Bunratty Castle was very accessible – built around the 1400’s you could explore and climb the very, very narrow winding stairs and look into restored rooms, and even go out on the roof.
The great hall had an enormous, open ceiling. The second photo was from a secret hole in the wall for soldiers to watch events, and shoot arrows if negotiations went badly.
The castle had several bedrooms for long-term visitors and guests of honor.
This was the most elaborate guest quarters.
The oubliette – where prisoners were left to die.
The view from the top
You cannot enter Barryscourt Castle (located 1/2 hour from Cork), but you are free to walk the grounds.
They have replicated original gardens, and have an orchard which dates back to the 1200’s. I smelled the most amazing vibrant roses ever – it must be because something has continuously grown in the soil for almost 1000 years.
A guardpost that dates back to 1200
Note the slits for arrows in the wall
Sites from the Rail and Road
Along the Irish countryside, old Norman watch towers and castles dot the landscape, as well.
Also, homages to the dead.