Clare County Library
Clare Archaeology
Home | Search Library Catalogue | Foto: Clare Photo Collection | OS Maps | Search this Website | Copyright Notice

A Survey of Monuments of Archaeological and Historical Interest in the Barony of Bunratty Lower, Co. Clare by William Gerrard Ryan

Part 1: Commentary: Castles and Tower Houses: Introduction

People who travel the main Limerick-Ennis road may already be familiar with two of the defensive type sites in Bunratty Lower Barony. The more important of these is Bunratty Castle, at the mouth of the river Ratty, seven miles due west of Limerick city. This site, of course, is one of Ireland’s main tourist attractions and is visited by thousands of people each year. The second site is probably not known by name but is the Tower House (Cratloemoyle) near the Limerick Inn Hotel, and within one hundred yards of the main road.

These two sites are very interesting, one being a restored mid-fifteenth century castle and the second a Tower House dating to c. 1580-1600 A.D. However these are only two of thirty seven defensive type sites which formerly existed in the ninety two square mile Barony.

In Site catalogue, Section 3, I have dealt with the thirty seven sites as they exist to date (1979). Over half now survive as ruins, in various states of decay, with over a dozen gone without trace. Where ruins exist site plans have been made and these, along with photographs and detailed descriptions, give some information as to the present condition of the defensive type sites of the Barony. Where the sites have been levelled without trace I have attempted to collect and present all information relating to them.