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Bunratty Castle Co Clare.

Irish Castles.

Castles in County Clare.

Look for other Castles in County Clare.

Bunratty Castle.

(Mouth of the river Ratty.)

Robert de Muscegros built a motte and bailey on this site about 1250. In the late thirteenth century it was replaced by a stone castle built by Thomas de Clare. Thomas's son Richard was killed at the battle of Dysert O'Dea in 1318, after which his widow set fire to the castle before leaving the area.

It was rebuilt in 1355 by Thomas de Rokeby. The oldest parts of the present castle date from the mid fifteenth century, when it was in the hands of the MacNamara's. The O'Brien's were in control by 1500, in 1543 Murrough O'Brien was created first earl of Thomond by Henry VIII.

Donough O'Brien the fourth earl made considerable structural changes to the building in the late sixteenth century. During the civil war in the mid seventeenth century the castle was held by Admiral Sir William Penn (Father of the founder of Pennsylvania.) For the parliamentary forces, but is later surrendered. The castle was owned for a time by the Stoddert family, before being bought by Lord Gortin 1956.

The castle is a popular tourist attraction complimented by the surrounding folk park, which contains many replicas of rural buildings in Ireland. These include a blacksmith's shop, several farmhouses and thatched cottages, a fisherman's cottage, a farm laborer's bothy (bothán scóir) several urban shops and houses, a horizontal grain mill, and the Talbot collection of agricultural machinery and implements.

Bunratty Castle
Co Clare
Tel +353 (0)61 360788
E Mail
Web Site

Medieval banquets and traditional Irish nights are held in the castle.