MAJOR ATTRACTION AND A WINDOW ON IRELAND'S PAST - SET ON 26 ACRES
Bunratty Castle is the most complete and authentic medieval fortress in Ireland. It was BUILT IN 1425 by the powerful MacNamara family, it was restored in 1954 to its former medieval splendour by the Viscount Lord Gort. It contains mainly 15th and 16th century furnishings, tapestries, and works of art which capture the mood of those times.
You can wander through the castle and marvel at the finest collection of medieval furniture in the country. It brings to life a vital part of Ireland's medieval past. The site on which Bunratty Castle stands was originally a Viking trading camp in 970. The present structure is the last of four castles to be built on the site. Today, the castle stands peacefully in delightful grounds.
The 30 houses and cottages of Bunratty Folk Park, spread out on 26 acres at the foot of the massive castle walls, are a living reconstruction of the environment of Ireland in the 19th century. The houses and shops in Bunratty Folk Park have been chosen from many different areas, and recreated to form a collection of typical 19th century urban Irish buildings. Costumed characters recreate the traditions and lifestyle of a bygone age and animate the Folk Park. Among the well known and loved characters is the Bean a Ti (woman of the house), an RIC (Royal Irish Constabulary) policeman and a Schoolteacher. Traditional jobs and crafts are also represented at the forge, the mills, the pottery, the printers, the pub, the bakers and on the farms. When strolling around don't miss the beautiful Walled Garden, modelled on the original Regency period garden which supplied fruit, vegetables and flowers to Bunratty House - which was built in 1804 and now refurbished in typical Victorian style. At night time Bunratty Castle is the impressive setting for medieval banquets which are held twice nightly year round.
Bunratty Village is just over 2¼ hours drive from Dublin City (M7 & N18), 1¾ hours from Cork City (N20 & N18), a 1 hour drive from Galway (N18) and a 10 minute drive from Shannon Airport. The nearest bus/train station is either Ennis or Limerick Station and all scheduling/pricing information is available online at www.IrishRail.ie for trains or www.BusEireann.ie for buses.