Skip to Content

What Is The Largest Castle In Ireland?

How about a tour of the largest castle in Ireland? Many times, people think the greatest and best castles are in England. That is not correct; there are many unique and magnificent castles in Ireland that you can visit.

The largest castle in Ireland is the Trim Castle. It measures 322 917 square feet (30 000 square meters) and was built in the Anglo-Norman style. You can find this lovely castle in county Meath along the banks of River Boyne, Ireland.

What Is The Largest Castle In Ireland?
Trim castle
Picture by Pietro Izzo on

The History of Trim Castle

The Trim Castle is as distinguished in history as it is in features. In the 12th century, the Trim castle served as an administrative headquarters for the lordship of Meath.

Baron Hugh de Lacy built the castle, who in 1172 had been newly appointed the Lord of Meath by Henry II of England. 

One of its most fascinating features is the cruciform-shaped three-story Keep having 20 corners.

The Trim Castle was completed in 1220 on a vast land overlooking the Boyne River – a strategic location that gave the Baron and his subject ease of access to the Irish Sea.

 It was named after the ‘Town of Ford of the Elder Trees’, which translates as Baile Atha Troim in Irish. 

In 1993 Trim castle was acquired by the Irish State; the Dunsany Plunketts (the last Irish family to own it) retained their hunting and fishing rights over the land. 

Today, the Trim castle is one of the most toured sites in Ireland, and it is open to the public. You can visit on a self-guided tour or use tour guards on weekdays between February to November.

Have you been to the Trim castle and looking forward to something older? Then you should probably check out the oldest castle In Ireland. 

What is the oldest castle in Ireland?

Take a trip to Kilbrittain Castle, Ireland. The Kilbrittain Castle is the oldest in Ireland traceable back to 1035 and believed to have been built by the O’ Mahony clan.

This stunning Irish landmark lies in the county Cork of Monster Province. It is open to the public, and you can spend a night or two in it.

The Kilbrittain Castle has never lack visitors as it is also the oldest constantly inhabited castle in Ireland. 

Most of the modern castle structures were built by the Stawell family between the 17th to 19th centuries.

The Kilbrittain Castle has a great view of the countryside, a mind-blowing entrance hall, a gallery of artefacts, and rooms laced with Irish history.

The castle is applauded for its authenticity and unique structures.

How Many Castles are in Ireland?

There are many castles in Ireland asides from those mentioned above. 

Archaeologists say at least 30,000 castles in Ireland; some are in ruins while others are still standing and in great shape.

 Irish people built most of these castles from the medieval era up to modern times. Find below the most famous Irish strongholds to visit:

Ten (10) Most Famous Irish Castles to Visit

1. The Dunluce Castle

 The Dunluce Castle is in County Antrim. It was built by Richard Og de Burgh, the 2nd earl of Ulster. 

Image by H. Hach from Pixabay

Although it has many coastline ruins, it possesses excellent scenery and buildings that are worth your time. It is voted as one of the top best castles to visit in Ireland.

 The Dunluce Castles received a fatal blow from the battle of Boyne, leaving it in its current state.

2. Rock of Cashel

 This is a magnificent Irish castle located in the Tipperary countryside. It dates back to the 12th century, when it served as the palace of the king of Munster. 

3. Bunratty Castle

 The Bunratty Castle is a fortified tower house located in county Clare, reportedly built in the 15th century. The castle is still in great shape and has a rich history with Irish Earls, Normans & Vikings.

4. Glanvengh Castle of County Donegal

 This castle receives hundreds of visitors yearly. It was built in the latter part of the 19th between 1867 – 1873 by John George Adair. It is now known as the Glanvengh National Park and is open to the general public.

5. The Lismore Castle

This is one of the best castles to visit in Ireland. England’s King John built the Lismore Castle in 1185. 

It is a Gothic-style castle that currently houses the Duke of Devonshire. The court is divided into a 17th-century world garden and a 19th century garden with lawns, shrubs, and trees.

6. Kilkenny Castle

The Kilkenny Castle is traceable to 1195 when it was constructed by Richard de Claire, the 2nd Earl of Pembroke. 

It was initially a wooden structure until the 13th century. This castle welcomes millions of visitors yearly.

7. Carrickfergus Castle

 This is a Norman castle in County Antrim on the Northern shore of Belfast Lough. 

Today it is a tourist centre and considered as one of the best-preserved medieval castles in Ireland. It is over 800 years old and open to the public.

8. Slane castle of the Conyngham Family

The Slane Castle was built in the 18th century and remained in great shape to date. 

9. Ballygally castle

 Luckily, this 17th-century castle has been converted to a hotel where you can spend a few nights. It has refined rooms, a bar, and a bistro restaurant.   

10. Ashford Castle

 the Ashford castle was built in 1228 in the Victorian castle style. It has now a five-star luxury hotel. 

This legendary castle has hosted the U.S president Ronald Reagan, John Wayne, and King George V. It is one of Ireland’s most exquisite reception centres.

Other notable castles are the Cahir of 1142, the Blarney castle of 1446, the Malahide castle of the 12th century, and the Dublin of 1100. All of these are lovely castles to stay in, and they function as hotels today.

Best castles by country

Find the best castles to visit next

Lists o top castles around the world.