Bunratty Castle (Шаблон:Irish place name) is a large tower house in County Clare, Ireland. It lies in the centre of Bunratty village (Gaeilge. Bun Ráite), by the N18 road between Limerick and Ennis, near Shannon Town and its airport. The name Bunratty, Bun Raite (or possibly, Bun na Raite) in Irish, means the 'bottom' or end of the 'Ratty' river. This river, alongside the castle, flows into the nearby Shannon estuary. From the top of the castle, one can look over to the estuary and the airport.
The castle and the adjoining folk park are run by Shannon
plaque at Bunratty Castle]] Key events in Bunratty's history
- The first dwellings to occupy the site, in 970 were part of a
- In 1270, Robert De Muscegros built the first defensive
fortress, known as a motte and bailey castle.
- These lands were later granted to Thomas de Clare, who built
the first stone structure on the site. At this time Bunratty town
had grown to a population of 1,000.
- In 1318, Thomas's son Richard de Clare, Steward of Forest of
Essex (new holder of the castle) was killed in the Battle of Dysert
O'Dea during the Irish Bruce Wars 1315-1318. The castle and town
were completely destroyed by the victorious O'Briens.
- In 1332, soon after being restored for the King of England, the
castle was once again razed by the Irish Chieftains of Thomond
under the O' Briens and the MacNamaras.
- In 1353, after lying in ruins for 21 years, it was rebuilt by
Sir Thomas Rokeby, but was almost immediately attacked again by the
Irish and was held by Irish hands thereafter.
- The present structure was completed by the MacNamara family
around 1425 but 50 years later was in the hands of the O'Briens,
the most powerful clan in Munster.
- In 1646, during the Irish Confederate Wars, Barnaby O'Brien,
the Earl of Thomond, allowed a large English Parliamentary garrison
to land in Bunratty. The castle was besieged and taken by the
forces of Confederate Ireland under Donagh MacCarthy, Viscount
- When Barnaby, or Barnabas O'Brien, 6th Earl of Thomond, left
Bunratty for England in 1646 for his own safety, during the
Confederate wars, he
- Bunratty Castle and its lands were granted to the Studdert
family. They left the castle in 1804 (allowing it to fall into
disrepair), to reside in the more comfortable and modern adjacent
Bunratty House built by the family. The reasons for the move are
bound up in family arguments over the eldest son marrying his first
cousin. Both the castle and house are open to the public.
- In 1954 the castle was purchased and restored by the 7th Lord
Gort. He reroofed the castle, which had no longer been lived in as
much at the time, and saved it from ruin.
Alongside the castle is an extensive folk park, particularly
popular with families, tourists and schools. This features
reconstructions of historical cottages and buildings, recreating
the general feel of the 19th century with a period style village
main street. Old tools, furniture and artefacts are displayed, with
the village kept alive by some inhabited shops, an old home bakery
and peat fires in cottages. Шаблон:-