Bunratty Castle and Folk Park

I’m getting to be an old hand with the Irish bus system1, and made it to Bunratty a few hours earlier than I had thought I would. This gave me plenty of time to check out Bunratty Castle and Bunratty Folk Park, which is spread out around the castle.

The folk park is a reconstruction of nineteenth-century cottages and a village street in front of the castle. Lots of thatched roofs and bright paint jobs, overhung with thick leaves.
A farm cottage, with stable.
The stone building is the forge. Out front is a shaggy little bog pony.
The main room of a cottage. The fire in the fireplace was real, and was burning peat.
The bedroom of the cottage. Full of stuff, very colourful.
All over Ireland, you find religious statues and shrines tucked away in the strangest corners. Here’s a madonna and child in the hedge wall in front of one of the cottages.
I found the shop you were talking about, Al. Very nice people inside, and some beautiful pottery. The roof was in the process of being rethatched, which was kind of interesting in its own right.

The big draw, of course, is Bunratty Castle.

The front of the castle as you approach through the folk park. Notice that there is glass in the windows – this castle has been restored a lot farther than Blarney Castle, for instance.
Cannons sitting in the front yard of the castle.
The feast I’m going to this evening will, I think, be held in this room – the guard hall. I believe this table will serve as the high table. I could be wrong, though.
The Earl’s Hall, from a notch in the wall of a staircase. I believe this is where the welcome will take place at the feast tonight, before we go downstairs to eat.
This looks like the butler’s pantry (or whatever the equivalent might be), with the bottle, pitchers, and large chalice.
This was the Earl’s private chapel. Note the decorated ceiling – it was done in 1619, and was the cut-off point used during the restoration of the castle. Anything more recent than that didn’t get restored.
This is the side of Bunratty Castle, where you exit after touring around the inside.

My brother and sister-in-law and my nephew and niece bought me a ticket for the medieval banquet taking place in the castle this evening, so thanks again Al, Daph, Ryan, and Keira! I’m looking forward to it. I’ll probably post a little something more tonight after the feast, but I’m not sure if they’ll allow photographs, so it may not be much.

But it’ll be something.

Then tomorrow, I’m off to Galway for three nights.

  1. Of course, now I’ve just jinxed myself, and the next bus I get on will deposit me in Krakow. []

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