The powerful MacNamara family built the present castle around 1425 but by 1475 it had become the stronghold of the O’Briens, the largest clan in North Munster. They ruled the territory of North Munster and lived in great splendour. The first defensive fortress was built by Robert De Muscegros, a Norman (an earthen mound with a strong wooden tower on top) in 1250. His lands were later granted to Thomas De Clare who built the first stone castle on the site. About this time Bunratty became a large town of 1,000 inhabitants.
In 1318 Richard De Clare, son of Thomas was killed in a battle between the Irish and the Normans. His followers were routed and the castle and town were completely destroyed. The castle was restored for the King of England but was laid waste in 1332 by the Irish Chieftains of Thomond under the O’Briens and MacNamaras.
Bunratty Folk Park
When you visit Bunratty Folk Park you experience a living reconstruction of the homes and environment of Ireland of over a century ago. Set on 26 acres, the impressive park features over 30 buildings in a ‘living’ village and rural setting.
For reservations please contact:
Phone: +353 61 360788