ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting Bunratty Castle, Ireland: imposing, fifteenth century structure, restored in the 20th century

Updated on August 29, 2012
Flag of the Republic of Ireland
Flag of the Republic of Ireland | Source
Bunratty Castle at night
Bunratty Castle at night | Source
View from Bunratty Castle.
View from Bunratty Castle. | Source

Memories of Medieval banquets projected to the present day

The looming presence of this Medieval castle has for centuries been a feature of Bunratty (Irish: Bun Ráite ), County Clare (Irish: Contae an Chláir ), Ireland. Bunratty Castle (Irish: Caisleán Bhun Raithe ) dates from the 15th century (1), By the 20th century, it was lacking a roof and slowly becoming a ruin.

This was to reckon, however, without Viscount Gort (full name: Standish Robert Gage Prendergast Vereker, 7th Viscount Gort). This grandly titled peer rebuilt Bunratty Castle, which he had acquired, and in 1954 he turned it into what must be Ireland's most sumptuously furnished castle. Today, the Castle is noted for its Medieval-style banquets, which have for many enthralled visitors, particularly those from North America. The restorer's efforts were encouraged by the Irish Government, which could foresee the benefits which would likely accrue from publicity surrounding this kind of hospitality venue. This foresight was indeed well founded; over the past decades, Bunratty Castle has thus become one of the 'must see' stops for North American travellers in the West of Ireland.

A stone structure with several storeys, the Castle served in the 19th century as a police headquarters. Thus, while the Union flag doubtless flew from the Castle in the 19th century, its walls are now decorated by the Irish tricolour.

The renowned Shannon River (Irish: Abha na Sionainne ) flows not far from the Castle. A Folk Park adjacent to the Castle is extensive.

This structure was associated at its inception with the MacNamara family. But among its banqueting guests, the efforts of the Castle's restorer are as likely to be associated with the name of Standish Robert Gage Prendergast Vereker, 7th Viscount Gort!

August 27, 2012


(1) On the same site as the present day Castle, there was previously a structure dating from Viking times.

Also worth seeing

In Bunratty itself, in addition to the Catle, a number of retail outlets and hotels attract many visitors.

Limerick City (distance: 17 kilometres); visitor attractions include: King John's Castle, the Treaty Stone and the Thomond Bridge across the Shannon River, and some fine ecclesiastical architecture.


How to get there: Aer Lingus flies from New York and Boston to Shannon Airport, from where car rental is available; a bus link between Shannon Airport and Bunratty is also available. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

For your visit, these items may be of interest


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • MJFenn profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      chrisnstar: ...and thank-you to you also, for your comment.

    • chrisnstar profile image


      6 years ago

      go raibh mhaith agat for this article.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)