The banqueting hall of the Desmond Castle, seat of the Earl of Desmond, parts of which date from the 13th century, is the most notable historical feature of the town. The current Castle dates from the 15th century and during the 20th century was partly restored and is now open to the public for guided tours from May to September. The Desmond Banqueting Hall is an imposing two-storey structure and was used by the Earls of Desmond for banqueting and entertainment. The Hall with its vaulted lower chamber and adjoining tower were constructed during the 15th century. The hall and chamber were built on the remains of a 13th century structure of similar size. The restored medieval features include an oak musicians’ gallery and a limestone hooded fireplace.
Later during the reign of Elizabeth I, three battles were fought here and tradition says that many members of the Knights Templar were also killed here.