Roscrea Castle Review
In the very center of town is Roscrea Castle, a Norman fortress dating from 1314, given by King Richard II to the duke of Ormonde. Inside are vaulted rooms graced with tapestries and 16th-century furniture. A ticket to the castle gains entry to the adjacent Damer House, a superb example of an early-18th-century town house on the grand scale. It was built in 1725 within the curtain walls of the castle, at a time when homes were often constructed beside or attached to the strongholds they replaced. The house has a plain, symmetrical facade and a magnificent carved-pine staircase inside; on display are exhibits about local history. The Damer Art Gallery is on the second floor while on the third the Kelly Exhibition showcases furniture and farm implements donated from a local farmhouse. Hour-long guided tours are held in spring and summer. To get here, start with your back to St. Cronan's monastery, turn left, and then turn right on to Castle Street. Your ticket also includes entry to the restored Black Mills in Church Street, a small museum with local artifacts, of which the star attraction is St. Cronan's High Cross.