Kilbrittain Castle:  Fun Facts About this Stunning Irish Landmark

To find Kilbrittain Castle, you'll head as far south as you can in Central Ireland. There, in County Cork of Munster Province, you can spot the ancient castle. 

Irish Expressions:  Kilbrittain Castle.  Image of castle facade and grounds courtesy of

Expect at least three hours behind the wheel if you're coming from Dublin Airport by car.  The journey winds along major roads like the M7 and the M8 until you get to Cork and need to exit on N40.  Then, hop on N71 and enjoy the small-town scenery surrounding you until you arrive at Kilbrittain Castle. 

Things to Know About Kilbrittain Castle

Here are some fun facts about this amazing Irish landmark.  Hopefully they will entice you to pay a visit in person!  But if that is not possible, you can always use them to impress your friends with your knowledge of one of the most-visited attractions in Ireland.

  1. One of the oldest castles on our list is Kilbrittain, which was built in 1035 by the O'Mahony clan.
  2. It is believed that the Castle, located in County Cork, is the oldest continuously inhabited castle in all of Ireland.
  3. Although the medieval castle is stilates as a hotel, letting guests spend a night or two surrounded by medieval architecture and an incredible history.
  4. Although Kilbrittain Castle is the oldest constantly-inhabited castle in Ireland, it hasn't been inhabited by the same family the entire time. Some of the notable families that have lived at Kilbrittain include the De Courceys, the Stawells and the McCarthys. 
  5. Parts of the castle are nearly 1,000 years old. Today, most of the modern castle's structure dates back to the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.
  6. The castle has changed hands many times, and in other periods it has been empty and neglected. The Stawell family did perhaps the most work during the 18th and 19th centuries.
  7. The most recent of the major renovations to Kilbrittain were completed in 1969 by the inventor Russell Winn. 
  8. The castle is perched on a hill with stunning views over the countryside. This was done intentionally so that any invading armies could be seen a long way off. 
  9. When you step into the castle today, you'll be in the entrance hall. In centuries past, this was the guard room and the spot where important battles were planned.
  10. Next, you might climb up the spiral staircase that is a major point of focus within the castle. As you head up to the gallery, you'll be surrounded by artifacts and pieces of history from Kilbrittain.
  11. If you would like to spend the night at Kilbrittain Castle, which is now a hotel, you can! Each of the rooms is designed to invoke history and provide plenty of Irish warmth. 
  12. If you're not a guest at the hotel, you can still enjoy excellent views of the castle. Castle Walk is a signposted trail around Kilbrittain that takes just an hour, but it provides you with great photo opportunities of the castle.
  13. After seeing Kilbrittain up close, head into the nearby small town of Kinsale. The town is home to another smaller castle called Desmond Castle.

You can find more information about this exciting Irish landmark here.

Want More Irish Castles?

It is probably obvious - at Irish Expressions, we love Irish castles!  The Emerald Isle is dotted with hundreds of these incredible structures.  

Sharing pictures and stories about them gives us a deeper sense of connection with Ireland, wherever in the world we happen to be!

We have captured the most amazing pictures and descriptions of Irish castles in an e-book we call "An Illustrated Guide to Irish Castles and Abbeys."

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That Was Fun!  Where Can I See More?

Great question! As you can see, exploring the castles of Ireland offers many opportunities for enjoying an Irish experience and expressing your personal Irish side!

For more information of this kind, you might pay a visit to our section on Ireland Sightseeing here!

Your Personal Irish Expression

One way to share your love of Ireland is by displaying your family coat of arms (family crest).  A very personal symbol of the stories and accomplishments of your ancestors can adorn clothing, kitchenware, wall art, personal accessories and so much more. 

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Want to Feel More Connected to Ireland?  Here's How!

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A Note from Bruce

If you would like to see more from Irish Expressions, you can find us on Facebook and Pinterest. You can also communicate with us using our contact form here. 

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However you choose to connect, we would love to hear from you!  Meanwhile, thanks for visiting!  I hope that we will meet someday, in person or online, and you can tell me about your own connection to the Emerald Isle.

Until then, best wishes -

Bruce Grady, and the team at