Birr Castle (from the Irish Caislean Bhiorra) – is a large castle from year 1170 located in the center of Birr,County Offaly. The castle itself is an impressive 90-room building located on 1,200 acres of land and surrounded by a 12-meter wall, because it is owned by the 7th Earl of Rosse, part of the estate is not available for sightseeing, although its powerful and beautiful gardens are publicly available. The castle, or rather the Birr fortress, survived two sieges in the 17th century and a fire in 1836.
This castle is famous for its important contribution to science and technology, the third Earl Rosse built in 1840 the largest telescope in the world with a spotlight diameter 183cm (it was the largest for 70 years), thanks to him discoveries such as Nebula Vortex,developed a method for calculating surface heat the moon, which turned out to be amazingly accurate, and his son invented a steam turbine that, as is known, changed the course of history around the world.
Currently parts of the property are still used for science, since 2017 there is an Irish station for a pan-European network of state-of-the-art radio telescopes (I-LOFAR).
The real gem, however, is the vast parks of the 17th century gardens, famous for their beauty and unusual landscapes. In these gardens is the oldest suspension bridge in Ireland made in 1820 consisting of wrought iron, there is also a 300-year-old hedge, which according to the Guinness book of records is the highest hedge in the world. In the gardens there are also waterfalls, lakes and rivers as well as an impressive collection of rare plants from around the world.
A really great place to spend even the whole day with your family.