Dromoland Castle

Dromoland Castle on luxury hotels ireland


Dromoland Castle’s magnificent renaissance structure was built in the 16th Century and was the ancestral home of the O’Brien clan, the Barons of Inchiquin, direct descendants of Brian Boru, High King of Ireland in the 11th Century. Refurbished and transformed into a luxury hotel in 1962, it retains priceless reminders of the castle’s historic past. Splendid woodcarvings and stone statuary, hand – carved panelling and fine antique furnishings surround guests. Located in Clare, only minutes from Shannon Airport.

Set on four hundred and ten acres of parkland in peaceful countryside, the estate features a private, championship eighteen hole, par seventy two golf course which has been the venue for a number of professional competitions. The gardens, which are based on designs by Le Notre, who also planned the gardens at Versailles, include a formal rose garden and lily pond. Within the estate, there is archery, boating, fishing, clay pigeon shooting, eighteen hole championship golf course, golf academy, tennis, shooting, walking and mountain biking. The spa at Dromoland Castle opened its doors in July 2007.

From the start of the eleventh century, Donough O’Brien, a son of Brian Boru, controlled Dromoland when it was a defensive stronghold (similar in structure to Bunratty Castle, another O’Brien stronghold). For the next 900 years a branch of the 0’Briens lived and ruled from Dromoland with the castle being rebuilt in 1651.

Donough O’Brien moved the most powerful branch of the O’Briens to Dromoland in the late 17th century. He was at that time reputed to be the richest man in Ireland. In 1730, Sir Edward O’Brien, a famous racehorse owner and trainer built the Turret on the hill opposite the entrance to Dromoland Estate, from where he would observe his horses race. He once gambled the estate on a horse race!

In the early nineteenth century, the present main building of the Castle, with its high Gothic-styled grey stone walls, was built. One of the most famous sons of Dromoland was William Smith O’Brien, who fought militantly for the rights of oppressed Irish Catholic peasant farmers and led the Young Irelander’s rebellion against the British in 1848.


In 1921 the IRA leaders marked Dromoland for destruction but orders were reversed at the last minute at the urgent request of local IRA leaders, who argued that the Inchiquin Lords had been fair and benevolent in dealing with their tenant farmers.


In 1962, Lord Inchiquin sold the castle to an American industrialist and underwent major renovations to transform the ancestral home into a 5 star luxury hotel. And in 1987 a consortium of mainly Irish American investors purchased the castle and estate.


And while you’re in the area you can check out Cliffs of Moher, Bunratty Village Mills, Lisdoonvarna, Bunratty Castle and if you’re timing is right the Willie Clancy festival