|Bunratty Castle is part of Bunratty Folk Park, which is located on the Castle grounds.|
Photo Above – first view of Bunratty Castle.Photo Right – Bunratty Castle Keep, full view.Bunratty deserves its status as one of the most visited castles in Ireland.While outwardly not as picturesque as Johnstown Castle , Bunratty is what one expects to find in a 15th Century Castle. The castle is large, tall, and on approach, looks very formable. Inside, the castle has been restored to the time of its early glory. One could imagine a prince from the 1600’s stepping into the castle today and feeling completely at home.
Castle History: Around 1275 King Edward I gave Thomas de Clare the lands around Bunratty. Quickly building a stone castle, Thomas Clare took aim at displacing the native people and replacing them with Normans. Of course, the locals were none to happy with their new homeless status and were even unhappier that there were foreigners now living in their homes. In response, the O’Brian and MacNamara clans attacked Thomas Clares’ fort. While it took several years, eventually, they succeeded in driving the Normans out of town (mid 1400s’ AD), leaving the MacNamara clan to rebuild the castle. Todays Bunratty castle is essentially the 15th century castle as it was constructed by the MacNamara’s.Photo Right – Entrance to inside the Castle Keep. As you can see, the door to the castle is located high about the ground level. When under siege the residents would secure the keep and set the wooden stairs ablaze.