Listed below are the best castles, forts and historic building to visit in County Cork
Blarney Castle was built nearly six hundred years ago by one of Ireland’s greatest chieftains, Cormac MacCarthy, and has been attracting attention beyond Munster ever since. Over the last few hundred years, millions have flocked to Blarney, making it a world landmark and one of Ireland’s greatest treasures
Bantry House & Gardens, a great opportunity to visit one of Ireland's renowned stately houses with views out over Bantry Bay. Take a tour of this historic house and gardens. Take in the history that will surround you here in West Cork.
Barryscourt Castle Midleton County Cork at of the Barry family. It has been extensively restored with fittings and furnishings reinstated and a tea house is in the courtyard. Access to the Castle is by Guided Tour only – Max No. 15. Average Length of visit 1 Hour All groups of 15 must be pre-booked.
Belvelly Castle is a typical medieval square tower dating from the fifteenth century, located in magnificent natural scenery. It stands on a very narrow piece of land, bounded by Belvelly bridge road on one side and the shore on the other. Described as “in ruins” since the middle of the nineteenth century, it can still be considered as in a reasonably good state of preservation for such an ancient building.
Blackrock Castle Observatory is a 16th century castle located about 2km from the heart of Cork city on the banks of the river Lee.
Charles Fort Kinsale County Cork is a classic example of a star-shaped fort and has five bastions, constructed in the late 17th century on the site of an earlier coastal fortification, steeped in history and views over Kinsale Harbour and town.
Cork City Old Gaol Cork City which is located 2km from Cork's main thoroughfare, this castle like prison once housed 19th C. prisoners, often in wretched conditions. Wandering through the wings of Cork City Gaol, the atmosphere suggests you are accompanied by the shuffling feet of inmates, each representing their particular period in Irish history from pre-famine times to the foundation of the State.
Desmond Castle Kinsale Cork has had a colourful history, ranging from Spanish occupation in 1601 to use as a prison for captured American sailors during the American War of Independence.
Kanturk Castle Cork Kanturk Castle is rectangular in shape with massive square towers at each corner. The main block has four storeys, the towers have five. There is a fine Renaissance door in the first floor on the north side and a more traditional pointed door on the ground floor on the south side. The flat 'Burgundian' arch is a feature of the ground-floor windows, while those on the upper storey and Tudor with two or three mullion. The castle has a remarkable number of well-preserved fireplaces. This building is an interesting combination of the traditional Irish tower-house architecture with pointed arches and the new Tudor architecture with Renaissance doorways and mullioned windows.