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Archeology stuff - Bunratty

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Archeology stuff - Bunratty

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
Western Ireland...
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for Southport, Connemara, County Clare, Portumna
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11. Re: Archeology stuff - Bunratty

If you are looking for the High Kings of Ireland then 1/2 hour in from Bunratty you find Killaloe. The home of Brian Boru


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12. Re: Archeology stuff - Bunratty

Zactly, Tony - I'm planning an inland swingdown on the return trip.

I just need to work him into the narrative earlier because of what he did accomplish, and the consequences that followed for not making that accomplishment last.

Edited: 07 November 2012, 22:45
new york
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13. Re: Archeology stuff - Bunratty

I find it refreshing that you can also look past the touristy part of Ireland and feel the history of the Island! The history is what keeps me going back...

Hope you enjoy your trip over...

Phila., PA
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14. Re: Archeology stuff - Bunratty

Robert, you make me proud to be a fellow Philadelphian! Keep em coming - I'm finding your research fascinating. Heading to Ireland in less than 2 weeks...

County Clare...
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for County Clare, Aran Islands, Bunratty, The Burren
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15. Re: Archeology stuff - Bunratty

This link may be of interest to visitors from PA.


Margaret Van Der Schuren lived nearby...in what is modern day Shannon Town.

Brian Boru was - as you probably know, the original O'Brien. Most of the castles and keeps that you've encountered in Clare were once owned by O'Briens, McNamaras or McMahons.

If you plan to visit again - Mooghaun Hill Fort takes you back to earlier days (just outside Shannon) and Magh Adhair on Hell River near Quin is also worth a visit. It's a natural amphitheatre where Boru was inaugurated as King of Thomond.

Quin Abbey (I think the OPW has closed it for the season) is the place to get your Clare bearings...and if you walk on the grounds of the old Shannon Shamrock hotel in Bunratty (another ruin in the making...and a good insight to Ireland's living historty) you'll find traces of that earlier castle.

16. Re: Archeology stuff - Bunratty

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