Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

Lismore Castle

Lismore castle 5
Sigma SD15, 15-30mm f3.5-4.5 lens, Iso 50
Lismore Castle, country Waterford
Irish Landscape photography : Nigel Borrington

Lismore Castle, county Waterford

The town of lismore sits on the banks of the Blackwater river, as it flows through county waterford. The town is small with a population of about 1500 people.

I have visited the town many times, a farmers and craft market is held each Sunday morning just outside the gates of the Castle, there is also one of Ireland’s best rural arts galleries here.

The town is the location of Lismore castle and it’s one of Ireland’s longest standing building, of it’s kind.

Its described as follows below:

Lismore castle : Early history

The castle site was originally occupied by Lismore Abbey, an important monastery and seat of learning established in the early 7th century. It was still an ecclesiastical centre when Henry II, King of England stayed here in 1171, and except for a brief period after 1185 when his son King John of England built a ‘castellum’ here, it served as the episcopal residence of the local bishop. In 1589, Lismore was leased and later acquired by Sir Walter Raleigh. Raleigh sold the property during his imprisonment for High Treason in 1602 to another infamous colonial adventurer, Richard Boyle, later 1st Earl of Cork.

Boyle came to Ireland from England in 1588 with only twenty-seven pounds in capital and proceeded to amass an extraordinary fortune. After purchasing Lismore he made it his principal seat and transformed it into a magnificent residence with impressive gabled ranges each side of the courtyard. He also built a castellated outer wall and a gatehouse known as the Riding Gate. The principal apartments were decorated with fretwork plaster ceilings, tapestry hangings, embroidered silks and velvet. It was here in 1627 that Robert Boyle The Father of Modern Chemistry, the fourteenth of the Earl’s fifteen children, was born. The castle descended to another Richard Boyle, 4th Earl of Cork & 3rd Earl of Burlington, who was a noted influence on Georgian architecture (and known in architectural histories as the Earl of Burlington).

Lismore featured in the Cromwellian wars when, in 1645, a force of Catholic confederacy commanded by Lord Castlehaven sacked the town and Castle. Some restoration was carried out by Richard Boyle, 2nd Earl of Cork (1612-1698) to make it habitable again but neither he nor his successors lived at Lismore.

The Dukes of Devonshire

Lismore castle maps

The castle (along with other Boyle properties – Chiswick House, Burlington House, Bolton Abbey and Londesborough Hall) was acquired by the Cavendish family in 1753.

The daughter and heiress of the 4th Earl of Cork, Lady Charlotte Boyle (1731-1754) married William Cavendish, 4th Duke of Devonshire, a future Prime Minister of Great Britain & Ireland.

Their son, the 5th Duke (1748-1811) carried out improvements at Lismore, notably the bridge across the river Blackwater in 1775 designed by Cork-born architect Thomas Ivory.

More…..

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Castle Gardens

The castle’s gardens are open to the public and feature contemporary sculptures, including works by Anthony Gormley, Marzia Colonna and EilΓ­s O’Connell. The upper garden is a 17th-century walled garden while much of the informal lower garden was designed in the 19th century.

You can visit the Gardens of the Castle during the summer months for a fee of €8 and they are wonderful.

Gallery of Lismore

For the best views of the castle itself you need to cross the river and enter the fields below the castle on the other side of the bridge crossing the Blackwater river.

I spent a couple of hours in these fields just walking along the river and taking some photo’s of the castle above me, its just a wonderful spot to sit down and watch the fish jumping and the Herons hunting for fish in the river.

The Images Below are just some that I took, I hope they have captures a sense of this place…..

