Here is my Lord of Ormond’s house, daintily seated on the river bank, which flows even to the walls of his house, which I went to see, and found in the outer court three or four haystacks, not far from the stable door; this court is paved. There are also two other courts; the one a quadrangle. The house was built at twice.
Sir William Brereton’s description is the earliest account of Ormond Castle, Carrick on Suir (Fig. 1). It was the favourite house of Thomas Butler, 10th Earl of Ormond. Inside the building a unique decorative scheme in plaster of mid-sixteenth-century date has survived. The castle, now known as Ormond Castle, takes it name from its former owners, the powerful Anglo-Norman family of Butler, who came to Ireland in 1185 with King John. James Butler (d. 1338) was created Earl of Ormond in 1315. In the seventeenth century another James Butler, 12th earl, was elevated to a dukedom of Ormonde after the restoration of Charles II.