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near Lismore, County Waterford, Ireland
Lismore Castle is situated on the outskirts of the town of Lismore with a panoramic view over the River Blackwater and the Knockmealdown Mountains.
Today's castle has been rebuilt in a Gothic style and comprises of castellated towers, a gate house and 17th century yew lined drive all set within 7 acres of gardens.
The castle is the home of the Duke of Devonshire but it is rented out to parties of up to 24 guests when the Duke is away.
Visitors stay in the Dukes own quarters which comprises of twelve bedrooms and bathrooms a billiard and games room, a drawing room, two sitting rooms and a dining room. The banqueting hall is also used as a wedding reception venue for up to 80 guests.
The gardens are open to the public between 11am and 5pm from the middle of March until the end of September and are separated into two parts, the Upper Garden; which is a 17th century walled garden, and the Lower Garden, from the 19th century, which is an informal garden with lawns and herbaceous borders.
King John was responsible for building the first castle on the site in 1185.
In 1589 the castle was occupied by Sir Walter Raleigh who was forced to sell it 1602 to the 1st Earl of Cork, Richard Boyle after his imprisonment for high treason. The Earl transformed the castle building gabled ranges to each side of the courtyard and a castellated wall with gatehouse.
The Earl was father to fifteen children; the fourteenth child born in the castle in 1627 was later to become known as the 'Father of Modern Chemistry', Robert Boyle. The castle was handed down through the family and restored after Cromwell's invasion with Richard Boyle; 3rd Earl of Cork, giving the castle its Georgian additions.
In 1753 the castle passed through marriage to the 4th Duke of Devonshire, William Cavendish, who was later to become the Prime Minister of Great Britain and Ireland.
The 6th Duke or 'Batchelor Duke' as he was known was responsible for how the castle looks today. In 1811 he engaged an architect to rebuild the castle in a gothic style using stone shipped from Derbyshire and Sir Joseph Paxton to design additions.
Adele Astaire; Fred Astaire's sister, lived in the castle with her husband the 9th Duke and used the castle until just before her death in 1981. Today's family only live in the castle for a short period each year, their main residence being Chatsworth House.
The castle was used in 2007 for the filming of a TV adaptation of Jane Austin's Northanger Abbey
Other Castles in the Area
Ardfinnan Castle, County Tipperary
Ballindoney Castle, County Tipperary
Ballintotis Castle, County Cork
Burncourt Castle, County Tipperary
Cahir Castle, County Tipperary
Castle Lyons, County Cork
Castle Richard, County Cork
Castlemartyr, County Cork
Conna Castle, County Cork
Ightermurragh Castle, County Cork
Lisfinny Castle, County Waterford
Loughlohery Castle, County Tipperary
Sleady Castle, County Waterford
Tyntes Castle, County Cork