Following the successful castle-plus-open-air-museum template of Bunratty Castle, Craggaunowen focuses on what life would have been like for the Bronze Age inhabitants of Ireland. A reconstructed “crannog” shows how Celts lived, worked, and defended themselves from the Iron Age right through to the middle of the first millennium. (Records indicate, in fact, that scattered communities lived like this as late as the 1600s). Other reconstructions to explore here include a 4th-century ring fort and underground passages known as souterrains, thought to have been used for cool storage. (Incidentally, some archaeologists believe there are real souterrains at Caherconnell Stone Fort that have yet to be excavated). Costumed historian-guides provide demonstrations of the techniques inhabitants of such settlements would have used to cook, build, weave, and so on. Also on display is the Brendan Boat, a replica vessel of the kind Vikings are believed to have sailed to America; it was built in 1976 by explorer Tim Severin, who used it to do just that—a 4,500-mile journey that took him and his crew just over a year. The 16th-century Craggaunowen Castle is also on the grounds (included in the price).
County Clare› Attraction
Kilmurray, near Quin, Co. Clare, Ireland
Our Rating Neighborhood About 16km (10 miles) from Ennis, signposted off R469, Quin Hours Easter to mid-Sept daily 10am–5pm. Closed mid-Sept to Easter Phone 061/360788 Prices Admission €9 adults; €6 children aged 6–16; children under 6 free; €22–€25 families Web site Craggaunowen
MapKilmurray, near Quin, Co. Clare Ireland County Clare
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.