Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Ireland Trip Part 27: Storming the 4th Bunratty Castle?

This is the 26th blog of our Ireland Trip, where we visited Bunratty Castle. Bunratty Castle is a large 15th century tower house in County Clare, Ireland. Bunratty castle in Gaelic is Caisleán Bhun Raithe, meaning "Castle at the Mouth of the Ratty." The castle is part of a large folk park called "Bunratty Village" that reconstructs a village from the period. It is located between Limerick and Ennis, and very close to the Shannon airport.

ORIGINALLY A VIKING SETTLEMENT - The first recorded settlement at the site of what now holds Bunratty Castle may have been a Norse settlement/trading camp. In the "Annals of the Four Masters" the settlement was destroyed by Brian Boru in 977.

Bunratty Castle
Tom and Rob outside Bunratty Castle
One of Bunratty's towers
A view at the inside of the tower
4 CASTLES ON THE SAME SITE! -  Around 1250, King Henry III of England granted the district of Tradraighe (or Tradree) to Robert De Muscegros, who in 1251 cut down around 200 trees in the King's wood at Cratloe to build the first castle. These lands were later taken back by King Henry III and granted to Thomas De Clare, a descendant of Strongbow in 1276. De Clare built the first stone structure on the site (the second castle). This castle was occupied from ca. 1278 to 1318 and consisted of a large single stone tower with lime white walls.  In 1353, Sir Thomas de Rokeby led an English army to conquer the MacCarthys. The third castle was built at Bunratty, but once again, its exact location is unknown. Local tradition holds that it stood at the site where the Bunratty Castle Hotel was later constructed. The fourth castle, the present structure, was built by the MacNamara family after around 1425.  THAT"S the castle (ruins) that we got to walk through.  At around 1500, Bunratty Castle came into the hands of the O'Briens (or O'Brians), the most powerful clan in Munster and later Earls of Thomond.

A 17 Second view from the tower

a residual haunt
GHOST OR NO GHOST? We didn't find any ghosts at Bunratty Castle. However, when we went into the storeroom in the basement of the castle, we both got the sense of a stable, and work being done, things being carried, etc. There was nothing stating that it was used as a stable, but that's the residual impression it left with us.  


Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next