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Bunratty Castle and Folk Park

Bunratty Castle is the most complete and authentic Medieval fortress in Ireland. Built in 1425 it was restored in 1954 to its former Medieval splendour. It is decorated in 15th and 16th Century furnishings, tapestries, and works of art which capture the essence of Ireland's past.

Enjoy a sensory experience in Bunratty Folk park through the sights, sounds, tastes and scents of this enchanting place. Stroll from house to house or around the charming village street complete with a school, post officer, doctors house, hardware shop, printers and of course McNamaras pub! 

The gardens at Bunratty Folk Park have been restored to their former glory. This is your opportunity to experience one of the great gardens of Ireland.Explore at your own leisure or join in a guided tour!

Whilst exploring the beautiful west coast of Ireland why not stop by the historic Cliffs of Moher for views like no other.

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When you visit Bunratty Folk Park you experience a living reconstruction of the homes and environment of Ireland of over a century ago. Set on 26 acres, the impressive park features over 30 buildings in a ‘living’ village and rural setting.

Rural farmhouses, village shops and streets are recreated and furnished as they would have appeared at that time according to their social standing, from the poorest one roomed dwelling to Bunratty House. Bunratty house is a fine example of a Georgian residence for the gentry. It was built in 1804, and was home of the Studdarts who were the last family to occupy Bunratty Castle.

The site on which Bunratty Castle stands was in origin a Viking trading camp in 970. The present structure is the last of four castles to be built on the site.

Do not miss the beautiful walled garden at Bunratty House. It is a surviving part of the demesne which was originally formed around Bunratty Castle. The garden was built for the house c 1804.


History of Bunratty Castle

The powerful MacNamara family built the present structure around 1425 but by 1475 it had became the stronghold of the O'Briens, the largest clan in provinence of North Munster. They ruled the territory of North Munster and lived in great splendour. 

Under Henry VIII's 'Surrender and Re-grant' scheme, the O'Brien's were granted the title 'Earls of Thomond' and they agreed to profess loyalty to the King of England. The reign of the O'Briens came to an end with the arrival of the Cromwellian troops and the castle and its grounds were surrendered. The O'Briens never returned to Bunratty but later they built a beautiful residence at Dromoland Castle, now a luxury 5 star hotel.

Bunratty Castle and its lands were granted to various Plantation families, the last of whom was the Studdart family. They left the castle in 1804 (allowing it to fall into disrepair), to reside in the more comfortable and modern Bunratty House, which is open to the public in the grounds of the Folk Park.

Bunratty returned to its former splendour when Viscount Lord Gort purchased it in 1954. The extensive restoration work began in 1945 with the help of the Office of Public Works, the Irish Tourist Board and Shannon Development. It was then opened to the public in 1962 as a National Monument and is open to visitors year round. It is the most complete and authentically restored and furnished castle in Ireland.

History of Bunratty Folk Park

Bunratty Folk Parkis a living history reconstruction of the homes and environment of Ireland of over a century ago. In the early 19th century the country people provided for most of their own needs in food, clothing and supplies and bought only luxuries such as sugar, salt and tea. Fairs and markets at the Village gave the farmers and the rural craftsmen an opportunity of selling their products for cash, while shops provided for the rural dwellers needs.  

MacNamara and Sons at the top of the village street is a fully licensed working pub in the style of an old fashioned hotel bar and provides modern catering facilities. Be sure and drop into Mac’s for a pint! The pub is furnished to reflect the lifestyle of the time and the fact that the publican not only sold drink, in former times, but also traded in groceries and hardware.

Costumed characters recreate the traditions and lifestyle of a bygone age and animate the Folk Park. Among these well known and loved characters are the Bean a Ti (woman of the house and a RIC (Royal Irish Constabulary) policeman.

Traditional jobs and crafts are also represented, milling, the forge, pottery, printing, baking, farming etc.

 

 


Address:

Bunratty,

Co. Clare,

Ireland.

 It is located in the centre of Bunratty village, by the N18 road between Limerick and Ennis, near Shannon Town and Shannon Airport.


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If you cannot print your voucher off for any reason please contact us 24 hours before arriving at the venue.

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Amendments to the date, the time and/or the number of tickets are permitted at the discretion of 365 Tickets Limited but subject to the terms and conditions of our individual suppliers and surcharges for amendments made may apply.