle in Tudor revival style. However, years later, it was burned by the Irish Republican Army. In 1928, it was restored while utilising a Government grant of £32,000. Later, the Bernard family lived in the castle and sold it to Lord Decies in 1946. He sold it further to the state in 1951.
Between 1955 and 1985, the castle hosted a Forestry Training College. In 1994, it was purchased by the Ryan family of Limerick. They converted it into a castle hotel and wedding venue. However, in 2008, it was seized by KBC Bank, which continued running it as a castle hotel until 2015. Later, it was bought by a group of Irish and American investors, Derek Warfield and Colin Breen. Since then, the castle has undergone many significant renovations, serving as a wedding and conference venue and a 4-Star hotel.
Kinnitty Castle Architecture
Kinnitty castle has Gothic Revival Architecture. Travellers who appreciate the Gothic atmosphere should definitely visit this castle. Its decoration is influenced by the Folklore of Druids, great kingdoms, and several poets.
The outdoors of this castle looks equally impressive. It has a sculpture park, where you can find someone of the kind artworks. The castle estate has organised several events and activities, including trekking, riding lessons, cross-country, clay pigeon shooting, tennis, golf, fishing, and more. It will make your stay at this castle hotel more fun.
Inside Kinnitty Castle
The castle includes 37 spacious rooms with high ceilings and stunning views. All rooms follow a distinctive style and retain an original and cultivated decoration to maintain the overall theme. You will feel like you have stepped back in the medieval era while staying in the castle.
This castle hotel is exquisite and luxurious. It offers a 60-seater restaurant decorated in Georgian style, a library bar filled with a unique collection of journals and books, and a large Louis XV style Drawing Room. It is a magnetic draw for anyone interested in heritage buildings and leisure.
Kinnitty Castle Haunted Room
Kinnitty Castle is spooky. It is believed that the head of an ancient princess is buried beneath it. Also, the castle was destroyed and rebuilt several times, which means mysteries, deaths, and wars always surrounded it. There are two confirmed haunted rooms in the castle, i.e., The Geraldine Room and The Elizabeth Room.
Many guests and visitors have reported suspecting ghosts and spooky activities taking place frequently in its halls also. From seeing a little girl, hearing her laughs, to noticing an unidentified lady, many haunted room stories are heard regularly. So, whenever you visit this castle hotel, get ready to be thrilled.
Kinnitty Castle Facts
- Kinnitty Castle was once investigated by the “Most Haunted” UK show.
- It is believed that one ghost of the castle, Monk of Kinnitty- Hugh, is a friendly spirit. It communicates with one of the castle hotel’s employees and can predict future events.
- It is known as the most romantic castle wedding venue in Ireland.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Kinnitty Castle?
The castle is located on the foothills of Slieve Bloom Mountains in County Offaly, Ireland. It will take about 2 hours and 32 minutes to reach this castle from Dublin via train.
Who lived in Kinnitty Castle?
The castle was the home of the Bernard family, who built the pyramid located nearby this castle hotel. They lived in the castle until 1946 before selling it to Lord Decies.
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