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Charleville Castle, Tullamore

4.3
#6 of 26 in Things to do in County Offaly
Castle Tourist Spot
Charleville Castle is a Gothic-style castle located in County Offaly, Ireland, bordering the town of Tullamore, near the River Clodiagh. It is considered one of the finest of its type in the country.HistoryThe first manison house to be built on the site of Charleville castle was by Thomas Moore circa 1641. The estate passed through the hands of Charles Moore, Lord Tullamore, grandson of Thomas, and when he died in 1674 it went via his sister Jane to Charles William Bury. Charles William was later (1806) created the 1st Earl of Charleville in a second creation of the title. The new earl decided to build a new house on the estate. Commissioned in 1798, it was designed by Francis Johnston, and was built between 1800 and 1812.The castle was not continuously occupied, owing to the castle owners lack of resources. Each re-opening of the house resulted in the addition of new rooms or refurbishment. This included engaging William Morris, who designed the ceiling within the dining room. The castle played host to Lord Byron, who held many parties here. The house once boasted a painting from 1789 called Henry VIII, Act V, Scene 4 by Matthew William Peters, which having been removed from the house in 1970 is now in a Canadian collection.The castle remained uninhabited from 1912 when Colonel Howard Bury left to live in Belvedere House, County Westmeath. By 1968 the roof had been removed. Work on its restoration was commenced by Michael McMullen in 1971 and later by Constance Heavey Seaquist and Bonnie Vance. A Charitable Trust has been formed to help with the restoration.
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(County Offaly is the nearest city to Charleville Castle)

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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
161 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • Just outside the town of Tullamore, in a beautiful park with trees d tall trees stands the mole a little tetra-Gothic period of late 19th-early 20th century Charleville Castle, in short nothing remarkable or miss, if not for the legend you want it haunted by ghosts. A guided tour may be of interest.
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  • I visited this castle with some friends. The walk is very characteristic, you have to cross a forest full of surprises a little disturbing but fascinating (including the oldest hotel in Europe), the cost of the guided tour is eight euros, you will find the formidable keeper Tony, a likeable that presented itself as "what kills tourists"!! The visit lasts 30 minutes overall, the castle is very unique, maybe not having a great time but it's so true that it's impossible not to appreciate it. Of course is surrounded by an aura of mystery, is said to be haunted by several ghosts and Tony is good at dramatise the visit. It's not the British museum, but I enjoyed it and recommend it.
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  • Located near the station, very well preserved, inside not visit you. I'm not sure if they have a timetable of visit
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Google
  • What a great place! Beautiful castle and grounds, and a tour for 10 euros that goes toward hopefully helping preserve the rest of the castle! Tour guides know a lot and it's full of surprises!!
  • How to describe Charleville...here goes. The owners of Charleville Castle leave the grounds open, so now it is a local amenity, where families walk their dogs, explore the forest, joggers run, and people really enjoy. The only part that is off limits is the working farm, and the inside of the castle, which can be toured, and is really interesting. Filled with strange and sad stories, and rumoured to be haunted...highly recommended.
  • This is a must see and I never would have gone if my wife wasn't obsessed with haunted places. Take the guided tour, volunteers will take you through. Apparently there is a volunteer program where you can live there while you restore the castle. I wish I could have spent some time in the magical woods surrounding the place. One of the volunteers told us the tree you pass on the way in is thought to be the oldest living tree in Ireland. You'll know it when you see it. It's magnificent and sorely needed some protection. When we were there kids were running up and down it's branches.
  • We had a fantastic tour here. Very much worth a stop. A spooky yet beautiful castle with some interesting history. Our tour guide was one of the volunteer artists and she was fun and a great guide.
  • Really unique, utterly beautiful, voluntary effort - not your standard 'big house' tour. Well worth a visit

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Where to stay in County Offaly

While many visitors come to see the alluring monastic city of Clonmacnoise, travelers to County Offaly should consider spending time in some of its overlooked towns, including Tullamore and Birr, because Clonmacnoise does not offer a lot of places to stay. Spend the night at a traditional bed and breakfast in the county's biggest town, Tullamore, or head to a hotel or guesthouse in Birr for a chance to experience authentic Irish nightlife. As with many small towns in Ireland, staying in the center of town is your best bet.
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