Castle for rent Ireland – Blackwater Castle

A medieval Castle for rent in Ireland, the spectacular home of the former Viscount of Fermoy and Lords of the Barony of Fermoy, is a truly unique heritage site of international significance. Blackwater Castle, with a history extending back some 10,000 years to the Mesolithic period, is now available to hire as a private Castle experience for exclusive Castle weddings, private parties, and family gatherings.

The Castle was first erected in the twelfth century on the site of the  fortress of Dun Cruadha, an inland promontory fort which was established some 2,500 years ago or more on a rocky outcrop on the banks of the River Awbeg.   Beautifully appointed suites, welcoming reception rooms, historical tours and extensive activities from zip-lining to fly fishing are all on offer at one of Ireland’s more interesting and best preserved castles set on a 50 acre estate of mature native Irish trees with a private stretch of the River Awbeg.

Visitors gracing the Castle down through the centuries include Early Mesolithic hunter-gatherers, Druids and Chieftains, Strongbow’s Men at Arms, Sir Walter Raleigh, and Michael Jackson while Oliver Cromwell and his army also laid siege to the Castle.  More recently we have received the President of Ireland Uachtaran Michael D. Higgins who described the Castle as a “beautiful place” and set in “a majestic and pastoral environment”.  This exquisite Castle is available for private exclusive hire as the perfect venue for castle weddings, private parties and self catering holiday vacation rentals.  Guesthouse options are also available for group bookings.

The Castle is a highly recommended venue with a coveted 5 star rating on Tripadvisor where we rank as the Best Speciality Accommodation in Cork (out of 76) while we are rated in the top three in Munster (of 331). We were winners of the Best Hospitality, Tourism and Food Venue in the North Cork Business Awards 2017 while in October 2015 The Irish Times listed us among the top ten Castles in Ireland.

Castle private party Cork

We have been selected for three consecutive years by One Fab Day as one of the best wedding venues in Ireland.

Rent Castle Ireland

This exceptional Castle for rent is located in the heart of Southern Ireland nestled in the fertile hills of North Cork near the picturesque village of Castletownroche.  Blackwater Castle is the original seat of the FitzHugh/Roche Family who travelled to Ireland with Strongbow in the late twelfth century (for more information on the history of the Castle click here).  The Castle is located on an elevated site (and former inland promontory fort) above the River Awbeg with magnificent views of the surrounding countryside from the Norman Tower which is reputed to be one of the best preserved medieval keeps in Ireland.  Blackwater Castle is blessed with a rich historical legacy the traces of which, dating from the early Mesolithic period or some 10,000 years ago, are visible today and are entertainingly and enthusiastically revealed and interpreted via guided tour with the owner Patrick Nordstrom.

Medieval Dining Room
The Dining Room at Blackwater Castle
The Tea Room at Blackwater Castle

Authentic Castle experience

A stay at Blackwater Castle is a unique experience blending history and heritage with luxurious comfort, exciting activities, and beautiful scenery all in a manner customised to your particular requirements be it a quiet family gathering or a large wedding.  The Castle is the genuine article – the tower facing East dates from the 12th Century while the Western keep was erected in the 15th Century but the site itself has a 10,000 year old history.  The accommodation and reception rooms of the Castle between the two towers were renovated in the late 17th Century but the foundations and walls were almost certainly originally erected in the early 15th century which would make Blackwater Castle one of the oldest habitable buildings in Ireland and certainly one of the oldest continually occupied homes in Ireland.   The Castle is a true example of how such structures, if looked after with tender loving care, can evolve down through the centuries from providing a fortress for ancient Irish Chieftains to accommodating Anglo-Norman overlords and subsequently British settlers.  The Vikings are once again back in Ireland as the Castle is now in the ownership of the Finlandian Nordstrom Family Trust and home to Patrick and Sheila Nordstrom, your host family, who have opened the doors of this historic estate of international significance to make the Castle available to rent so that it can be shared with all who appreciate Irish heritage.

Step back in time through all phases of Irish history at Blackwater Castle which has evolved gently down through the millenia.  Lewis’ Cork, published in 1837, described the Castle in memorable evocative terms, and this description still rings true almost 200 years later. Mr. Lewis writes that the Castle is

“situated on the summit of a rocky eminence overhanging the river, the banks of which here are richly wooded, and commands extensive and varied prospects over the surrounding country, itself forming a conspicuous and beautiful object from every point of view. The tower or keep of the ancient fortress has been incorporated in the present structure, which is in a style of corresponding character and rises, majestically above the woods in which it is embosomed, forming a strikingly romantic feature in the landscape.  The castle, with its outworks, occupied a considerable extent of the ground surrounded by a strong rampart with parapet and turrets, of which a large proportion is still remaining: there is a descent to the river of 100 steps  cut in the solid rock, for supplying the Castle with water.”

An image of Blackwater Castle by Alfred Nicholson
An image of Blackwater Castle by Alfred Nicholson (b. 1788, d. 1833)

The Castle still rises majestically above the glen of the river Awbeg and continues to form a “strikingly romantic feature” in the landscape of the area.

Flexible Terms

Guests can be accommodated in this Castle rental on a self catering, partial, or fully catered basis and the entire grounds of the Castle (or parts of it) are available for exclusive hire.  The Castle sleeps 23 across 9 suites while larger groups can be accommodated in the Courtyard which sleeps a further 47 in our Garden Apartments and dormitory accommodation. Everything is possible here and Patrick and Sheila are on hand to accommodate all requests.  No matter how you choose to enjoy all that is on offer at Blackwater Castle, be it an exclusive castle wedding, self catering vacation or holiday rental, family gathering, private party or Castle heritage experience, when you are here, you are at home!

See how previous visitors enjoyed their Castle rental Ireland experience by reading some independant reviews on Tripadvisor.

castle for hire

The St. Patrick Suite with small family room attached and, below, the main staircase of Blackwater Castle.

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castle for rent ireland

You can also view some videos of the Castle and the surrounding area on our Youtube Channel.