Bunratty Castle is a large castle in County Clare in the west of Ireland. Bunratty falls into the category of a “Tower House” which was a style of castle built for defensive as well as habitation purposes.
The name Bunratty Castle when translated to Irish is Caisleán Bhun Raithe, which litteraly means the castle at the mouth of the Ratty. The Ratty is a river which flows alongside the castle.
The castle as it stands today was built sometime around 1425 but the first dwellings on the site date back all the way to the Viking times of the 900’s. Luckily for visitors to the area, the castle is open to the public (details here), and there’s is also a thriving folk park alongside the castle.
The Bunratty Folk Park is a living reconstruction of the homes and environment of what Ireland was like in the 19th century. They have fully furnished rural farmhouses, village shops and streets recreated as they would have appeared at that time. Within the park there’s even a fully working pub that you can sit down and enjoy a pint in, while surrounded by decor of the 19th century.
While walking around the park, you will probably find yourself trading greetings with people who look like they’ve been transported to the future from an Ireland long since past. These village folk give the park an even more authentic feel.
There’s so much more to the castle’s history and the park’s facilities. If you’re planning on taking a visit to Bunratty I highly recommend taking a look at the Shannon Heritage website.
Enjoy your time in Bunratty, and as always, I would love to hear how your trip went. Maybe you can even post us a photo or 2 to Facebook.