Foynes (Limerick), Ireland
Bunratty Castle & Folk Park
Local Sightseeing, All
Information not currently available.
Approximately 4 Hours
Depart from the pier in Foynes and travel through the glorious counties of Limerick and Clare before arriving at Bunratty Castle and the Folk Village.
A visit to the castle will introduce you to the history and lifestyle of a bygone era. 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. Robert de Muscegros, a Norman, built the first defensive fortress (an earthen mound with a strong wooden tower on top) in 1250. His lands were later granted to Thomas de Clare who built the first stone castle on the site. Around this time, Bunratty became a large town of 1,000 inhabitants. Bunratty Castle and its lands were granted to the Studdart family. They left the castle in 1804 and it fell into disrepair. Their new home is Bunratty House, and is open to the public in the grounds of the Folk Park. Bunratty was restored to its former splendor when Viscount Lord Gort purchased it in 1945. The extensive restoration work began in 1954 with the help of the Office of Public Works, the Irish Tourist Board and Shannon Development. It was then opened to the public in 1960 as a National Monument. It is the most complete and authentically-restored and furnished castle in Ireland.
The adjacent Bunratty Folk Park recreates rural and urban life in 19th-century Victorian Ireland. There is an extensive array of vernacular buildings indicative of all of the social strata from the poorest one-roomed dwelling to Bunratty House itself, a fine example of a Georgian residence for the gentry. Costumed characters recreate traditional jobs and crafts -- milling, forging, pottery, printing, baking, and farming. Bunratty Folk Park includes Hazelbrook House (1898) -- home to the Hughes brothers who produced HB ice cream and became a household name in Ireland.
Notes: Not advisable for guests using a wheelchair or for those with mobility limitations. Moderate walking is required, including climbing steps (optional). Wear sturdy non-skid walking shoes. Bring a rain jacket or umbrella.Not advisable for guests using a wheelchair or for those with mobility limitations. Moderate walking is required, including climbing steps (optional). Wear sturdy non-skid walking shoes. Bring a rain jacket or umbrella.