The annual Tedfest is just around the corner – a celebration of the adored Irish sitcom Father Ted. Festival goers will flock from 22nd to 25th February to Craggy Island (better known as Inis Mor) to revel in the festivities. When thinking about Father Ted, one thing that always comes to mind is the iconic parochial house on Craggy Island the characters called home.
Did you know? The house itself is real, but rather than being on an island off the west coast of Ireland, is situated in Kilfenora, Co. Clare.
Tedfest has us thinking about many of the other widely recognised places around our little island that have been used for filming of popular films and TV shows. Below are some of our favourites:
Cliffs of Moher, Co. Clare – Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, and others
After the home of Father Ted Crilly, this entry could well be the most widely recognised of all the locations on our list. The breath taking cliffs, reaching over 500ft in height, have featured in many well-known films including 2009’s Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, The Princess Bride (1987), Into the West (1992) and Ryan’s Daughter (1970).
Trim Castle, Co. Meath – Braveheart
Trim Castle is the largest Norman castle in the Republic of Ireland. Originally called ‘home’ by Hugh de Lacy and his son Walter in 1174, the castle has played host to an array of guests through the centuries, including Mel Gibson for his sophomore directorial effort on Braveheart (1995).
Kilmainham Goal, Dublin – Michael Collins, and others
This historic building served as a jail for revolutionaries during and after many Irish rebellions, including the 1916 rising. If you visit today, you will see the names of some of the most prominent ‘residents’ on the cell doors. It’s not surprising that in 1995, Liam Neeson and Alan Rickman found themselves filming Michael Collins behind its walls. Also used as a location in The Italian Job (1969), The Wind that Shakes the Barley (2006) and In the Name of the Father (1993).
Powerscourt Estate, Co. Wicklow – The Tudors, and others
Originally a 13th century castle, and home to a the La Poer (anglicised to Power) family, the Powerscourt Estate as we know it, only came into the ownership of the Powerscourt family in the 16th century. The estate has been featured in countless films, King Arthur (2004), Ella Enchanted (2004) and The Count of Monte Cristo (2002). Of course historical TV series The Tudors starring Irish actors Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Maria Doyle Kennedy was also shot on location at Powerscourt.
Skellig Michael, Co. Kerry – Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Dating back all the way to 600AD, Skellig Michael is famous for its St. Fionan’s monastery settlement, where monks lived in stone, beehive shaped huts.
Described by Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw as “An incredible, impossible, mad place…I tell you the thing does not belong to any world that you and I have lived and worked in: it is part of our dream world”, it makes sense that George Lucas choose the location for Star Wars.
Castle Ward, Co. Down & Stranocum, Co. Antrim – Game of Thrones
Everyone’s favourite Game of Thrones family, House Stark who hail from Winterfell, actually film their scenes at Castle Ward in County Down. Built in the 16th Century, Castle Down could actually be renamed as Winterfell!
The dark hedges of Stranocum, County Antrim was already a tourist attraction thanks to it’s eerie appearance however it has also become better know as the Kingsroad on Game of Thrones.
If you’re adie-hard game of thrones fan, you can take our Game of Thrones quiz & find out which house you belong to!
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