No visit to County Clare and The Shannon Region is complete until you have visited Bunratty Castle & Folk Park. Transporting visitors back in time to Ireland’s past, Bunratty Castle is a wonderful Irish gem overlooking the glistening Shannon Estuary in the picturesque village of Bunratty, in County Clare. For further details on this top visitor attraction in Ireland please read on…
Bunratty Castle is not only the most complete and authentic medieval castle in Ireland; it is also one of Irelands top visitor attractions. Bunratty Castle meaning ‘Castle at the mouth of the River’, is located on the N18 between Limerick and Ennis, close to Shannon Town and Shannon Airport.
History of Bunratty Castle
Originally a Viking settlement in 970, Bunratty Castle became a defensive fortress in 1270. Thomas de Clare built the first stone structure soon after and the population of Bunratty began to grow. In 1318 the town and castle was completely destroyed. In 1332 the castle was restored again for the King of England but soon came under attack.
After lying in runs for over 21 years the castle was again rebuilt in 1353 but again came under attack and remained in Irish hands thereafter. In 1425 ‘The MacNamara family’ completed the present structure, and in 1954 Bunratty Castle was restored to its former medieval grandeur that it is today.
Bunratty Castle has some amazing 15th and 16th century furnishings and art on display in the Great Hall that accurately capture Irelands past and the heritage of County Clare. Today, the castle stands peacefully in enchanting grounds.
Bunratty Medieval Banquets
Medieval banquets are available at the castle during the summer months with two evening settings available at 5.30pm and 8.00pm. On arrival you will be greeted by a pipe-piper who will welcome all guests to Bunratty Castle. Guest will cross the drawbridge to the castle where you will receive a drinks reception that includes a goblet or two of Mead which was once the local brewed wine! The Butler will give all guests a brief history of the castle before proceeding to ‘The Great Hall’ to dine by candlelight like Kings!
Here you will be treated to a wonderful 4-course dinner, which include local fresh produce prepared and eaten similar to the 15th and 16th Century! Relax and enjoy the entertainment provided with a selection of Irish medieval and traditional songs and instrumental music.
Advanced bookings are advisable and are subject to availability.
Bunratty Folk Park
In the shadows of the castle there is an extensive ‘Folk Park’, which is just another highlight when you visit Bunratty Castle. The Folk Park at Bunratty Castle is a recreation of historical cottages and buildings that include a post office, hardware store, school, Doctors office, pub and much more typical of a main street in 19th Century Ireland.
Complete with great attention to detail including: old furniture, artefacts, occupied shops, home bakery and turf fires, the village is very much kept alive.
Bunratty Walled Garden
Another very interesting feature is the beautiful and manicured Bunratty Walled Garden. Modelled on the original period garden today Bunratty Walled Garden supplies fruit, vegetables, and flowers to Bunratty House. Originally built in 1804 Bunratty Walled Garden represents a typical Victorian style garden.
For further details check out Bunratty Castle & Folk Park website.
Need accommodation? Check out our Bunratty hotels page and book securely online today!
Have you visited Bunratty Castle before? As always we would love to hear from you. Please feel free to share your comment with our readers. Please leave your comments in the comment box below. Thank you.