Ballysaggartmore Towers

One of Ireland's most striking architectural follies sits 3.5km northwest of Lismore in woodland that was once the demesne of Arthur Keily-Ussher, a harsh Anglo-Irish landlord who evicted Famine-stricken tenants. In 1834, his wife demanded an estate to match her sister-in-law's, so he ordered the construction of two Gothic-style gate lodges as a prelude to a huge mansion. But Keily-Ussher ran out of money, and, to the delight of locals given his mistreatment of tenants, the house was never built.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby attractions

1. Lismore Castle Gardens

1.59 MILES

Although Lismore Castle itself is not open to the public, the 3 hectares of ornate and manicured gardens are well worth a visit. Thought to be the oldest…

2. Lismore Heritage Centre

1.62 MILES

A 30-minute audiovisual presentation at the town's heritage centre takes you from the arrival of St Carthage in AD 636 to the present day, via the…

3. St Carthage's Cathedral

1.69 MILES

William Thackeray commented on the prettiness of the edifice of Lismore's 17th-century cathedral in 1842 after visiting, and that was before the addition…

4. Cappoquin House & Gardens

4.97 MILES

This magnificent 1779 Georgian mansion with formal gardens overlooking the River Blackwater is the private residence of the Keane family, who have lived…

5. Mt Melleray Cistercian Abbey

5.43 MILES

The beautiful Mt Melleray Cistercian Abbey is a fully functioning monastery with 28 Trappist monks, and it welcomes visitors looking for quiet…

6. Dromana Gate


The Dromana Drive from Cappoquin to Villierstown, 9km to the south, follows the Blackwater valley through the Dromana Estate. At a bridge over the River…

7. Mitchelstown Cave

12.52 MILES

Hollowed out of a narrow band of limestone along the southern side of the Galtee Mountains, the Mitchelstown Cave is superior to Kilkenny's Dunmore Cave…

8. Tynte's Castle

14.11 MILES

A 15th-century tower houses Tynte’s Castle, which originally had a defensive riverfront position. When the Blackwater River silted up and changed course…