13th -17th Centuries

Evidence in stone of the Normans is found all over the county.  In North Tipperary,  Roscrea Castle was built around 1212 and Nenagh Castle, a round keep, dates from a few years earlier.  Cahir Castle on the banks of the Suir was famously captured after a siege by the earl of Essex in 1599.  Near Carrick-on-Suir is a very different type of castle, built later for the Butler  earls of Ormond, the emphasis is much less of defence and more on comfort.  All of these monuments to vanished centuries are worth visiting. 

If ringforts are very common in Tipperary, so also are tower houses.  These large, solid, multi-storied, usually rectangular stone buildings date from the 15th and 16th centuries and were fortified dwelling houses for men of substance in their local communities.  It has been estimated that there are around four hundred examples in the county.  A spectacularly restored example is at Grantstown near Tipperary town. 

During the late sixteenth century, the Glen of Aherlow, then intensely wooded was the scene of protracted opposition to the advance of centralised government, directed from London, through Dublin.   James Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald and later the earl of Desmond (also Fitzgerald) led the rebellions, hiding out in Aherlow and staging periodic raids on English settlements.

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