As we slowly rounded a bend within the driveway, all three of us within the automobile let loose a collective “Oooo” as Ballyseede Fortress got here into view.
With rounded faux-turrerts within the entrance and a vibrant purple door flanked by two Irish Wolfhounds, Ballyseede Fortress undoubtedly appeared spectacular.
“I will wager it is haunted,” my sister stated as we claimed a spot within the car parking zone and started unloading our issues.
“It isn’t haunted,” my mother stated, taking within the green-clad citadel grounds and miniature horses grazing in a area close by.
“It is an actual citadel that is lots of of years outdated,” I identified. “It is most undoubtedly haunted.”
Ballyseede Fortress historical past
Like a lot of Eire’s castle-hotels, Ballyseede Fortress started as an actual citadel in Eire. Positioned close to the city of Tralee and never removed from the coast, the 15th century citadel initially belonged to the Fitzgeralds, who held the title of Earls of Desmond for lots of of years. The Fitzgeralds have been identified for being a bit rebellious, with the ultimate Earl of Desmond refusing to play good with the Crown after Henry VIII shook issues up with the Reformation.
There was open revolt by the Fitzgeralds in opposition to the Crown, typically referred to as both the Desmond Rebellions or Geraldine Rebellions. These rebellions – and the Earls of Desmond – got here to an finish when the 16th Earl was defeated by forces loyal to Queen Elizabeth I. In 1584, Ballyseede Fortress and three,000 acres of land have been stripped from the Fitzgeralds and brought over by the Crown, and the ultimate Earl of Desmond was relieved of his head.
Following this, the citadel and lands related to Ballyseede have been granted to Robert Blennerhassett. The phrases of his lease? He was to pay a hire of a single purple rose from the citadel gardens yearly on Midsummer’s Day (suppose I may work out phrases like that for my mortgage?).
The Blennerhassett household and their descendants occupied Ballyseede Fortress till 1966, bettering and increasing upon the traditional citadel over the centuries to make it what it’s immediately.
The Ballyseede Fortress resort
In the present day, Ballyseede Fortress is a Four-star luxurious citadel resort – the one considered one of its form in County Kerry in Eire, and positively one of many cooler motels in Tralee.
The citadel now consists of 44 en-suite rooms on 30 acres of native Irish woodland. It is a well-liked marriage ceremony venue, and in addition one of many extra reasonably priced citadel motels in Eire should you’re like me and have “keep in a citadel” at present jotted down in your bucket record.
I settled on Ballyseede Fortress for our Irish citadel keep as a result of it was historic, but not too stuffy; spectacular, however not imposing. Plus, they’ve mini horses and cute donkeys on their entrance garden – what extra may you presumably ask for?
As soon as we ultimately made our means in to the foyer and acquired checked in, we then huffed and puffed our means up three tales (no elevators in castles!) to the Crosby Room, one of many giant “Household Fortress Rooms” good for a bunch of three like ours.
We spent the remainder of the afternoon and night exploring the citadel. We snapped photographs within the two sitting rooms (Mamie’s Lounge and the Kennelly Lounge), took selfies with fits of armor, and wandered into the Orangery, which was clearly being arrange for a marriage.
My sister and I additionally took a stroll via the grounds, which have been tremendous inexperienced and vibrant, even on an overcast and damp day.
And naturally we needed to give some like to Mr. Higgins, Ballyseede’s resident Irish Wolfhound, and his canine mates (I counted not less than Four citadel canines at this resort!).
Staying at Ballyseede Fortress
A keep in a citadel resort in Eire is not that a lot totally different from staying wherever else. Our citadel keep included nice Irish service, a snug a contemporary room with issues like a TV and free wifi (although the wifi labored higher in some rooms than others due to the citadel’s thick partitions!), a tasty cooked breakfast, and free run of the citadel widespread rooms and grounds.
I discovered the citadel to be extraordinarily welcoming and comfy (the beds have been among the finest we slept in in Eire!), and would undoubtedly keep once more!
The eating choices
Ballyseede Fortress presents a number of totally different eating areas, and also you may be capable of get pleasure from all of them even should you solely keep for one night time.
If you happen to fancy a splurge, be sure you e book a desk at Ballyseede’s O’Connell Restaurant, which sources native and seasonal elements to supply some tasty Irish delicacies.
Subsequent door, the Stone Room Restaurant is the place you will have breakfast served within the morning – and it’ll undoubtedly make you’re feeling such as you’re consuming your pancakes or eggs Benedict (each scrumptious) in a citadel.
Within the night, you possibly can seize a snack or drink at Pappy’s Bar, a small and comfy area behind the citadel.
Or, you are able to do what we did, and order dinner off the Pappy’s menu and eat it within the stunning Kennelly Lounge!
And one of the best half about staying at Ballyseede Fortress resort? It is really reasonably priced! Double rooms on the citadel begin at €115 throughout off-season (November-March) and €175 throughout excessive season (Could-September). The family-style citadel room we stayed in goes for round €225 throughout off-season and €265 in excessive season.
It can save you much more cash by opting to remain on the Fortress Lodge as a substitute of within the citadel itself (although, to be trustworthy, I’d splurge so you possibly can really keep IN the citadel!).
Evaluate these costs to different well-known citadel motels in Eire, and Ballyseede is a steal!
Is Ballyseede Fortress haunted?
However now again to that debate we had about whether or not or not Ballyseede Fortress is haunted… It most undoubtedly is!
Actually, Ballyseede Fortress has not less than one well-known resident ghost. Her identify is Hilda.
Hilda was the final member of the Blennerhassett to have referred to as Ballyseede dwelling. She was a World Warfare I nurse (and a badass one from every little thing I’ve learn), and it was after her loss of life in 1965 that the citadel was put up for public sale and ultimately bought to turn out to be a resort. Hilda clearly did not need to go away, nevertheless, as a result of a number of visitors and staff have reported seeing her across the citadel.
And the place you are almost definitely to see Hilda? Within the Crosby Room, which was once her bed room. (Yeah, I am kinda glad I came upon that bit of data AFTER we slept in that room for an evening!)
Together with seeing Hilda’s shadow within the window, or bodily seeing her within the room, folks additionally typically report smelling a powerful scent of roses on the higher flooring of the citadel – maybe Hilda’s remaining nod to the lease that her household had on Ballyseede for all these generations.
READ NEXT: Why Eire is the Good Vacation spot for Multigenerational Journey
Would you need to keep in a citadel in Eire? How concerning the Ballyseede Fortress resort?
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