Lismore castle 1
Sigma SD15, 15-30mm f3.5-4.5 lens, Iso 50
Lismore Castle, country Waterford
Irish Landscape photography : Nigel Borrington

Lismore castle 2
Sigma SD15, 15-30mm f3.5-4.5 lens, Iso 50
Lismore Castle, country Waterford
Irish Landscape photography : Nigel Borrington

Lismore castle 3
Sigma SD15, 15-30mm f3.5-4.5 lens, Iso 50
Lismore Castle, country Waterford
Irish Landscape photography : Nigel Borrington

Lismore castle 4
Sigma SD15, 15-30mm f3.5-4.5 lens, Iso 50
Lismore Castle, country Waterford
Irish Landscape photography : Nigel Borrington

Lismore castle 7
Sigma SD15, 15-30mm f3.5-4.5 lens, Iso 50
Blackwater river/Lismore Castle, country Waterford
Irish Landscape photography : Nigel Borrington

Lismore castle 6
Sigma SD15, 15-30mm f3.5-4.5 lens, Iso 50
Blackwater river/Lismore Castle, country Waterford
Irish Landscape photography : Nigel Borrington

19 responses

  1. noelgreene

    Great Post Nigel .. and a great history lesson as well

    July 9, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    • Hello Noel ….

      Thank you, very pleased you enjoyed this post πŸ™‚

      July 9, 2013 at 4:00 pm

  2. Vicki (from Victoria A Photography)

    Yes, great post indeed. I enjoy reading the history of old castles. Is the interior restored or preserved? Do you have any interior shots?

    July 9, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    • Hello Vicki,

      Thank you – They allow weddings but I get the feeling that the castle has been divided into very expensive apartments for private bookings. thus I don’t think its open to the public which is a big shame. A lot if Ireland’s historic places are like this or since the crash in 2008 – they have closed.

      Back in the UK, they have the “national trust” and most place’s like this are open to the public, Ireland I am afraid has a big PRIVATE sign over most of its historic places or they are left to make their own minds up as to if they will let people in.

      The Gardens are wonderful however and do at least offer some idea of the castle’s history πŸ™‚

      July 9, 2013 at 4:14 pm

  3. Another fairytale series of pictures…most interesting!

    July 9, 2013 at 3:24 pm

  4. artscottnet

    Excellent shots, Nigel. I love the light on the trees and castle, and the water captures are brilliant. Very interesting history

    July 9, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    • Hello Scott….

      Thank you, I am very pleased that you enjoyed this post and thank you for such great comments πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      July 9, 2013 at 4:16 pm

  5. Nigel, the Sigma really brings a bit of surreal in every shot…these are so pretty! Even, *especially* the black and whites, have incredible depth and character. You can see every stone in that stream! Too bad this lovely old structure isn’t in the National Trust…..

    July 9, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    • Hello Sharon πŸ™‚

      Yes, Its very film like compared to some digital cameras. I think that Sigma have achieved this look and feel very well. I love the Nikon cameras I have but I am just loving giving the sigma sensor a go, I am much more impressed than I could have imagined. Its a bit low on actual image size but the sensor see’s every bit of color and detail that you could in reality need.

      Yes, I am much more use to the UK’s National trust, so much has been retained for public access, it gives people so much to do on a day off and you feel you know the countries history so much more when you can go and visit places that have played a big part in it’s past. Schools do a lot of visit’s to the national trust properties. Here you could feel sometimes a little cut out from some very important places.

      You can still visit a lot of great places having said that!

      July 9, 2013 at 9:20 pm

      • Oh yes Nigel, you don’t seem to ever lack for wonderful history and photo opportunities in Ireland πŸ™‚ I was so impressed with the National Trust system. Here it all depends on individual state-run budgets and when those go bad (as many have in recent years) the smaller state-level parks and historical landmarks are the first for funding cuts………

        July 9, 2013 at 10:27 pm

  6. 5th photo… what kind of tree is that?

    July 9, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    • Hello Elen…

      If your talking about the bank of tree’s on the left, they could be Beech or Ash it’s a little hard to tell if you cannot see the leafs close up. I would say Beech.

      July 9, 2013 at 9:25 pm

  7. Thank you!

    July 9, 2013 at 11:39 pm

  8. Interesting post Nigel. I love the B&Ws πŸ™‚

    July 10, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    • Hello Norma πŸ™‚

      Thank you, it’s a great place for images so very pleased you liked them πŸ™‚

      July 10, 2013 at 5:50 pm

  9. We had a lovely walk through the gardens at Lismore. Such a beautiful spot. Thanks for the memories. πŸ™‚

    February 5, 2015 at 3:38 pm

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