Ireland, or the Emerald Land, is called so because of the vibrant green fields and moors evokes feelings of eeriness and awe.  Whether it's the hallowing wind in the moors or the dark rainy skies, a visit to Ireland is rather mystical.  Within the countryside are castles and manor houses tucked away with their own private stories to tell. 

Ireland holds a rather dark and violent history of revolution and suppression.   These stories tell of tales ranging from famine to the running out of the Irish chieftains by the British crown to the murders of the Irish Revolution in the seventies.

The most famous castle in Ireland is Blarney Castle built more than 600 years ago by Cormac McCarthy, a very famous Irish Chieftain.  There have been several attempts by the British to take the castle over the years.  In one case, the entire castle fled with valuable goods through the underground tunnels.  The castle has mostly fallen into ruin, but the attached manor house has stayed as a permanent residence of the family that bought the lands in the 1680s. 

An unknown place is Classiebawn Castle.  It was built in the 19th century in the west of Ireland.  The home was once the residency of Lord Mountbatten, the last viceroy to India.   It was here on this property that the Irish Republican Army murdered him in 1979.  Today the house is not open to tours, but you can walk around the grounds and along the cliff walls.

Carrickfergus Castle is well-preserved 12th century castle in the north.   This castle played a large military role in Irish history as the French, English, and Scots tried to siege it.  The castle was used up until World War II.  Water surrounds the castle on three sides making for perfect protection. 

The Rock of Cashel Castle is in Tipperary, Ireland.   This castle is home to the most extensive Celtic Art collection in Europe.  Once home to the Irish kings, the castle was handed over the Church in the 1100s.   On the side of the castle is a small graveyard, decorated with the Celtic crosses. 

For those looking for more mystery, visit the Leap Castle.  It is rumored that it is the most haunted.  There have been murders and hangings on the property for centuries.  The Bloody Chapel is where the most famous murder of a priest happened.  Many of the hauntings are said to be quite violent and horrifying.The castles all have their own stories to tell to those who just pass through for the day.   Visit whatever castles come your way to connect with the past of Ireland.