Bunratty Castle information
Bunratty Castle is a large 15th-century tower house in County Clare, Ireland. It is located in the centre of Bunratty village, by the N18 road between Limerick and Ennis, near Shannon Town and its airport. The castle and the adjoining folk park are run by Shannon Heritage as tourist attractions.
The name Bunratty, means "river basin" of the 'Ratty' river. This river, alongside the castle, flows into the nearby Shannon estuary. The present structure (the fourth castle), was built by the MacNamara family around 1425.
Image: Bunratty Castle
In 1956, the castle was purchased and restored by the 7th Viscount Gort, with assistance from the Office of Public Works. He reroofed the castle and saved it from ruin. The castle was opened to the public in 1960, sporting furniture, tapestries and works of art dating to around 1600
Today, the castle is a major tourist attraction, along with "Bunratty Folk Park". Both the castle and Bunratty House are open to the public. The castle is famous for its medieval banquets, offered since 1963, at which the "Bunratty Castle Entertainers" perform today. "Bunratty Folk Park" is an open-air museum featuring around 30 buildings, including the Ardcroney Church Of Ireland church, which moved here and reopened in 1998.
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