Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland
Ballyseede Castle is set on a 30 acre site only 3 miles from Tralee in the extreme south west of Ireland.
Access to the fully restored castle is via a winding carriage driveway. It is built over three floors with two curved bows to the front and a battlemented parapet.
Inside the castle has large columns leading to a grand staircase, two drawing rooms with ornate plasterwork and fireplaces, a library and dining room.
Today’s castle has been transformed into a 4 star hotel offering 23 bedrooms and suites in the transformed stable block and the main castle. Rooms in the main castle have high ceilings and four poster beds and the hotel also offers a number of rooms especially for families.
The hotel offers two dining experiences, one in the Library Bar where guest’s can sit around the open fire, or in the more formal dining room which has gained a reputation for fine dining with its five course meals. Where ever guests choose to eat all food is sourced locally and seasonal.
The hotel also has its own team of wedding coordinators who tailor make wedding packages to individual requirements. They offer a range of suites which hold up to a maximum of 220 guests with free overnight accommodation for the bride and groom; exclusive use of the castle can even be arranged.
Ballyseede Castle was the garrison for the Earl’s of Desmond; the Fitzgerald’s, who refused to swear allegiance to the crown resulting in the Desmond Wars which took place over 300 years. The wars finally ceased in 1584 when Gerald; 16th Earl of Desmond, was beheaded in the estate at Ballyseede and his head exhibited in a cage on London Bridge.
The Castle was confiscated and handed over to Robert Blennerhassett for the nominal rent of a red rose which had to be presented each year on Midsummer’s Day. The family remained at the castle until 1966 after which time it was transformed into a hotel.
A ghost called ‘Hilda’ is said to haunt the castle’s basement and each year on the 24th March she makes her presence known.
Other Castles in the Area
Aghadoe Round Tower, County Kerry
Ballyheigue Castle, County Kerry
Ballymalis Castle, County Kerry
Listowel Castle, County Kerry
Muckross House, County Kerry
Parkavonear Castle, County Kerry
Rahoneen Castle, County Kerry
Ross Castle, County Kerry