Swiss Cottage Cahir the prettiest cottage in Tipperary

The Swiss cottage Ireland is located in Tipperary in the Republic of Ireland a few kilometres from Cahir Castle, in Cahir. The Swiss Cottage orné was built in the 1800s as a country retreat in the style known as “Cottage Orne” which really means ornamental or pretty cottage. This is a must-visit when you are in the area as this perfectly romantic riverside cottage makes a lovely walk from Cahir Castle.

Why is it called a Swiss Cottage? Originally, simply known as “The Cottage” it was said to look like an Alpine or Swiss Cottage and so the name stuck.

swiss cottage

Getting to the Swiss Cottage from Cahir Castle

There is a guided path from Cahir Castle to Swiss Cottage and the walk will take you probably around 30 minutes or so. If you have mobility issues you can take a cab from Cahir Village near the Castle for around €10. Swiss Cottage is a short drive from the Castle and a lovely way to spend a few hours.

Swiss Cottage history

The Swiss Cottage is a picturesque thatched roof cottage built in the early 1800’s by Richard Butler the first Earl of Glengall. It is considered one of the finest examples of “cottage-orné” in Europe. Located a 2km walk from Cahir Castle and 20 minutes from The Rock of Cashel the cottage is a favourite destination in South Tipperary.

Swiss Cottage Cahir Ireland - a Cottage Orne

A cottage orne is a type of idealised countryside cottage used for picnics, which was built in the early 1800s near the town of Cahir. This specific cottage was designed by Richard Butler, also known as “the cottage doll’s house”. The cottage is located alongside the River Suir, just a short walk from Cahir Castle, another heritage site in the area.

The designer Sybil Connolly collaborated with the Office of Public Works to restore this charming cottage in the 1970’s. The cottage’s location, near the heritage town of Cahir and the R670 Ardfinnan Road, makes it easily accessible for visitors to enjoy.

The cottage orne is a popular attraction for both locals and tourists, thanks to its rich history and picturesque setting. Lord and Lady Cahir were known to frequent the cottage for picnics, further adding to its allure. The Irish Georgian Society also recognizes the significance of this cottage in Kilcommon.

Swiss Cottage Cahir Ireland - a Cottage Orne

The 2km walk or a short drive to Swiss Cottage is highly recommended. Swiss Cottage is believed to have been designed by the famous architect John Nash, although he didn’t build it. The cottage is quite lovely with its thatched roof and climbing flower trellises.

The cottage was built by Richard Butler, who was the 1st Earl of Glengall, to plans from the famous Regency architect John Nash. The interior of the cottage has a graceful spiral staircase and some elegantly decorated rooms full of period furniture.

There is no photography or video allowed inside the cottage and these photos are courtesy of Cahir Online

Swiss Cottage Cahir Ireland - a Cottage Orne

Downstairs room with gorgeous wallpaper.

Swiss Cottage Cahir Ireland - a Cottage Orne

The wallpaper in the salon was one of the first commercially produced Parisian wallpapers manufactured by the Dufour factory in Paris.

“Swiss cottage is a cottage orne, one of the finest examples surviving in England or Ireland, possibly designed by Nash and built about 1817–20… The cottage orne, originally an architectural toy, epitomizes the picturesque movement led by Nash who, in partnership with the landscape–designer Humphry Repton, produced a number of ornamental cottages for the grounds of country houses between 1795 and 1802. T

he 1st Earl of the Glengall died in 1819 the Swiss Cottage was probably built by his son, a fashionable young man, on succeeding to the title. It has verandas decorated with elaborate rustic stick-work, and the fantasy is extended to other small details such as the rural scenes engraved on the living-room window panes and the cobweb pattern in the hall parquet.” The Houses of Ireland (A Studio Book) Brian de Breffny, Rosemary Ffolliot, George Mott

Swiss Cottage Cahir Ireland - a Cottage Orne

It was left to ruin for years but was renovated and refurbished in the 1980s. It is surprisingly small with only 2 rooms up and 2 rooms down, but the basement hides the kitchens and the servants’ rooms.

Swiss Cottage Cahir opening times

12 March – 06 November 2022

21 – 29 October: Open Daily from 9:30 – 17:30 last admission at 16:45

30 October – 6 November: Open Daily from 9:00 – 16:30 with the last admission at 15:45

Swiss Cottage Cahir Tours and ticket costs

The cost to view the cottage and have a tour is €4 Euros, but on some days the Heritage Ireland Trust has free entry so keep an eye out for that and you can visit the Cottage and Cahir Castle for no charge.

Access to the interior of the cottage by guided tour only and is on a first come first served basis.

Max tour capacity 10 persons

All bus groups of 10 or more must be pre-booked.

Sundays and Bank Holidays – No buses after 12.00.

Please note that this is a very busy site and visitors may experience a delay during the Summer months.

Swiss Cottage Cahir Ireland - a Cottage Orne

There is parking at Swiss Cottage and you follow the footpath through the forest and across the River Suir. There is a tunnel built through the hill which leads to the entry to Swiss Cottage which is through the servant’s entrance to the basement of the house.

Swiss Cottage Cahir Ireland - a Cottage Orne

From there the guided tour takes you through the house which as I mentioned is only 2 rooms on the main floor and 2 rooms upstairs.

When the Butlers abandoned Cahir Castle they built this house and lived here, entertaining lavishly throwing great parties until the last of the Butlers died in 1961.Swiss Cottage Tipperary was built as a kind of ‘country retreat’ the owners would have picnics and garden parties here on the expansive lawns and pretend it was a rural idyll. There are no formal gardens at Swiss Cottage but there is a Yew tree that legend says is over 1000 years old. Locals say it was planted by monks 1,000 years ago when this was the site of an early Celtic/Christian monastery.

Swiss Cottage Cahir Ireland - a Cottage Orne

Have you heard or been to see the Swiss Cottage yet?

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Swiss Cottage Cahir Ireland - a Cottage Orne


  • Faith was born in Ireland raised in Canada and has lived in over 10 countries in Europe including England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Spain, Northern Ireland, Wales, along with Mexico, Antigua, the US and has slow travelled to over 40 countries around the world. Graduating with a degree in Anthropology and Women's Studies Faith is a student of history, culture, community and food and has written about these topics for over 40 years.

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