Ireland’s Ancient East
Racket Hall Country House are proud to be in a central part of Ireland’s Ancient East East
Our location is in the heart of the Monastic Midlands
Take a stroll back in time - by visiting our ancient past; Cathedrals, Castles and Walled Towns.
Get Inspired- visit Kildare Japanese Gardens, Cloughjordan Echo Village, Lough Boora Discovery Ark, Bellfield Gardens,
Be Amazed & Surprised - at Kildare Village Outlet, Newbridge Shopping Centre,
Taste & Experience - Traditional Irish Cuisine.
Immerse yourself in the unique experiences of Ireland’s Ancient East
Local Attractions, near and further afield, include:
Roscrea Castle & Damer House
Roscrea stone castle was constructed in 1332. It comprises of a gate tower and two D-shaped corner towers, which were originally joined by a curtain wall. Access to the courtyard was by draw-bridge through the rectangular gate tower. Its chimneys and gables are early 17th Century features, but the lower levels of the Castle are the original stonework. The two towers housed three storeys, one of which has an octagonal interior called the "Duke of Ormond's Tower". Although the tower was much ruined, conservation work has been carried out in recent years. Open 24th March – 28th September. Tel: 0505 21850
Donaghmore Famine Workhouse Museum, Rathdowney
18 Minute Drive
Set in the original 1853 Workhouse building, Donaghmore Workhouse Museum explains the socio-economic conditions post famine that led to their establishment. The museum covers the formation of the Donaghmore Co-Operative Society and houses an impressive 'household and agricultural collection' for visitors to enjoy.
Tel: 0505 46212
Birr Castle, Gardens & Science Centre
23 Minute Drive
Ireland's Largest, Award-Winning Gardens feature beautiful natural landscapes and stunning formal gardens. The world's tallest box hedges, Victorian fernery, lakes, rivers and waterfalls provide an unforgettable day. Meander through the 5 miles of paths boasting an impressive worldwide plant collection. Walk through the hornbeam cloisters and enjoy the fragrance of the enchanting springtime magnolias specially propagated. Follow "The Red Tree Trail" and discover the gardens '50 Trees of Distinction'.
World Famous 'Great Telescope' - Marvel at the Third Earl of Rosse's leviathan creation, it was the largest in the world for over 70 years.
Ireland's Historic Science Centre - Travel back in time as you explore 'Galleries of Discovery' which celebrate early Irish achievements in astronomy, photography, botany and engineering, with an emphasis on the scientific accomplishments of the earlier Earls and Countesses of Rosse.
Birr Castle remains after 14 generations the private home of the Parsons family, the Earls of Rosse.
The Gardens are also home to Ireland’s largest treehouse with an adventure play area for kids of all ages. The Castle opens its doors for guided tours during the summer months of May, July and August. Tel:057 9120336
Lough Boora Discovery Park
40 Minute Drive
Boora Bog is a cutaway peat bog situated in County Offaly, Ireland. Peat was harvested for fuel between the 1950s and 1970s, and the land is now being reclaimed for agricultural and eco-tourism use. For centuries Lough Boora has given humans shelter, warmth and a unique contact with the forces of the natural world. History, ancient and modern, is around you and under your feet when you visit Lough Boora. www.loughboora.com
Rock of Cashel
49 Minute Drive
A spectacular group of Medieval buildings set on an outcrop of limestone in the Golden Vale, including the 12th century Round Tower, High Cross and Romanesque Chapel, 13th century Gothic Cathedral, 15th century Castle and the restored Hall of the Vicars Choral. Attractions include an audio-visual show and exhibitions. Access for visitors with disabilities by prior arrangement.
Location: 500m from the centre of Cashel town off the Dublin Road. Telephone +353 62 61437
45 minute drive
Access the heart of the Slieve Blooms from the Glenbarrow Trailhead.
Glenbarrow is the source of the River Barrow,the second longest river in Ireland. It is one of the most scenic parts of the Slieve Bloom area with its waterfalls and steep valley. The area is very remote and offers the visitor peace and tranquility.
25 minute drive
The Devil's bit is a mountain in County Tipperary which is 478m (1570 feet) above sea level at its hight elevation. It lies to the north-west of the town of Templemore.
According to local legend, the mountain got its name because the devil took a bite out of it. There is a small gap in the moutain between one outcrop of rock (know as the Rock) and another small plateau. The bite the devil allegedly took made this gap. The legend suggests that the devil broke his teeth on this bite and spat the Rock Of Cashel from his mouth to where it now stands.
The tower on the approach to the summit is known as Carden's Folly. A cross was erected on the Rock in 1953 - 1954 in celebration of the Marian Year dedicated by the Roman Catholic Church.
5 minute drive
Monaincha sits on the Island in a lake. The lake has drained, but Monaincha is still a wonderful place and one of the most picturesque ruins in Ireland. Indeed, it is regarded by many as one of most intact early Christian monastic sites in the world.
Founded in the eight century, it soon became the most famous pilgrimage site in Munster. In fact, it was described in the 100th century as the 31st wonder of hte world. Highlights include a fine Romanesque doorway and a unique high cross, made from fragments of other crosses, with carved horsemen, the crucification and Celtic designs forming a decorative collage.
To find out more about Ireland’s Ancient East click on www.irelandsancienteast.com which will help you plan your trip to Roscrea Co.Tipperary.