Farney Castle in County Tipperary is the only round tower in Ireland occupied as a family home. The first castle was built at Farney in 1185 and this would have been a timbered structure. The present round tower was built in 1495 by Thomas Butler, 7th Earl of Ormond and it was part of a defensive system created by the Butlers to protect their land in Tipperary.
The Butlers were in Farney Castle for 500 years, but in 1536 the castle was confiscated by King Henry VIII of England. He returned the lands again to the Butlers in 1538 when he married Anne Boleyn who was the daughter of James, 3rd Earl of Ormond. Subsequently the castle was occupied for short periods by two other English monarchs namely King James 1st from 1617 - 1625 and King George 1st from 1716 -1721.
The castle is now home to the Irish international designer, Cyril Cullen, where his famous handmade knitwear designs and fine porcelains are produced, and sold in the castle shop. Tours of the castle are available by arrangement.
A visit to the castle would not be complete without visiting the design studios and retail outlet for both Cyril’s knitwear and porcelain collections.