About Bunratty CastleBunratty Castle is one of the most authentic medieval fortresses in Ireland, having been constructed by the MacNamara family in 1425 on land which previously served as a Viking trading camp. It soon fell into the hands of the O'Brien clan, however, who tended to the gardens which were said to be the home of thousands of deer.
Through the centuries it changed ownership on several occasions, before becoming neglected in the early 1800s. It wasn't fully restored until the mid-1950s, when Viscount Lord Gort purchased the building and launched an extensive restoration project. It reopened to the public in 1962 as a National Monument, and is now considered to be the most authentically restored castle in Ireland.
Today visitors can tour the castle grounds and take in the magnificent Bunratty Collection, which features over 450 items of medieval furniture and artefacts.
The castle and Folk Park is open to the public all year round, with the latter featuring over 30 buildings spread across 26 acres of land in what is described as a 'living village', which transports visitors back to the 19th century. The village street features old shops, schools and even a pub where you can enjoy a traditional pint of beer.
The charming Bunratty Walled Garden is also worth a visit, particularly during the spring and summer months.