15 Bedrooms | 15 Baths
From Inquire per Week
Lismore Castle, Lismore, Co. Waterford, Ireland Vacation Rental
Lismore Castle in Ireland is a one of a kind and a repository of extraordinary history: from walls marked by Cromwellian cannon balls to the days it was owned by Sir Walter Raleigh -the man who brought potatoes and tobacco to Ireland - to Cecil Beaton, Lucian Freud, Fred Astaire and JFK, all of whom slept a night or more in this private castle on the banks of the River Blackwater.
The castle dates from 1170, yet there is no shortage of modern luxuries: ensuite bathrooms, a cinema room, wifi throughout the castle and much more. It sleeps 8 to 12 in an intimate environment or up to 27 for a bigger party. Larger events are also possible and all are attended by the family’s private staff, led by Denis Nevin, the castle's Butler for the last 35 years.
World-class art — contemporary and Old Masters — hangs from walls, while The Pugin Banqueting Hall is a major historic treasure in its own right. Every detail is a masterpiece of good taste, presided over by the Duke of Devonshire’s family, for whom this remains a private home.
The castle is available to rent on an exclusive hire basis all year round. Lismore Castle has always been a place for family gatherings. For generations, the castle has been used for fishing trips, birthday celebrations — where guests can curl up by the fireplace, take afternoon tea in the Drawing Room or dine on a multicourse feast in our Banquet Hall. The tradition has been alive for centuries — Lismore has been owned by the Duke of Devonshire’s family since 1753.
The family still uses Lismore as his private home for much of the year, giving the castle a personal, lived-in feel, while maintaining the authenticity of this 800-year old building.
But Lismore’s history is still growing. New families — friends of friends recommending Lismore as a place they love — are coming to celebrate anniversaries and milestone birthdays, host reunions and parties, or simply enjoy time together in this iconic and dramatic setting.
BUSINESS RETREATS Be inspired in inspiring surrounds Lismore Castle is known for its style, precision and exacting service. We are used to working with high profile guests, so whether you are planning a confidential meeting, a celebration banquet with clients or colleagues, a conference or AGM, you can be assured your event will run smoothly, with the utmost attention to security and detail.
FILM LOCATIONS Lismore Castle and Estate offers a dramatic setting for film and television shoots, whether as a location itself or as a base for ‘talent’ to enjoy the best of Irish hospitality. The Estate, with wild woodland, grassy fields, floodplains and a number of extraordinary outbuildings, feels completely secluded, yet is very easy to access. There is ample parking for cars, trucks and other equipment, and horse livery is also available.
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 Astaire, J.F. Kennedy, John Betjeman, Cecil Beaton, Dominic West, Lucian Freud. Earls, dukes and other royals; soccer stars and rock stars — the list is almost as long as Lismore’s history.
The first owner was the soon-to-be King of England, Prince John, when he built Lismore back in 1185. On becoming monarch, he passed it to the Church to be used as a Bishop’s Palace — you can still see the old round tower, which dates back to the 13th Century.
Then Sir Walter Raleigh, the Elizabethan adventurer who introduced tobacco to the English court, bought the castle. But 13 years later he was imprisoned for high treason in the Tower of London, and so Lismore, along with its 42,000 acres, got sold to Richard Boyle for a sum of £1,500. Richard later became the first Earl of Cork, and his son Robert Boyle, who was born at Lismore, became the philosopher that many consider the father of modern chemistry.
As time passed, the lands passed to the fourth Duke of Devonshire. This was in 1753, after the Duke married Lady Charlotte Boyle, the heiress of the Earl of Cork. Lismore continues to be owned by the Duke of Devonshire’s family.
It was the sixth Duke who undertook the most extensive restoration of the Castle, working with architects Joseph Paxton and Augustus Pugin. It was the ninth Duke who married Adele Astaire, Fred Astaire’s sister. The heir to the tenth Dukedom married Kathleen 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 the splendour of castle-living in an intimate setting, attended to by the Duke’s team of personal staff.
Fine food is a highlight at Lismore. We work with exceptional chefs using locally sourced, home produced ingredients, making everything in our Castle kitchens. We cater to you — dining can be formal or informal, indoors or outdoors, themed or traditional, and you can set the menu and meal times (or this can be left up to us).
There are menus for all occasions, from banquet breakfasts and afternoon teas, to picnic lunches and five-course dinners. We also have an impressive wine cellar with sommelier-picked wines, and are happy to order your preferred wines while you stay with us.
Denis Nevin, the Castle’s butler, has been with us since 1977. He oversees the house staff, offering service unparalleled anywhere in Ireland. Every last detail will be taken care of, whether you need us to arrange helicopter transfers, private yoga classes and fishing trips, or just make sure your favourite tea is in the cupboard for when you arrive.
Our facilities include a fully-stocked bar, a billiard and games room, private telephone lines and high-speed internet throughout the castle. Outside, guests can enjoy guided tours of the extensive gardens, play tennis on a hard court, try fishing or golf and take magnificent walks through the Estate grounds.
Lismore Castle is easily accessed from the main points of entry to Ireland from abroad and from the main towns and cities in Ireland and all of Ireland's major airports are within easy reach of Lismore Castle. There is a major international airport in Cork, just 50 minutes drive from Lismore and a regional one in Waterford, 45 minutes away. Shannon and Dublin airports are both approximately a three hour drive from the Castle. Airport transfers can be arranged through our concierge service. Car hire, chauffeur service or helicopter transfers are all easily facilitated.
Children are welcomed
Pets require prior approval and non-refundable pet deposit
Smoking is prohibited
50% down to book
50% (due 60 days prior)
Please bring proof of identification
Passport Required for non-resident
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All Bookings are Final
Rates and fees subject to change without notice