Castles in Clare

Castles in Clare

Bunratty Castle County Clare 1
Photo via Canva

The area of Clare has a number of interesting castles to see. Some of these cool buildings are FREE to visit and some are turned into hotels nowadays and some are cool tourist attractions and have visitor centres, well they are all tourists attractions right! Clare is steeped in history and some of the castles back hundreds of years, they have been around a long-time.

If you wanna see some old medieval buildings I have included a few nice ones in County Clare, there’s a top-class 5-star castle hotel and a castle now turned into a collage of Art in the Burren region to mention just a few.

There are medieval banquets to attend in some of these old castles, attending a medieval banquet is a very entertaining night out! Clare has a huge amount of old buildings scattered all over the place, some are in good shape, others are in a ruined condition, I hope you get to see some cool castles in Clare!!!

Check out my article on 2 days in Clare here!

Donnagore Castle

Donnagore Castle County Clare Ireland

This old building is located close to cool little village of Doolin, Its quite close to the Cliffs of Moher. This old building is a round-shaped design, it really in a cool location with the Atlantic ocean behind the building and the Aran Islands in the distance, tis really cool!! Donnagore dates back to the 14th century.

The story goes that back in the day a number of the Spanish Armada were hanged in Donnagore, this was ordered by the high sheriff of Clare at the time Mr Boetius Clancy! Donnagore is FREE to visit, you can’t go inside because it’s privately owned by John C Gorman, but you can stop as take a look from the road or your car!

John C Gorman who is an Irish American, Mr O Gorman purchased Donnagore and restored it to its former glory in the 1970s. The old building used to have a number of levels (floors) back in the day and it has a beehive fault feature also.

Dromoland Castle Hotel

Dromoland Castle County Clare
Photo via All Things Ireland

Dromoland Castle is now turned into a top-class hotel, it’s one of Ireland’s nicest hotels! The building is located in New Market On Fergus which is fairly close to the town of Ennis.

Dromoland Castle is a 5-star hotel, there is a fantastic golf course on the grounds of this old building. The current building on the grounds was built in 1835, the word Dromoland means “hills of litigation”.

There are many things to do and see on the grounds, play a round of golf, check out the lake and you can cruise around on a boat on the lake. Do some fishing, enjoy afternoon tea or maybe try some clay shooting, or go for a hike in the surrounding lands.

If that’s not enough, you could go horse riding or have a game of tennis! Then there’s the food at Dromoland castle, it’s unreal there’s is a number of options when eating in Dromoland, The Earl of Thomond restaurant is as good as it gets!! It’s set in such a nice setting with a beautiful lake and the amazing golf course blended together, it’s just a picturesque old medieval building in the heart of Clare, you have to check it out!

Dough Castle

Dough castle County Clare
Photo via Canva

Dough Castle is located just outside the town of Lahinch towards the Liscannor side. This building is in poor condition, there is only part of it still standing due to the sand in the foundation. Most of this castle has fallen down over the years, mainly because of the building being built on a sandy ground but it’s still a historic building of great importance to Clare.

This old building in Clare dates back to the 14th century and it overlooks Lahinch golf course where the Dubai Open golf tournament was held in 2019. The castle is not in the best shape but tis still standing after all these years!

Bunratty Castle and Folk Park

Bunratty castle county Clare Ireland
Photo via Canva

This cool old building is now turned into a major tourist site with loads of attractions to keep you busy. This super cool building has a very interesting folk park included, the folk park will keep you busy for hours while you walk around looking at all the old thatched cottages and interesting old Irish building. There are some Irish wolfhounds on the grounds to see, Irish wolfhounds are some of the largest dog breeds.

Bunratty has medieval banquet events in the evening time, you sit in the banqueting hall in the old medieval building, and enjoy some good Irish food and hear some nice Irish music and singing, tis unreal!

The folk park is great for kids with lots of animals to see. Bunratty Castle dates back to 977, there are records of settlements in the area since 977, the current building dates back to the 15th century.

Ticket prices are 15.00 euros for adults and 9.00 euros for kids, you can get a family ticket for 2 adults and 2 kids for 33.60 euros. You can check out this old building from the outside for FREE, and take some photos or maybe a have pint in Durty Nelly’s pub right next to Bunratty castle.

Gleninagh Castle

Gleninagh Castle Clare Ireland
Photo via Canva

This old building is located in a beautiful area overlooking the Atlantic ocean. Gleninagh Castle is located close to the village of Ballyvaughan in Clare. The building changed ownership many times over the years, there is an old medieval church located in the area and an old holy well close to Gleninagh. The story goes that part of Gleninagh used to be a prison.

Gleninagh is free to visit, it’s a nice old building you can check out while you are wandering around Clare! For Directions click here!

Newtown Castle

This super cool round shaped old building is the only of its kind in the whole of the Emerald Isle, you won’t see this unique design anywhere else! Newtown Castle is nowadays a college of art and design, its probably one of the coolest colleges of art in Ireland. The story goes that the King of the Burren owned this cool old building back in the day, 1839 it was!

Newtown Castle is located just a few minutes drive from Ballyvaughan village, it’s in a beautiful location in the heart of the Burren region, its FREE to take a look but do remember it is collage and respect the property. Newtown is used as a super retro wedding venue, it’s a great place for a wedding.

Leamaneh Castle

This image is of Leamaneh castle in County Clare
Photo via All Things Ireland

Leamaneh Castle is located in the area of Kilnaboy between the villages of Corofin and Kilfenora. This old building is FREE to check out, you can not go inside because it’s on privately owned farmland. Leamaneh is steeped in history, this old building was part of a mansion dating back to the 17th century and there was a 15th-century tower house on the site.

The old tower house used to belong to one of the old High Kings of Ireland the great Donn O Brein, he was related to the famous High King Brian Boru!! This building isn’t in great condition but structurally it’s OK.

See my post on The Wild Atlantic Way in Clare and the stuff to see and do on this amazing route!

Knappogue Castle

Knappogue Castle is a major tourist attraction. The old building dates back to 1467, it has been restored to a very high standard. It’s open to the public for a number of months throughout the year from April to October. You can stay overnight in Knappogue and feel like a High King from the medieval period.

The grounds and lands are in superb condition. Knappogue hosts medieval banquets with singing, dancing and great Irish food served up to you in a beautiful old castle. The old building was restored by an American from Texas Mr Edwin Andrews and the Shannon Development company later purchased the castle in the mid-1900s.

Check out my article on Best Things to do in Clare!

Dysert Castle

Dysert castle dates back to 1480 it was built by Diarmuid O Dea, the castle was damaged in 1651 by Cromwellian soldiers. The old building was restored to its former glory in 1986 and a museum was installed on the grounds, its a cool place to visit. The museum has some cool displays including audio and visual displays.

This old building has ten rooms spread over four large floors, there is a bookshop, toilets and English and German audio displays. There are 25 old monuments to see on the site of Dysert and walking trails around the whole area.

Tickets are prices for adults are 7.00 euros and 3.00 euros for children. Student and seniors are 5.00 euros and a family ticket covers 2 adults and 3 children for 20.00 euros, tis good value!

This old building is located in the Burren region around 5 kilometres from Corofin an around 11 kilometres for the town of Ennis Clare.

I hope you find this article useful, I welcome any questions, suggestions by email to

See my post here on Best Things to do in County Clare!


John Conway

All Things Ireland

John C

Hey, my name is John Conway and I love travelling around Ireland. I have a passion for All Things Ireland. I love the Emerald Isle! I love Guinness and green fields!

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