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 Some of the Castles of Ireland                                                                                        

Ireland is well known for its ruins and its castles. Most people have heard of Blarney Castle and the famous Blarney Stone in County Cork, and the historic Rock and Castle of Cashel just over the border in County Tipperary, but Ireland has a lot more historic sites to offer.
     Just a short drive from the town of Cashel is one of Ireland’s best kept fortresses - Cahir Castle. The building of the castle took place between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries. It is one of the most complete of Ireland’s castles and it still has its tower, keep, and defence structures. The castle was considered almost invincible until the invention of heavy canon fire. The castle is now fully restored and open to visitors all the year round.
     Desmond Castle in Kinsale, Cork is actually a customs house that was built in the fifteenth century by the Fitzgerald family. Kinsale was a wine port that had supplied the ships which were the forerunners of the modern British Navy, from the early fifteenth century.
     Probably the most popular castle in Ireland next to Blarney Castle is Bunratty castle, which was built around 1425 by the Normans and inhabited by the Kings of Munster, the O’Brien clan. The castle is situated near Limerick, close to the River Shannon and during its time has seen many battles. It was rebuilt seven or eight times before its current restoration. The castle underwent extensive restoration in the mid nineteen fifties and filled with objects and furnishings that date back to the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries The building is actually a mix of Norman castle and Gaelic tower houses of a later period with its main tower, four floors and four corner turrets. It is one of the most popular attractions in Ireland, outside of Dublin.
     Bantry House in Cork is not really a castle but it was the family seat of the Earls of Bantry. The family were known for travelling around Europe and bringing back art, furniture and other treasures to decorate the house. The treasures include four pieces of the Aubusson Tapestry, which was a wedding present for Marie Antoinette when she married the Dauphin.




 Bunratty Castle, County Clare 
(near Limerick City)

Blarney Castle, Co. Cork

 Cahir Castle, Co. Tipperary

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  Irish Castles images from Wikipedia.                                    This page:  Some Castles of Ireland