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Quin, County Clare, Ireland
Knappogue Castle can be found 17 miles from Shannon in a pleasant open countryside setting amongst the hills of County Clare.
The castle is a fully restored medieval tower house in just over an acre of gardens which have also been replanted with climbing roses, grapevines and a collection of clematis growing over the tall walls.
From May until September Knappogue Castle and Gardens are open for the public to freely wander around during the daytime. The castle also offers a nightly Medieval Banquet experience, with an evening of traditional song and dance following in the footsteps of the castle's previous owners.
From October until April the castle is transformed into a wedding venue with private blessings available in the castle's chapel and receptions in the Great Hall. The bridal suite, situated in one of the castle's wings, boasts five bedrooms and is furnished with period furniture and a welcoming open fire.
In another part of the castle grounds overlooking the formal gardens there is a luxury self contained apartment available to rent. Accommodating up to ten people in five bedrooms, the two storey apartment offers a fully equipped kitchen, drawing room and dining room and the highlight of each morning is a full Irish Breakfast.
Knappogue castle was built by Sean MacNamara in 1467 and became the home of the MacNamara clan leader Donagh who led the Irish rebellion in 1641. The castle remained with the family until it was confiscated by Cromwell's soldiers and granted to Arthur Smith a 'Roundhead', but in 1660 the castle was returned once more to the MacNamara clan.
The castle was sold to the Scotts in 1800 who extended it considerably and restored the parts that had been damaged due to fighting. The restoration work was continued by the castles' next owner Lord Dunboyne in 1855.
During the War of Independence the castle was occupied by Clare County Council and then left in a state of disrepair. During the 1920's the castle was abandoned and the land leased to a local farmer who was eventually awarded the castle as compensation for the loss of one of his cows which was killed in the ruins.
The last occupants of the castle were the Andrews family from Houston in Texas who purchased the property in 1966. Lavonne Andrews; the Hon. Mark Andrews' wife, was a prominent architect and was responsible for fully restoring the castle into its original sate of the 15th Century. In 1996 the castle was sold to Shannon Developments.
It is said that during the castle's history many heads of state have stayed as guests of the castles owners including Ronald Regan and Charles de Gaulle.
Other Castles in the Area
Adare Manor, County Limerick
Ardamullivan Castle, County Galway
Askeaton Castle, County Limerick
Bunratty Castle, County Clare
Carrigogunnell Castle, County Limerick
Desmond Castle, County Limerick
Dromoland Castle, County Clare
Dysert Castle, County Limerick
Dysert O'Dea Castle, County Clare
Fiddaun Castle, County Galway
King Johns Castle, County Limerick
Leamaneh Castle, County Clare
Shanid Castle, County Limerick