Adare, Co. Limerick, Uncategorized

Adare’s Desmond Castle

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.


Adare, Co. Limerick, Uncategorized

The Dunraven Fountain

The Dunraven Fountain; a gift by Caroline, countess Dunraven to the people of Adare, Ireland.

Oh sweet Adare, Oh lovely vale
Oh soft retreat of sylvan splendour
Nor summer sun nor morning gale
E’er hailed a scene more softly tender
       Gerald Griffin   1803-1840


A freestanding, carved limestone monumental fountain, erected in 1855, set within a cut limestone pentagon-profile basin with carved copings.

Tapering four-sided obelisk style shaft surmounted by Celtic cross with carvings in relief and to the base. Plinth comprising projecting gables with trefoil and cross motifs and carved lettering in relief. Cast-iron spouts to three sides.

As its inscription indicates, this monument was ‘erected by Caroline Countess of Dunraven in grateful memory of the zeal shewn by the people of this village in quenching fire at the offices Adare Manor on the 1st April 1844‘.

It adds, therefore, much historical and artistic interest to the town.

Its site, next to the Holy Trinity Church, or the Trinitarian Abbey as it is also known, is a prominent one and it contributes significantly to the streetscape.

It was designed by Charles Hardwick, who also restored the church. Fine stonemasonry and artistic skill are evident throughout the monument, with the lettering and carving to the base of the cross being particularly fine examples.

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The Geraldines of Kildare developed Adare in medieval times and the present village was largely an early 19th century creation by the Dunraven family.

In 1756 John Wesley preached to the people of Adare from under an ash tree near the Franciscan Friary and the tree was still there until about 1860. Today a stone marks the site where this tree stood and the Methodists hold a Field Meeting here in June each year. In the early 19th century, the Earl of Dunraven, laid the plans for the existing streets and townhouses of Adare. These lands and dwellings were rented to tenants under various agreements, some of which still exist today.