Tucked away in the countryside just outside Holycross in Tipperary, Farney Castle has an amazing story. The structure itself has existed since 1475 replacing an earlier timber framed castle built in 1185. The round tour- was built by Thomas Butler, the 7th Earl of Ormond. It is the only round tour in Ireland that is occupied as a family home. Home to Cyril and Margot Cullen and their four grown daughters, the castle has a rich history and is filled with wonderful crafts, artwork and furnishings.
Their daughters are incredibly talented as well as they are The Cullen Harpers (Four Irish Harps, Four Voices, Uileann Pipes and Concert Flutes). They have travelled worldwide and played in notable venues such as Carnegie Hall in New York and The Barbican Centre in London.
Here at Farney, Cyril Cullen, world renowned knitwear and porcelain designer, has his workshops and a retail outlet.
One drives up to the front of the castle and then enters through this archway to the retail premises in back.
Inside is a large room filled with Cyril's many porcelain figures. Made of fine Parian Porcelain, Cyril has sold these world wide.
In another area of the shop are his knitwear pieces. Cyril is well known for his Jacob Sweater which is made from the un-dyed wool of a rare breed of sheep, the Jacob. The Cullen's have their own flock which lives in the pastures surrounding the castle.
Luckily enough for me, his delightful wife Margot was there the day I visited and she gave me a personal tour. Margot has been thoroughly involved in the business and told me they were promoting Irish crafts back in the 70's over in the US. Clearly great ambassadors for Ireland over the years and continuing today.
This is the cover of a book that Margot wrote about Cyril - the two of them are featured on the cover. They have a simple website - Knotsure and you can find out a bit more info on them here but you can also by Googling them.
I did get to see inside the castle as well but I thought I'd save those photos for another day. There are loads of wonderful stories here!