Lismore Castle information
From the Cappoquin road there are stunning glimpses of the riverside 'castle'. The original castle was erected by Prince John, lord of Ireland, in 1185, although most of what you see now is from the early 19th century. While you can't get inside the four impressive walls of the main, crenulated building, you can visit the 3 hectares of ornate and manicured gardens . Thought to be the oldest in Ireland, they are divided into the walled Jacobean upper garden and less formal lower garden. There are brilliant herbaceous borders, magnolias and camellias, and a splendid yew walk where Edmund Spenser is said to have written The Faerie Queen . There are modern sculptures in the gardens and a contemporary art gallery in the west wing of the castle.
The castle stables and gardens are used as one of the venues during the annual Lismore Music Festival(www.lismoremusicfestival.com) in June. Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro was performed here in 2013.