Castles of the region
Castles of Co. Clare and Co. Limerick
Bunratty Castle - Famous castle & folk parkThe historic village of Bunratty, synonymous with 15th century Bunratty Castle
and 19th century Bunratty Folk Park, offers so much within a small compact area. Bunratty Castle and Folk Park is world-famous and is the West of Ireland's most visited attraction. The village offers excellent shopping including Avoca Handweavers and Bunratty Village Mills / Blarney Woollen Mills Complex, great restaurants, several hotels and a number of pubs including the famous "Durty Nellys" pub.
Bunratty Castle is one of the finest of its era in Ireland and Britain. Pride of more than 100 castles built by the McNamara chieftains in 15th century Clare, it is faithfully restored and refurnished. In the shadow of the castle is Bunratty Folk Park illustrating 19th century Irish life from grand manor house to peasant dwelling and from farm activities to cobble-stone village street. Bunratty Castle is the settings for nightly Mediaeval Banquetswhile the Traditional Irish Music Nights operate nightly in the great barn in Bunratty Folk Park and in Bunratty Village. Variety of restaurants, shops, pubs and accommodation in Bunratty Villagehttp://www.bunrattycastlehotel.com/
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Dromoland Castle in County Clare, is one of the most famous baronial castles in Ireland and dates back to the 16th century. Dromoland was the ancestral seat of the O' Briens, Barons of Inchiquin, who are one of the few native Gaelic Irish families of royal blood and are direct descendants of Brian Boru.www.dromoland.ie
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Dunguaire Castle, near Kinvara was built in 1520. It was owned by the Marytns of Galway, between the 17th and 20th century. It is a good example of a 16th century tower house built for protective purposes.
This picturesque castle, situated on the shores of Galway Bay, has been completly restored and it is possible to visit it during the day of enjoy a medieval banquet at night. Open daily from May to end of September from 9.30am to 5.30pm (last admission 4.30pm). Medieval Banquet twice nightly subject to demand at 5.30pm and 8.45pm from late April to October. Tel: 061 360788. Web: www.shannonheritage.comBack to top
King John's Castle - Historic Castle by The River Shannon
Experience 800 years of history im Limerick City
King John's Castle is situated in the heart of Limerick's Medieval Heritage Precinct, on the River Shannon at "Kings Island". The Castle was built between 1200 and 1210. It was repaired and extended many times over the following centuries. King John?s Castle remains a most impressive Anglo-Norman fortification. It retains many of the pioneering features which made its construction unique for its day. Its massive gatehouse, battlements and corner towers await exploration!
Features include: 13th Century Anglo-Norman Castle with panoramic views of Limerick City, the River Shannon and surrounding countryside. The visitor centre contains an imaginative historical exhibition, which recounts the history of the castle in dramatic fashion. Archeological excavations situated beneath the interpretative building include the earliest evidence of settled life in Limerick and evidence of siege mines. The courtyard displays some of the trades and traditions of the 16th century. Visitors can also see the 13th century undercroft of the officers' quarters which were excavated in 1993-1995. King John, as "Lord of Ireland", minted his own coins and the Royal moneyer would have struck the coins in the Castle Mint. Today visitors can experience how coins were minted long ago.
Exciting archeological excavations
The visitor enters another world when exploring the exciting archeological excavations at King John?s Castle. These excavations have revealed pre-Norman houses which predate the castle. There is also evidence of the traumatic Castle siege of 1642. Mines, and countermines used to destroy them, were exposed. In one clay tunnel, a period pistol was found. A reconstruction of one of the siege mines, also in situ, is an added attraction, enabling the visitor to experience something of the fearful atmosphere of the timesBack to top
Adare Churches and Castles
Adare is a beautiful village which is situated not far from an important cluster of medieval monuments, and some of which are still in use.
This is a large square tower close to the main road-bridge over the River Maigue. It is surrounded by a strong battlemented rampart with semicircular bastions and a gate to the south with a drawbridge.
Founded for the Franciscans by Thomas, Earl of Kildare in 1464 and completed years later
St Nicholas of Myra Church
North of the castle, is the chapel of St Nicholas of Myra which was built and rebuilt between the 13th and 16th centuries.
White or 'Trinitarian' Monastery
In the village itself is the White or 'Trinitarian' Monastery (1230) which is now the Catholic parish Church
To the east of the village, near the Limerick road, is the Augustinian Friary (1325), now the Church of Ireland parish churchBack to top