As of 2011, there were 4,588,252 people living in Ireland. Of course, Ireland is also home to countless breathtaking castles with one-of-a-kind histories and architectural elements. Before you visit Ireland, it can certainly help you to make the most of your trip to map out a few castles you’d like to see. Because Ireland has such a rich history, you aren’t going to be able to see every single historical site on Irish castle tours. But with so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to know what to prioritize. Here’s part one of our traveler’s guide to Ireland’s most incredible castles.
Located in Trim County Meath on the River Boyne, Trim Castle was constructed during the 12th century in the midst of the Norman Rule. Historians say the castle may have served as the center of the Norman Administration for the Lordship of Meath. Furthermore, Trim Castle is the biggest Norman Castle ever built in Ireland. It’s even referred to in the poem, “The Song of Dermot and the Earl,” originally published in 1892, because even Ireland’s history has history.
In County Kerry, you’ll find Ross Castle, the ancestral home of the O’Donoghue family. Constructed in the 15th century, Ross castle is located right next to the lake at Killarney, and as one of the very last castles to surrender to Oliver Cromwell’s Roundheads in the midst of the Irish Confederate Wars, it continues to remain a popular tourist attraction. The interior may be in ruins today, but the exterior has been maintained meticulously over the years.
Constructed in the 15th century, Bunratty Castle is located in County Clare. It’s considered one of Ireland’s most popular attractions for tourists.
“The MacNamara family constructed the vast structure that still stands to this day back in 1425 but the initial settlement is thought to date back to the time of the Vikings. Today the castle is run by Shannon Heritage and is fully open to the public,” writes Heritage Daily.
Ultimately, these castles are symbolic of Ireland’s rich and fascinating history, and they’re definitely worth viewing for anyone who has a passion for history, culture, or architecture. Remember that Irish castle tours are often the best way to see as many exciting sights as possible during your trip. Keep an eye out for the next post, where we’ll talk about some more beautiful castles that are part of Ireland’s history and culture.