Kilkenny Castle: A Regal Encounter with History
- Ireland's Ancient East, Kilkenny, Things to do
- 22 March 2023
Askeaton Castle is an impressive medieval fortress that has stood in the heart of County Limerick town since 1199. Built on a rock in the River Deel by William de Burgo, the castle has played a significant role in the history of Munster. The castle served as the power base of the earls of Desmond from 1348 onwards, cementing its place in the annals of Irish history.
Askeaton Castle has also played a pivotal role in the resistance against the English invasion. In 1579, it held out against Sir Nicholas Malby, an English general. The siege of Askeaton Castle helped spark the second Desmond Rebellion, which was a pivotal moment in Irish history.
One of the highlights of the castle is the banqueting hall, which is one of the finest examples of medieval secular buildings in Ireland. Although the tower is partly ruined, visitors can still see some beautiful windows and an exquisite medieval fireplace that have remained intact.
Nearby, an early eighteenth-century building was used as a Hellfire Club. These clubs were notorious for being dens of excess, where wealthy gentlemen would indulge in drink, mock rituals, and other nefarious activities. Askeaton Castle's Hellfire Club was just one example of the widespread phenomenon that took hold in eighteenth-century Ireland