Famous Castles in ireland - Lismore Castle Waterford Ireland - owned by Duke of Devoshire

Castles to Stay in Ireland

A BRIEF HISTORY

Lismore Castle has a rich and varied history, owned or visited by some of the most notable names of the last few centuries — Sir Walter Raleigh, Fred and Adele Astaire, J.F. Kennedy, John Betjeman, Cecil Beaton, Dominic West, and Lucian Freud. Earls, dukes and royals; soccer stars and rock stars — the list is almost as long as Lismore’s history. 
 
The castle dates to 1185 when Prince John, then Lord of Ireland and future King of England, fortified an earlier religious settlement. Sacked only four year later in 1189, Prince John later permitted the rebuilt castle to be used as a Bishop’s Palace — you can still see the old round tower, which dates back to the 13th Century. 
 
In 1589 Lismore was presented to Sir Walter Raleigh, the Elizabethan adventurer who introduced tobacco to the English court. Raleigh paid little attention to his Irish estates and failed to make them pay, selling his 42,000 acres for only £1500 to Richard Boyle in 1602. The sale was imperilled, but not fatally so, by Raleigh’s imprisonment for high treason in 1603.
 
Richard Boyle later became the first Earl of Cork. His fourteenth child was Robert Boyle, born at Lismore. Robert Boyle was a natural philosopher that many consider to be the father of modern chemistry. In 1753, following the death of the fourth Earl of Cork (known by then by his English title, Lord Burlington) Lismore and its estates passed by Burlington’s only surviving child, a daughter, Charlotte, and her husband, the future fourth Duke of Devonshire, into the Cavendish family. Lismore continues to be owned by the dukes of Devonshire. 
 
In the 1850s the sixth Duke undertook an extensive restoration of the Castle, working with architects Joseph Paxton, William Atkinson and Augustus Pugin. In the 1930s the ninth Duke’s second son, Lord Charles Cavendish, married Adele Astaire (Fred Astaire’s sister) and they made Lismore their home. Lord Charles’ nephew married Kathleen ‘Kick’ Kennedy, JFK’s sister. And so the list of names continues. 
 
Each generation has lovingly and extensively restored the castle, without ever losing its historic charm. For a long time the gates were open only to a select few, but now you can rent the whole castle on an exclusive hire basis, allowing private groups to enjoy staying in a castle in Ireland in an intimate setting, attended to by the Duke’s team of personal staff. 

Contact us to find out more for an Irish Castle stay: 
T. +353 (0)58 54288 
E. info@lismorecastle.com