Ancient Stained Glass
November 21, 2018
This stained-glass window was one of many inside the Bunratty Castle. The man/drummer depicted is thought to be a likeness of the men (most likely of the MacNamara family) who re-built the present structure in 1425. The castle is incredible to visit. Being inside this ancient structure, I couldn’t help but think about how the people of long ago lived and interacted inside its massively thick walls.
The first defensive fortress was built on this spot in 1250. In 1318 the Norman owner and his followers lost the battle to the Irish. The castle was once again restored but then laid waste again in 1332 by the Normans. It was rebuilt once again 1353 by Sir Thomas Rokeby - an Englishman because the English has won the war with the Irish. Again, it was attacked by the Irish and destroyed after they defeated the English army. The castle has been in Irish hands forever thereafter. The powerful MacNamara family and Irish family, built the present structure around 1425. By 1475 it had become the stronghold of the O’Briens, the largest clan in North Munster. The O’briens defeated the Irish MacNamara family and took control of the castle. The O’Birens ruled the territory of North Munster and lived in great splendor in Bunratty Castle. The castle was surrounded by beautiful gardens and was reputed to have a herd of 3,000 deer.
Under Henry VIII’s ‘surrender and re-grant’ scheme, the O’Brien’s were granted the title of Earls of Thomond and they agreed to profess loyalty to the King of England. The reign of the O’Briens came to an end with the arrival of the Cromwellian troops and the castle and its grounds were surrendered. The O’Briens never returned to Bunratty but later they built a beautiful residence at Dromoland Castle, now a luxury 5-star hotel just a few miles from Bunratty Castle.
Today Bunratty is surrounded by a Folk Park and Gardens. It is lovely. We loved visiting the castle and grounds.
“I've always been a history lover. I've spent a lot of recreational time walking around historical castles and estates, in Britain and Europe, and so I know what the real thing looks like.” ~ Natalie Dormer. And Bunratty is the real thing. ~Me
Thank you for your comments and critiques!
Have a fantastic day!
5533Ancient Stained GlassBunratty CastleIrelandCOPYRIGHTAll Rights ReservedNikonLgood Photography