Shannon Estuary Way Heritage
Learn more about the rich culture and heritage of the Shannon Estuary Way that has been passed down for generations. Discover traditions such as thatching and river fishing. Explore its historical past through the various castles and batteries that flank the Estuary shores.
Places of historical interest on the Shannon Estuary Way
Beagh Castle, Ballysteen
Just off of the N69 in the community of Ballysteen near Askeaton is Beagh castle right on the banks of the Shannon Estuary Way. Beagh Castle itself has a chequered history and is believed to have been built on the site of a Viking Settlement. According to the legend, a Viking prince returned to this point on the shore following his conversion to Christianity and built a chapel here in the 820s. The castle itself was built by the the FitzGeralds of Desmond as an outpost fortification around 1200 so is at least 800 years old! A Battery used by the soldiers was built onto the west side during the Napoleonic wars as a defensive measure.
Bunratty Castle & Folkpark
Visit the acclaimed 15th century iconic Bunratty Castle - the most complete and authentic castle in Ireland. The site on which Bunratty Castle stands was in origin a Viking trading camp in 970. The present structure is the last of four castles to be built on the site. Take a tour of this iconic fortress; hear and see how the lords and ladies of this castle lived; hear stories of battles and bravery Prepare to experience village life in 19th century Ireland and enjoy stunning views across the idyllic Clare countryside. The village houses and shops in the Folk Park have been chosen from many different areas, to form a collection of typical 19th century urban Irish buildings including the School, Doctor’s house, Pawnbrokers, Pub, Drapery, Printworks, Grocery, Hardware shop, Pottery and a Post Office. The village is set at a time of fundamental change in Irish society, and as such illustrates the growing money-orientated lifestyle of many of the villagers alongside the traditional, self-sufficient rural culture. Full of magic, imagination and fun, our Fairy Trail is perfect for kids of all ages. Little visitors are invited to use the interactive booklet to solve clues and answer questions on their way around the trail. You can download the Bunratty Trail booklet before you arrive or pick one up at Admissions. Encompassing the upper end of the folk park, this fairy trail is an magical experience that gives visitors an insight into the enchanting world of fairies.
Celtic Park & Gardens, Kilcornan
At Celtic Park & Gardens, immerse yourself in how our ancestors lived on this island 2500 years ago in the Celtic period. On arrival, you will be met by one of the team, who will welcome you and take you on a 45-60 minute guided walk around the park. The stunning scenery and lakes in the park will be your backdrop as you hear stories about the authentic and replica monuments dotted around the area. Learn about Celtic history, local traditions and farming from your knowledgeable guide, and finish with some refreshments in our Italian Gardens.
Located only 20 minutes from the motorway and the city of Limerick and close to the evervibrant village of Adare. Groups, families and individual visitors are all welcome! It’s the perfect setting for a day out, or for international visitors who would like to immerse themselves in Irish history.
Things to see: Dolmen, stone circle, Ogham stone, Holy well, Lime kiln, Inauguration chair, early Christian church, ring fort and Italian gardens.
Clenagh Tower-House, Newmarket-On-Fergus
Clenagh Tower-House (Cloonadh) tower house was built by the MacMahons and stands near the River Fergus. It was occupied until the beginning of the 17th century. The castle stands on a private property partly enclosed by a high wall. The courtyard of the castle within the boundary wall is used as a deposit for farm machinery and hay bales. Unfortunately the interior of the castle are used as a storage for old tools and materials. The castle is six storeys high, all floors but the first one are missing. There are several windows, some are large and mullioned, others are narrow and rounded, but all are very nice. On the southeast (160°) wall there's a good rounded doorway. On the same side at about 100 centimetres from the ground, there's a curious carved figure classified as a sheela-na-gig. The figure itself is about 45 centimetres high. It depicts a thin human being, it's not clear whether male or female, with an oval head carved out of a hollow. It seems that a smiling mouth and two tiny eyes can be made out. The arms reach the genitalia from the front. The legs are kept wide apart with the knees bent at a square angle. Nothing scaring about this figure, unlike other sheela-na-gigs so far seen.
Curraghchase Forest Park
Situated just off the N69 between Askeaton and Kildimo .Over 300 Hectares of Forests and Lakelands now surround the shell of Curraghchase house ,once the home of the Famous poet Aubrey de Vere. Curraghchase was acquired in 1957 by the Forestry Department and in the 1970’s was established as a forest park,there are 8km of multi purpose way-marked trails. They vary from wheelchair accessible routes to the more demanding like the curragh and Glenisca trails.
Dromore Castle, Pallaskenry
The castle was originally built for the Earl of Limerick. It was abandoned during WW1 and began to slip into ruin. It was built in the Gothic revival style between 1868 & 1874.The castle boasts 3 stories and while it is in ruins today the owners who live nearby have plans to renovate the castle at some point. While entering the castle is not permitted you can get close enough to view it. Were you to enter the structure you might peer up and see a huge chunk of the staircase missing the great room still remains as does the enormous fireplace which was one of the showstoppers of the castle. In the 1980’s the castle featured in the hit comedy high spirits with Peter O Toole,
Ringmoylan Pier, Pallaskenry
On the Shannon Estuary Way near the village of Pallaskenry, visit Ringmoylan pier. Local people escaping poverty and hunger were taken from here in small boats to ships waiting in the estuary bound for the U.S.A. and Canada. On the other side of the estuary you can see Bunratty Castle and watch arriving and departing aircrafts at Shannon airport. Ringmoylan Pier is also a great location for fishing and swimming.