Bunratty Castle

Bunratty Castle

Bunratty Castle (Irish place name|Caisleán Bhun Raithe|Castle at the Mouth of the Ratty) is a large tower house in County Clare, Ireland. It lies in the centre of Bunratty village ( _ga. Bun Ráite), by the N18 road between Limerick and Ennis, near Shannon Town and its airport. The name Bunratty, "Bun Raite" (or possibly, "Bun na Raite") in Irish, means the 'bottom' or end of the 'Ratty' river. This river, alongside the castle, flows into the nearby Shannon estuary. From the top of the castle, one can look over to the estuary and the airport.

The castle and the adjoining folk park are run by Shannon Heritage.


Key events in Bunratty's history include:
*The first dwellings to occupy the site, in 970 were part of a Viking trading camp.
*In 1270, Robert De Muscegros built the first defensive fortress, known as a "motte and bailey" castle.
*These lands were later granted to Thomas de Clare, who built the first stone structure on the site. At this time Bunratty town had grown to a population of 1,000.
*In 1318, Thomas's son Richard de Clare, Steward of Forest of Essex (new holder of the castle) was killed in the Battle of Dysert O'Dea during the Irish Bruce Wars 1315-1318. The castle and town were completely destroyed by the victorious O'Briens.
*In 1332, soon after being restored for the King of England, the castle was once again razed by the Irish Chieftains of Thomond under the O' Briens and the MacNamaras.
*In 1353, after lying in ruins for 21 years, it was rebuilt by Sir Thomas Rokeby, but was almost immediately attacked again by the Irish and was held by Irish hands thereafter.
*The present structure was completed by the MacNamara family around 1425 but 50 years later was in the hands of the O'Briens, the most powerful clan in Munster.
* In 1646, during the Irish Confederate Wars, Barnaby O'Brien, the Earl of Thomond, allowed a large English Parliamentary garrison to land in Bunratty. The castle was besieged and taken by the forces of Confederate Ireland under Donagh MacCarthy, Viscount Muskerry.
*The castle continued to be the principal residence of the O'Briens, Lords Inchiquin, until they built Dromoland Castle.
*Bunratty Castle and its lands were granted to the Studdert family. They left the castle in 1804 (allowing it to fall into disrepair), to reside in the more comfortable and modern adjacent Bunratty House built by the family. The reasons for the move are bound up in family arguments over the eldest son marrying his first cousin. Both the castle and house are open to the public.
*In 1954 the castle was purchased and restored by the 7th Lord Gort. He reroofed the castle, which had no longer been lived in as much at the time, and saved it from ruin.

Bunratty today

Bunratty Castle is now a very popular tourist attraction, due in a large part to the proximity of the airport. The interior has been furnished by Lord Gort with tapestries and artifacts from various eras in the castle's history (none or few are belonging to the castle). Some of the sights include the 'great hall', dungeons and four towers with spiral stairwells. Medieval-style banquets are held twice every evening in the great hall. The castle is also a popular attraction for wedding parties from the closest main city of Limerick hoping to make their special day even better with the beautiful surroundings.

Folk Park

Alongside the castle is an extensive folk park, particularly popular with families, tourists and schools. This features reconstructions of historical cottages and buildings, recreating the general feel of the 19th century with a period style village main street. Old tools, furniture and artefacts are displayed, with the village kept alive by some inhabited shops, an old home bakery and peat fires in cottages.

External links

* [http://www.shannonheritage.com Shannon Heritage — Official Webpages]
* [http://www.destinacije.com/datum_nav.asp?lang=en&pg=1&datum=17.08.2004.&cp=22&s=Next Hughes Bros.(HB) Hazelbrook House]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bunratty Castle — ist eine normannische Burg im Zentrum des Dorfes Bunratty (Bun Ráite) in der irischen Grafschaft Clare. Sie liegt zwischen Limerick und Ennis in der Nähe von Shannon Town. Der Name Bunratty bedeutet „Flussbiegung des Flusses Ratty“. Geschichte An …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Bunratty Castle Hotel (Shannon) — Bunratty Castle Hotel country: Ireland, city: Shannon (Bunratty) Bunratty Castle Hotel Location Located directly opposite Bunratty Castle and just a short drive from Shannon Airport, this hotel is ideally located for exploring the Limerick and… …   International hotels

  • Bunratty Castle Hotel — (Бунратти,Ирландия) Категория отеля: 3 звездочный отель Адрес: Bunratty, Бунратти …   Каталог отелей

  • Bunratty Castle Mews B&B — (Бунратти,Ирландия) Категория отеля: 3 звездочный отель Адрес: Low Road, Бунратти, И …   Каталог отелей

  • Bunratty — (Irish place name|Bun na Raite|End of the Raite river) is a village in County Clare in the parish of Newmarket on Fergus , Ireland. History The first settlement in Bunratty was by Vikings in 970AD. Bunratty had reached it peak in 1804AD, with a… …   Wikipedia

  • Bunratty Shannon Shamrock Hotel (Shannon) — Bunratty Shannon Shamrock Hotel country: Ireland, city: Shannon (Bunratty) Bunratty Shannon Shamrock Hotel Location Located just 8 kilometres from Shannon Airport, Bunratty Shannon Shamrock Hotel is situated in its own wooded grounds and is next… …   International hotels

  • Bunratty Ashgrove House Bed & Breakfast — (Бунратти,Ирландия) Категория отеля: Адрес: Low Road, Бунратти, Ирла …   Каталог отелей

  • Bunratty Holiday Homes — (Бунратти,Ирландия) Категория отеля: 3 звездочный отель Адрес: Bunratty Villa …   Каталог отелей

  • Doe Castle — Castle Doe, Barmkin and Keep Doe Castle, or Caisleán na dTuath, near Creeslough, County Donegal, was historically a stronghold of Clan Suibhne, with architectural parallels to the Scottish Tower house. Built in the 16th c. it is one of the better …   Wikipedia

  • Dublin Castle — Dublin Castle, Upper Yard The Bedford Tower of 1761 comprises the centrepiece of the Castle s principal Georgian courtyard, flanked by the gates of Fortitude and Justice. It was from this building the Irish Crown Jewels were stolen in 1907.… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.