Adare’s Desmond Castle. Built in the 12th century on the site of an earlier O’Donovan structure it the home of the Kildare Branch of the FitzGeralds, who became the Earls of Desmond.
Adare’s Desmond Castle is regarded as a fine example of the medieval fortified castle in Ireland and is one of a number of outstanding castles situated in County Limerick. It is situated on the north bank of the River Maigue in a strategic position on a substantial earlier ringwork, possible an O’Donovan ringfort, where it was able to control traffic on the river. It was an important stronghold of the FitzGerald Earls of Desmond.
A strong, square keep forms the defensive core of the castle that stands within a walled ward surrounded by a moat. Beside the river is the great hall, with early 13th century windows looking out on to the river, and nearby is a kitchen and a bakery.