...fun for everyone

Heritage Attractions

Click on the great attractions below to find out more information.

Bunratty Castle & Folk Park
Bunratty Medieval Banquets
Bunratty Folk Park
Craggaunowen
Knappogue Castle
Clare Archeaology Centre
Quin Abbey
Caherconnell Stone Fort

Bunratty Castle & Folk Park
Bunratty Castle and Folk Park are listed well within the top ten visitor attractions in Ireland. A visit to the castle, built in 1425 and plundered on many occasions is the most complete and authentic mediaeval fortress in Ireland, and the absorbing Folk Park is a wonderful experience for all the family.
The majestic castle was restored in 1954 to its former medieval splendour. It now contains mainly Bunratty Castle & Folk Park15th and 16th century furnishings, tapestries and works of art. Which capture the mood of the times. You can marvel at the finest collection of medieval furniture in the country, which brings to life a vital part of the Celtic past and the heritage of Co. Clare.
The present castle, last of a series on the same site was built around 1425. During the 16th and 17th centuries it was an important stronghold of the O'Briens, kings and later earls, of Thomond or North Munster. The main block has three floors, each consisting of a single great room, or hall. The four towers have six stories each. The castle is entered by a drawbridge to the Main Guard.

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Bunratty Medieval Banquets

The world famous Bunratty Medieval Banquets take place nightly in the Castle.Bunratty Medieval  Banquets Join the Butler and ladies of the castle for an unforgettable evening of merriment music and song complemented by good food and flowing wine at this majestic 15th century castle. You will be captivated from the moment of arrival when you get your first taste of honey-rich mead. Listen to the world famous Bunratty entertainers a they perform enchanting melodies to harp and violin accompaniment.

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Bunratty Folk Park

Bunratty Folk Park contains examples of many houses and other buildings, which provide a rich store of information and insight into the country's past. Eight farmhouses represent every area of North Munster. These exhibits are exact copies of buildings that existed in the region in the 19th century, and have been furnished and decorated in the style of that time. Set on 26 acres the Bunratty Folk Park impressive Park features over 30 buildings in a 'living village' setting.
There are eight farmhouses representing every area of North Munster, two watermills, a blacksmith's forge, a church, a recently restored walled garden, a village street complete with pub, post office, school, doctor's house, hardware shop, printers, drapery shop, pawn shop, and village hotel. Traditional skills of the period are put to everyday use in the settings in which they were nurtured. On your visit, you can see crafts such as bread baking, weaving, ice cream and pottery making.
Another very interesting feature at the park is the formal Bunratty Walled Gardens, modelled on the original Regency period garden which supplied fruit, vegetables and flowers to Bunratty House built in 1804 (and now furnished in typical Victorian style). To round off a truly memorable visit drop in to the fully licensed, old world Mac's pub on the village street, which is renowned for its delicious home-cooked food.

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Craggaunowen

A re-creation of Celtic Ireland is how you could describe Cragaunnowen - the Living Past Experience. This award winning Prehistoric Park is situated on 50 acres of wooded grounds and interprets Irelands pre-historic and early Christian past.
Crannogs were artificial islands on which people built houses, kept animals and lived in relative security. Step inside the thatchedCraggaunowen housed on the crannog, built of wattles and mud, and you are transported back to an ancient time. The second dwelling is a Ring Fort, which served more as a farmstead rather than a fortification. The Ring Fort features a man made cave or underground passage, which was used for storage and as a refuge in times of danger.
Overlooking all is Craggaunowen Castle, built by John MacSioda MacNamara around 1550. The visitor centre houses exhibitions of artefacts and display panels as well as an AV show, which interpret the area. Many of the tools and implements used by the pre-Celtic settlers of Ireland who farmed and lived in this peaceful valley are on display in the centre. A tea and gift shop rounds off the experience.

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Knappogue Castle

Knappogue Castle was built by Sean MacNamarsa, son of Sioda, in 1467.The 1571 the Castle became the seat of th eMacNamara Clar, Earls of West Clancullen. Donagh MacNamara was a leader of the 1641 rebellion and the Cromwellian forces occupied the Castle. Arthur Smithe was then granted the Castle, however it was later returned to the MacNamaras who sold the castle to the Scotts in 1800.
The Scotts carried out extensive restoration before it was acquired in1855 b Knappogue Castley Lord Dunboyne, who made many additions to it including the courtyard and clock tower as well as the walled garden, which is also now open to the public.
When owned by Sean, Lord of Clancullen, his reputation for lavish parties and truly royal entertainment surpassed that of his father. The medieval banquet held twice nightly at Knappogue is a fresh experience in every respect. While maintaining the medieval atmosphere the entertainment takes us through the story of the women of Ireland - The Celtic Pirate Queen, inspirational saints and downright simmers, all formidable women, who helped to shape our Celtic Past. This colourful and theatrical pageant will enthral and delight from the moment you are welcomed by the ladies of the castle through an entire evening of good food and wines, music song and dance. As the Earl's Butler ensures that everything proceeds in time honoured tradition.

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Clare Archaeology Centre - Dysert O'Dea Castle - Corofin

Home of the O'Dea Clare Archaeology CentreClan until 1691, this castle is situated in one of the richest archaeological areas in Europe. Built in 1480 by Diarmuid O'Dea. Lord of Cineal Fearmaic, the uppermost floors and staircase were badly damaged by the Cromwellians in 1651. Repaired and opened as an Archaeology Centre in 1986 the castle today houses an extensive museum with a comprehensive exhibition of local artifacts, an audio-visual presentation, tea-room and souvenir shop. Archaeology/History Trail Dysert O'Dea features a trail of 25 sites of interest, all within a few miles radius of the castle. A detailed guide of the trail is available at the souvenir shop.

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Quin Abbey

Quin Abey, just south-east of Ennis, was founded by the MacNamaras in the middle of the 14th century using some of the curtain wall of the Anglo-Norman castle built around 1280 by Richard de Clare. The cloisters were erected in1402 and remain one of the finestQuin Abbey features of the abbey, which has a long history of suppression and violence. In 1584 Sir John Perrot, the English Viceroy of Ireland, had Donogh Beg O'Brien half-hanged, his bones beaten by an axe and hanged again from the steeple. Cromwell's men sacked the Abbey again and the friars were murdered. The Lady Chapel is the resting-place of John 'Fireball' McNamara, a Protestant who supported the cause of Catholic Emancipation. He was a noted duellist and his pistol was known as 'bas gan sagart' - death without a priest.
The view from the top of the tower is quite impressive and is well worth the climb up the narrow spiral staircase

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Caherconnell Stone Fort - Carron

Caherconnell is one of the best-preserved stone forts in the Burren.Caherconnell Stone Fort Unique in being the only fort developed for tourism, it was built about 1500 years ago and may have been occupied as late as the 16th century.
The visitor centre at Caherconnell incorporates an audio-visual presentation, which revolves around the fort, its people, history and archaeology. Included is a short history of other prominent local monuments including Poulnabrone Dolmen (3800BC), Poulawack Cairm (3400BC) and Cahercommaun stone fort all of which been excavated. The graphic display area provides more detailed information on these topics.

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