Kilcoe Castle – Cork, Ireland - Atlas Obscura

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Kilcoe Castle

A stunning medieval castle owned and restored by the famed actor Jeremy Irons. 


Many are familiar with Jeremy Irons from such films as The MissionKafka, The Lion KingDie Hard with a Vengeance, or Justice League. But what many do not know is that the thespian, one of the very few actors to receive the Triple Crown of Acting—having won an Oscar, Emmy, and a Tony—owns a medieval castle in Ireland that has been restored to its whilom glory.

Built around 1450 by the clan of Dermod MacCarthy, the fortress is composed of two adjoining towers on an islet in West Cork, one squat and the other rising tall toward the sky. It was one of Ireland’s last redoubts to fall to the invading forces of Elizabethan England during the last stage of the Tudor conquest. It was abandoned until Irons bought it for himself in 1998.

He then started a restoration project that took around six years and a million pounds that resulted in this stunning work of architecture coated in a rosy terracotta limewash. The untraditional color that replaced the original stone-gray stirred a bit of controversy at the time, but it seems to have grown on a majority of people.

A fond reflection of the actor’s lifelong passion for art collecting and design, the renovated castle stands tall and proud once again above the medieval stone walls, overlooking the shimmering waters of Roaringwater Bay.

Know Before You Go

The castle is a private residence and not open to the public. However, you can still get a spectacular view from the surrounding countryside.

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