I visited Cahir Castle in Ireland
in 1997. I have a postcard
of the castle on the wall of my cubicle
. It is an impressive castle
perched on an island of rock on the river Suir. The castle is in the city of Cahir, in the county of Tipperary in the southern part of Ireland.
The castle was built in 1142 by Conor O'Brien, Prince of Thomond. It came into the hands of the Anglo-Norman Butlers in 1375. They sided with the Irish in the Elizabethan wars. In 1599, after a short siege in which the walls were breached, the Earl of Essex took it for the crown. The castle, though easily strong enough to stand against the normal raids, was very vulnerable to gunpowder. In 1647, the castle was surrendered to Lord Inchiquin by George Mathews, the guardian of Lord Cahir. In 1650, it was surrendered to Cromwell, and two years later the war ended with the signing of articles in the castle.
In the years that followed, the castle fell into disrepair. In 1840, the Earl of Glengall had William Tinsley begin repairs, which continued through 1846. The work was not a completely accurate restoration, but it is responsible for much of the detailed appearance today. Part of the movie Excalibur was filmed in the castle.
The castle is open for tourists. I was able to explore most areas of the castle, including the high towers. We visited this castle in the morning, and a misty rain was falling outside. I looked out at the countryside from one of the high towers and was able to imagine the lady of the castle looking down from this very spot at an approaching army or at the green fields below. Visiting castles in Ireland is a magical experience, and this castle in particular touched me.
Historical information about the castle was gleaned from various websites and a brochure from visiting the castle.