You can use your OPW Heritage Card to explore all these wonderful sites from Castles and Abbeys to Great Houses, Historic Parks and Amazing Gardens. You can also download a PDF of the 'Heritage Sites of Ireland 2019' Brochure from our Downloads section. The brochure is available in Irish, English, French, and German. A copy of the brochure will be sent with each order received, and copies of the brochure are also available from the heritage sites you visit.
NOTE: The sites below are presented in summary, but you can link from each summary to their full profile on HeritageIreland.ie by clicking 'view'.
Opening Dates and Times: The opening months below are for general guidance only. Please note that some sites may be closed or operate with restrictions in place during 2020 in light of emerging circumstances and as Covid measures are installed. See HeritageIsland.ie. For more detailed information on opening dates, times and advisory information, please click 'view'.
A fine example of a medieval fortified castle. It was an important stronghold of the Earls of Desmond.
A monastery founded by St. Brendan 'The Navigator' in the 6th century. There are three medieval churches, two ogham stones and early Christian and medieval grave slabs on the site.
Restored three storey 13th Century Norman Keep. The interior contains unique stone carvings of the period.
Built close to the shores of Lough Corrib c1500. Aughnanure Castle is a beautifully restored Gaelic Tower House built by one of the most ferocious Irish clans - The O'Flahertys.
The Battle of the Boyne between King William III and his father-in-law, King James II, was fought in 1690. At stake were the British throne, French dominance in Europe and religious power in Ireland.
An impressive and well preserved Cistercian Monastery which was founded in the 12th century.
Interprets the archaeological heritage of the Boyne Valley, including the megalithic tombs of Newgrange & Knowth. A busy site, see 'view' for an advice note.
One of Ireland's largest and best-preserved castles, once the stronghold of the powerful Butler family. The castle retains its impressive keep, tower and much of its defensive structure.
Irelands largest megalithic cemetery with over 60 tombs, some among the oldest in the country.
The Casino, meaning “small house”, surprisingly contains 16 finely decorated rooms, endlessly rich in subtlety and design. It is a remarkable building - in terms of structure and history.
Castletown is the largest and most significant Palladian style country house in Ireland. The house is set amongst beautiful 18th-century parklands.
Stone Age landscape of stone-walled fields, dwellings and megalithic tombs preserved under blanket bogland, over 5,000 years old.
A classic example of a 17th Century star-shaped fort. As one of the largest military installations in the country, it has been associated with some of the most momentous events in Irish history.
A 6th Century monastic site, with three high crosses, a Cathedral, seven churches and two round towers. A busy site. See 'view' for advice notice.
The ancestral home of Daniel O'Connell, lawyer, politician and statesman. Situated on 120 hectares of parklands on the scenic Kerry coast.
Built by the Earl of Desmond c. 1500. A fine example of an urban tower house, the castle consists of a three-storey keep with storehouses to the rear.
Built by the O'Donnell chieftain in the 15th century, beside the River Eske, with the addition of a 17th Century Jacobean manor house. The Castle is furnished throughout.
The Park comprises approximately 166 hectares and is an outstanding example of an 18th century landscaped park in the 'Capability Brown' style.
Originally a Norman Castle, today it mainly contains buildings from the 17th to 20th centuries in addition to medieval remnants.
Perched on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic ocean, Dún Aonghasa is the largest of the prehistoric stone forts of the Aran Islands.
One of Ireland’s most interesting limestone caves consisting of a series of chambers formed over millions of years. It was the site of a Viking massacre in 928.
This Magnificent Neo-Classical mansion was designed by James Gandon in 1790 for the Earls of Portarlington. Visit the house, exhibitions, parklands, lake walks, and tearooms.
This 13th-century Franciscan friary, founded by the O'Briens, of Thomond who once ruled much of north Munster, has numerous 15th/16th-century sculptures carved in the local hard limestone.
78 acres estate, purchased by the OPW on behalf of the Government, and developed to provide accommodation for visiting dignitaries and guests of the nation.
One of the best-preserved Christian sites in Ireland. Access to the Oratory is available all year. However, the Visitor Centre closes for the winter months.
Regency house decorated with Victorian William Morris wallpaper, textiles and artworks by leading 20th Century artists. Access to the house by guided tour only.
Famous for its monastic site founded in the 6th C. It has a round tower, stone churches and numerous crosses.
16,500 hectares of mountains, lakes, glens and woods, and a 19th Century castle surrounded by the famous Glenveagh Gardens. The Castle's interior is accessible by tour only.
Seat of the High Kings of Ireland, it was the most important centre of political and religious power in pre-Christian Ireland. Site accessible outside of the season (excluding the church).
Island garden of rare beauty situated in the sheltered harbour of Glengarriff in Bantry Bay. Access by boat/ferry.
Celebrates the story of the Blasket Islanders their native language, culture and tradition
This state-of-the-art visitor centre celebrates the culture, and landscape of the Connemara Gaeltacht. The area’s unique heritage attracted Patrick Pearse, leader of the 1916 Rising, to spend his summers here.
An outstanding Cistercian abbey founded in the second half of the 12th century. The church, with its Romanesque details, dates from this period.
252 hectares including 4,500 types of tree and shrubs, 200 forest plots, rhododendrons and dwarf conifers.
A 12th-century castle remodelled in Victorian times. Recently restored to 1830s splendour, the castle is set in extensive parklands. High-season is self-guiding. Low-season by guided tour only.
Kilmainham Gaol is one of the largest unoccupied gaols in Europe, covering some of the most heroic and tragic events in Ireland's emergence as a modern nation.
Magnificent Victorian mansion & world-renowned gardens. Access to Muckross House by Guided Tour Only. This is a very busy site and delays may be experienced.
Ireland’s first Cistercian monastery. Its most unique features being its octagonal lavabo c.1200.
The best example of an Elizabethan manor house in Ireland. It was built by Thomas, the 10th Earl of Ormond, in the 1560s.
17th Century fortified manor house, recently restored using Irish oak and traditional craftsmanship. Picturesquely situated on the shores of Lough Gill.
Built before 1618, this Jacobean manor was the seat of the De Burgo family for over 200 years. Includes recently restored 17th century walled kitchen garden
The Royal complex of Rathcroghan, capital of ancient Connacht, holds an amazing wealth of both unique archaeology and illuminating literature, dating back over 6,000 years.
A 16th Century castle with 18th Century interiors by Sir William Chambers and James ‘Athenian’ Stuart.
Restored 13th Century circular tower, originally part of the town’s defences. It was later used as a mint, prison and military store
A spectacular group of Medieval buildings set on an outcrop of limestone in the Golden Vale. This is a busy site, see 'view' for guidance.
Restored Mill and High Cross. 18th Century Queen Ann style Damer House located in the courtyard of a 13th Century castle.
A restored 15th Century castle which now houses a fine collection of 16th & 17th Century oak furniture.
13th Century Dominican Friary containing the only surviving 15th Century sculptured high altar in any Irish monastic church.
A delightful 'cottage orné' built in the early 1800s by Richard Butler, 1st Earl of Glengall to a design by the famous Regency architect John Nash.
A Cistercian abbey founded c. 1200 by William, the Earl Marshall, and named after Tintern in Wales.
Largest Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland, constructed by Hugh de Lacy in the 12th Century. A busy site.