Bunratty castle built in 1425, was restored in 1954 to its former Medieval splendour and houses the Bunratty Collection, 450 pieces of Medieval furniture and artifacts. At nighttime, the castle is the impressive setting for its popular Medieval banquets, held year round.
The site on which Bunratty Castle stands was in origin a Viking trading camp in 970. The present structure is the last of four castles to be built on the site. Robert De Muscegros, a Norman, built the first defensive fortress (an earthen mound with a strong wooden tower on top) in 1250. At this time Bunratty became a large town and had a populations of about 1,000.
Today, the castle stands peacefully in delightful grounds
Within the grounds is the folk park, where 19th Century life is vividly recreated. Set on 26 acres, the impressive park features over 30 buildings, including a schoolhouse, post office and doctor's house in a living village setting. Bunratty Folk Park also includes Ardcroney Church, a former Church of Ireland building which was painstakingly moved, stone by stone, from County Tipperary, to Bunratty.
Another reconstructed feature is Hazelbrook House, (rebuilt in the folk park in 2001) which was the family home of the Hughes Brothers. They produced HB ice cream, which became an Irish household name and visitors to Hazelbrook House will learn about ice cream making, from farm dairy to the modern day production plant.
During the summer months, meet folk park characters such as the 'Bean An Tí' (woman of the house), schoolteacher and policeman as they go about their daily lives. As the Bean An Tí is often found baking brown bread, porter cake, apple tart and griddle bread, you may be able to sample some delicious home baking.
Bunratty Castle is famous for its wonderful Castle Banquet. Why not book your seat at this wonderful banquet and enjoy a delightful evening of food , music song and dance.