Here comes another one of these pure nerd things.
Trying to tie together the links on my first day's trip, I've been drawn back to Bunratty. But the castle is of absolutely no consequence.
It's not the right castle.
Right behind the Bunratty Castle hotel is a little ruin of a church. On this site, by all archeological and contemporary sources (annals of the four masters), the first civilized structures were built by the vikings as a trading post in 970. Brian Boru raided it in 977, essentially leveling it.
The first Bunratty Castle was supposedly built on this same ground in 1250; a motte and bailey castle, built by Robert Musegros with the castle sitting on the high ground that the current church ruins occupy.
The second castles - the important 1278 De Clare one - was built on or near the current castle site, but no part of that castle remains in the build of the current structure.
The third castle, barely even built in 1353, is elusive. No concrete sign or written record remains of it. But local tradition places it on the site of the Bunratty Castle Hotel.
There is no question inherent in this post; rather, it is just to put this information out there to add to the current knowledge base for the area for you guys who hand out the advice. It's kind of neat to know that the land beneath this little-mentioned ruin hidden behind the castle hotel has more historical significance than the 1450 Castle that is now such a tourist magnet.Edited: 07 November 2012, 05:02