Kilbrittain Castle: The Oldest Castle

By Yukti Khera / December 15, 2020
Kilbrittain Castle: the oldest

Castles, predominantly built in the Middle Ages, were homes and offices of the nobility, royalty, and military orders. They are often confused with palaces, which are not fortified. A fortress is not always a home to royals, a castle also differs from a fortified settlement. Though there are many such constructions all around the world, Ireland is known to have at least 30,000 castles.  

We are aware that Ireland has a rich historic heritage dating back centuries – millennia even. But nowadays, Ireland is one of the calmest with regard to conflict. 

With Ireland’s rich history, we ought to know how it developed. Castles are not only wonderful tourist hotspots, but offer an insight into the past. In County Cork, Kilbrittain Castle is considered to be the oldest castle in Ireland, dating back to 1035. It was built by Cian, the grandson of Brian Boru; the high king of Ireland. 

In the early weeks of summer 1920, the tension increased between the IRA and the British Forces, resulting in violence and arson. Arson was used by both sides especially in the destruction of buildings. A well-known story that is, The Burning of Cork also resulted in the damaging of the Kilbrittain Castle. The damages were accounted to be at least £100,000.  

Before the truce in July 1921, several big houses and villas were burned. Dated initially in the 11th century, the castle was partially burned in 1920 and was restored in 1969 by inventor Russell Winn. Most of the structure dates back to the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.

Perched on a hill, the castle has stunning views of the county. It was built so intentionally, to be aware of the invading armies approaching.

To name a few, it has been home to many royal families, McCarthy, De Courceys, and Stawells. In hundreds of years, it’s the first time the castle owned by the Cahill O’Brien family has opened for visitors and tourists to come, stay and dine.

Today, the entrance hall used to be the guard room and the place where important battles were planned. Next, the spiral staircase is a major focus point of the castle; while heading up to the gallery there are numerous artifacts and pieces of history of the town with the same name as the castle.  

If not a guest at the castle that is now a hotel, still there is a surety to enjoy the excellent views of the castle. There is a signposted trail around Kilbrittain Castle, Castle Walk. It takes an hour while providing great capture for your cameras of the castle.

Known to be one of the oldest medieval castles in Ireland, Kilbrittain Castle is not just a hotel. It is a place to enjoy and experience the hospitality and warmth of the Irish family and culture. Each bedroom has been furnished keeping the visitors’ comfort in mind, which are en-suite.

Every August since 2004, Kilbrittain Castle has hosted an event of family festivals. A short film, The Blow-Ins, shot in Kilbrittain Castle and Courtmacsherry in 2011, was released in 2012.

Situated in the heart of West Cork, it is 35 minutes away from Cork airport. Kilbrittain Castle is located 15 minutes away from Kinsale, a town with gourmet pubs and restaurants, famous cobbled streets, and shops full of antiques.

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About the author

Yukti Khera

A young writer with an open mind towards what life has to offer. She tends to display her views through her writing while also keeping into account different points of view of people. Her desire is to conquer world diversities as much as possible with the determination to let the voice of everyone be heard.

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