There are so many great things on my doorstep to discover and this being Heritage Week, I wanted to get out and discover some of the great sites. First on my list was Roscrea Castle and Damer House.
A little about Roscrea;
- Located in North Tipperary.
- Comes from the Irish words Ros Cre meaning “Wood of Cre”.
- Roscrea is the 3rd oldest market town in Ireland.
- In ancient times, the Slighe Dhala (the 5 main roads of Ireland) converged in Roscrea.
- There are many historical sites in the town and you can see them as part of the heritage walk.
How to get there & cost.
The castle & Damer house are located on Castle Street in the town.
The facility is open from April to September 10am to 6pm. You can find all the details on heritageireland.ie.
Adult: 4 euros
Seniors/Group: 3 euros
Student/Child: 2 euros
Family: 10 euros
What can you see/do?
The main attractions are the castle and Damer house but there are other things to do.
The gardens are absolutely beautiful and a great place to spend a few minutes enjoying nature. Entrance to the gardens is free.
You can also visit King John’s Castle, Damer House Art Gallery and an exhibition free of charge.
Roscrea castle dates back to 1213 and was used for defensive purposes. You can read a history of the castle on the Roscrea website www.roscreaonline.com. I was lucky to be able to join a tour and the guide, Stephanie was extremely informative and knowledgeable. The castle is in great condition and throughout the tour you can read the boards which keep the younger visitors interested.
The Great Hall
An interesting model of the castle.
The staircase- built to deter attackers.
The Dungeon where prisoners were kept before heading to court in Clonmel
I believe that it is unknown exactly when Damer House was built and by whom but it has been used throughout the years for many purposes. A number of years ago, the house was almost demolished but thankfully it was saved. I was also taken on a tour of the house. The guide, Patrick gave an interesting and enthusiastic tour. Highlight of the house was perhaps the staircase which is unique and one of only 2 that still exist in Ireland. There is no photography allowed in the house which is a shame because it is full of photographic opportunities.
A panoramic shot of the grounds including Damer house and Roscrea castle.
The castle, seen from the top floor exhibition in Damer House.
Visitors book in Damer House.
The castle and Damer House is just one attraction on a longer heritage walk of the town. You can used your smartphone to gain access to an audio guide of the other attractions. Worth spending an afternoon exploring.
When I arrived first, I wasn’t sure I would enjoy the visit but after meeting the staff and joining the tours, I had an enjoyable afternoon. Patrick and Stephanie were very friendly and chatted to everyone on the tours. Kudos to them for doing a great job!
The gardens are in great shape and whoever tends to them is doing an excellent job.
The grounds are big so even if there are a lot of people, it’s quite peaceful.
The Not so good points:
There is no car park for castle visitors so you must park on the street which is pay parking. It is only 50 cent for one hour but for low budget tourists, this could well be the difference between a visit or lack thereof.
The information is only in English or Irish so speakers of other languages bight find it difficult.
Worth a visit?
Definately. This is a great way to spend an afternoon and find out more about Roscrea. You can find out more information on either roscreaonline.com or heritageireland.com. Or simply visit the tourist information office located beside the castle.
*If I made any mistakes in my information, please leave me a comment correcting it.
*You can find out more about Heritage week on www.heritageweek.ie
*My photos can also be found on my Instagram site “backhomeinireland”