A beautiful picturesque town with a proud heritage located on the banks of the River Blackwater, Lismore is steeped in history and a jewel in Ireland’s Ancient East.

The town boasts 1,400 years of history, tracing its origins to the arrival of St Carthage in 636 AD. Renowned as Ireland’s first university town, its university was attended by scholars from all over Europe. The town withstood invasions by the Vikings and the Normans and has kept renewing itself.

Lismore Castle was built in the twelfth century, and throughout its 800-year history, it has attracted a range of famous people through the ages, from Elizabethan adventurers to Hollywood stars. When you walk through Lismore’s streets, you’ll be walking through history.

In present-day Lismore, you’ll find plenty of attractions to explore. The most famous of these is St. Carthage’s Cathedral, which has been a place of worship since 634AD. It is a place of peace and light, full of architectural marvels. You can explore the sumptuous gardens at Lismore Castle, which is now a private residence for the Duke of Devonshire. You can also view the paintings in the castle’s art gallery.

If you like to read, where better to do it than in the historic surroundings of the Carnegie Library, which was built in 1910 and funded by the great industrialist Andrew Carnegie.

Drop into the Heritage Centre which is a Tourist and Information centre to find out more about what’s happening in the town. Explore their Craft Shop, enjoy some light refreshments and view their interactive exhibition that takes you through our local history. You’ll encounter many of the famous faces that passed through over the centuries.

Check out our Things To Do page for more information.



After you’ve sampled Lismore’s history and culture, you can enjoy a wealth of dining options to satisfy your appetite. On Sundays stroll around the stalls at Lismore Farmer’s Market.

A Taste of History