Picking up from Adare or Limerick city, we head west to Curraghchase forest park..
Curragh House was built in 1657 by Vere Hunt, an officer in Oliver Cromwell‘s army and a descendant of the Earl of Oxford, who traced their lineage to Aubrey de Vere I, a tenant-in-chief in England of William the Conqueror in 1086. Hunt was granted the land, which consisted of 380 acres (1.5 km2) originally owned by John Fitzgerald, as one of the Cromwellian plantations.
Across the lake a monument to the de Vere family stands on a small hill. Near the house, there is a small cemetery to the de Vere’s family pets.
The house was accidentally destroyed by fire in December 1941. The grounds at Curraghchase were bought by the State in 1957 and the property is now used as a public amenity and includes tourist trails, camping and caravan park facilities, which make the area a popular tourist attraction.
Followed by tea and scones at De Vere café
Then on to the flying boat museum in Foynes harbour village this is an excellent attraction.
Home to the world’s only full-size replica of a B314 flying boat.
Discover the era of transatlantic passenger flights, the invention of Irish Coffee, and the maritime history of the majestic River Shannon followed by lunch then down the coast road to Bally Longford to historical carrigfoyle castle.
Carrigafoyle Castle is a very fine example of 15th century building. The castle was strongly built and ingeniously situated. Standing on the edge of the Shannon estuary on what was originally an island, Carrigafoyle Castle rises to five storeys with vaults over the second and fourth storeys. An unusually wide spiral stairs ascends in one corner of the tower which has small rooms as well as the main living spaces opening off it. The stone bawn wall at the foot of the castle contained a boat dock. One of the turrets in this wall seems to have been used as a dovecot where pigeons were kept for food.
Carrigafoyle Castle was the main stronghold of the O Connor Kerry, the principal chieftain of this barony named after him. For 400 years they were an important part of the ever changing political and military jigsaw of those times. From here O Connor Kerry was able to intercept ships going up the Shannon to Limerick, board them and take a part of their cargo. This practice continued until the middle of the 16th century.
In the Desmond wars in 1580, the castle came under fire from naval artillery on land and sea, under the command of Sir William Pelham. Following a two day siege the castle was breached and taken on Palm Sunday 1580. All the occupants, comprising nineteen Spanish and fifty Irish were massacred. Opposite the castle is the medieval Church of Carrigafoyle which is built in the same style as the castle followed by tea at the local traditional farmhouse b & b and back to adare at aprox 6 pm.