Bunratty Castle

Bunratty castle - © robnaw
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Adresse Location:
Bunratty, (County Clare)

Oyez Oyez! Bunratty Castle is a castle in County Limerick, Ireland that will immediately transport you to the medieval world of yesteryear. Visit its banqueting halls, its rooms, and reach the top of its crenellated towers: you will then be entitled to a marvelous panorama on the Shannon!

The place is one of the most popular attractions in the region: the building is in perfect condition, and will inform you about the art of living in the past, the local history, the medieval Irish culture…etc. You will even have the possibility if you wish to reserve your place to participate in a medieval banquet as in the past!

History of Bunratty Castle

An irish castle rebuilt many times

Bunratty Castle - Bea y Fredi - cc

Bunratty Castle – Bea y Fredicc

For lovers of medieval history, Bunratty Castle is one of the most famous relics of Irish history.

Built on the banks of the River Shannon, in County Clare, the castle is a perfect example of Anglo-Norman architecture, with its rectangular tower of 3 floors, with 4 crenellated turrets of 6 floors each.

For your information, the castle has been rebuilt several times, due to the numerous battles the fortress has been through…

Bunraty castle’s geographical location has always been strategic: overlooking the river Shannon, the castle allowed to watch the comings and goings of boats. A perfect place to defend and attack in case of need! It was therefore out of the question to rebuild the building a little further!

Here is an overview of the major dates in the history of Bunratty Castle:

  • 1270: Robert Muscegros builds the first fortress in the form of a wooden turret surrounded by fences. The construction is entirely made of wood, and allows to dominate the Shannon river and the surroundings.
  • A few years later, Thomas de Clare took possession of the land, and decided to destroy the first construction, to rebuild it, this time in stone.
  • 1318: the wars of possession are raging at this period and Richard de Clare, then heir of Thomas de Clare, is brutally murdered during a battle opposing him to the O’Brien family (at the battle of Dysert O’Dea). During the battle, the castle and the village of Bunratty are totally destroyed.
  • 1332: Years after the battle, the king of England ordered the fortress to be rebuilt. In vain… The O’Brien and McNamara clans ordered a new assault and destroyed Bunratty Castle once again.
  • 1353 : under the recurrent pressure of the king of England, Sir Thomas Rokeby, an English nobleman, rebuilt the castle. No sooner was its construction completed than the Irish stormed it once again and seized it.
  • 1425 : the McNamara clan decides to rebuild the castle in a Norman and Welsh architecture. This castle is the last version of the construction and has been perfectly preserved since. The castle belonged to the McNamaras for more than 50 years, before being taken over by the O’Briens.

Visit Bunratty Castle

Visit of the different rooms and towers of the castle

Bunratty Castle is a medieval treasure trove that has recently been restored. After paying the entrance fee, you can visit the many rooms and chambers of the castle at your leisure.

Each room has its own furniture and sumptuous tapestries, dating back to the 14th century. You will also notice the presence of perfectly preserved clothes from the time of the McNamaras, builders and first owners of the castle.

We particularly recommend a visit to the dining room, as well as an exploration of the towers: the latter will take you to the top of the crenellated turrets and offer you a panoramic view of the River Shannon and the great plains of the region.

Participate in the medieval banquet of Bunratty

If you are also in a festive mood, Bunratty Castle regularly organizes medieval banquets in the evening, where tourists can immerse themselves in the atmosphere of the time!

This is an opportunity to experience a unique evening, with entertainment, period meals and medieval music concerts with troubadours.

On the menu, expect to taste a spicy parsnip soup, honey and whiskey spareribs, or a Bramley apple cake! A delightful treat, which will end with a cup of tea or coffee (although this is clearly not medieval!).

If you are interested in this activity, we advise you to book in advance: the popularity of these meals is such that the waiting list is often long!

Visit Bunratty Folk Park

Bunratty Folk Park village - nz_willowherb - cc

Bunratty Folk Park village – nz_willowherb – cc

The icing on the cake: access to the castle (excluding the banquet) gives you the right to visit the Bunratty Folk Park.

It is a park located near the castle, and which proposes a living reconstitution of a rural historical village.

You will discover the different rural farms during the Irish history. The houses, village stores and streets have been specially recreated as they would have been in the past.

You will discover how people lived in Ireland from the Middle Ages to the present day, according to the different social classes. Poor houses, middle-class houses: everything has been recreated to perfection to better understand the way of life of these last centuries.

Visits of the houses are possible and totally interactive. A great experience! It’s here to learn more.

Bunratty Castle
Practical information

Address Address:
suivez la N19 reliant Limerick à Ennis

Coordonnées GPSGPS:
52.699555, -8.811944

Web siteWeb site:
Access to the website
PricesPrices :

Castle and access to Bunratty Folk Park :

  • 10€ per adult
  • 8€ per child from 4 to 18 years old
  • 40,85€ per family (2 adults + 2 children)
  • free for children from 0 to 3 years old

Banquet :

  • 63€ per adult
  • 35€ per child between 4 and 10 years old
  • free for children from 0 to 4 years old
Opening hoursOpening hours:
  • every day from 9:00 am to 5:20 pm

Bunratty Castle : the map

So much more to discover...