Bunratty Castle is located in County Clare at a strategic point near the Limerick border.
The castle as it stands today was built in the mid 13th century by the MacNamara family, though earlier structures at the site have been recorded as far back in history as the 10th century.
It has changed hands mutiple times over the years. Not long after it was built it became the property of the O'Brien clan who later gave over the castle and associated lands to the English King under the system of surrender of regrant. In return they were named the Earls of Thomond. When Cromwell's forces arrived in Clare, the O'Briens abandoned Bunratty and set up their home in the vast estate at Dromoland instead.
In its more modern history, Bunratty was even used as an RIC barracks.
Today Bunratty is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ireland and is under the management of Shannon Heritage. A visit to the castle includes a guided tour, a day of experiencing Irish life throughout the ages in the folk park, and if you really want the fully immersive experience, a night at the banquet where you will be provided with a delicious meal, information on the history of the castle, and of course plenty of entertainment from the singers, bards and musicians.
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