The Gaelic tower house built of limestone rises 6 floors high over the gentle rolling landscape with grazing cows and horses. Live like a chieftain in your own castle: Ballyportry Castle is one of the best restored late medieval Gaelic tower houses.
'Ballyportry is always let as an exclusive let which means that you are the only guests while you are there.
Our Guide can prepare a dinner for your arrival which is a pleasure, fill the fridge with local foods and make suggestions for your exploration of the Atlantic coast of Clare and the rich archaeology and amazing landscape of the surrounding Burren area. No more than 8 guests can stay.'
BALLYPORTRY CASTLE is a real and authentic late medieval 15th century Gaelic tower house, which is cleaned completely every time before and after guests have stayed, and in accordance with the sensitivities that the conservation programme allows.
There is a good underfloor ducted heating and there is a stove which burns logs in the downstairs kitchen and in the largest of the bedrooms. There is an open fireplace in the Great Hall at the top of the castle. The limestone walls serve to keep the heat in as they retain heat in a similar way to the Burren which is of limestone and is the area around the castle to which cattle are sent to graze in the winter months.
The walls are not rendered or plastered. The bathroom counter tops are of Liscannor stone with brass sinks and are not smooth, and the kitchen counter top is of Kilkenny marble.
The ceilings contain traces of the hazel branches that were used to hold plaster in the 15th century and are marked with the pattern of the branches, which are a decorative feature.
Many of the floors are also of Liscannor stone which is a rare and beautiful hardwearing stone brought from nearby.
The outer wall or bawn wall of the castle has small ferns and flowers that grow and self seed in the crevices of the limestone. These include pennywort, umbilicus repestres, which is easily identified by its round shield like fleshy leaves and spike of light green flowers, and the delightfully named pellitory-of the wall, parietaria diffusa. The walls support many lichens, some white, some yellow. Parts are festooned with ivy, whose flowers are a rich source of nectar and its dense growth an ideal refuge for small birds.
Close at hand is a stream and lakes. In the distance are the shelves of sloping limestone of the Clare hills that were carved out by glaciers in the Ice Age 10,000 years ago.
A heron, arda cinerea, can often be seen wafting on its broad wings between the various wetlands or standing still as a hunched statue in the stream waiting for an opportunity to catch a fish. At dusk, especially on misty or moonlit nights its harsh kraark- kraark call gives an evocative hint of what it must have been like here in past times.
The winter migrant whooper swans C. Cygnus can be seen as they migrate from their Arctic breeding grounds to the mild winters of Ireland. Flocks of wigeon, anas penelope, a duck with a whistling call appear in the autumn.
Hawthorn trees mark the boundary of the stream in winter when the land is flooded. The berries are bright red in October and the trees are covered in white blossom in the spring. They protect and guard ancient places in Ireland and are respected and always left to stand.
The castle is part of the landscape, and the natural world that surround it.
It is an ongoing conservation/preservation project. We hope as funds allow, (and it is dependent on the rental income) that we will be able to undertake further conservation tasks in the grounds and the castle. Your help is much appreciated.
Disponible para huéspedes
The 15th-century tower house sleeps eight comfortably and features a stone spiral staircase, a great hall, a modern kitchen, cozy under-floor heating, and fireplaces for crackling fires. It reigns supreme over its kingdom—the karst landscape of the Burren. From the wall walk behind the battlements you can survey the small stream that forms one boundary and listen to the water as it tumbles over the rocks as guests also did 500 years ago.
There is an outdoor sitting space at the entrance from which you can watch the moon rise over the Clare Hills. The Great Hall at the top of the castle was designed as the principal room and has an open fireplace and a lofty oak framed timber trussed roof. The castle is on 5 acres of grounds grazed by neighbouring donkeys with a small dense wood which children enjoy exploring.
Atención a los huéspedes
A recent National Geographic on line article on The Wild Atlantic Way describes Ballyportry:
Live like a chieftain in your own castle: Ballyportry Castle near Corofin is one of the best restored late medieval Gaelic tower houses in Ireland, and you can have it all to yourself. The 15th-century tower house sleeps eight comfortably and features a stone spiral staircase, a great hall, a modern kitchen, cozy under-floor heating, and fireplaces for crackling fires. It reigns supreme over its kingdom—the karst landscape of the Burren.
Our Guide can prepare a dinner for your arrival which is a pleasure, fill the fridge with local foods and make suggestions for your exploration of the Atlantic coast of Clare and the rich archaeology and amazing landscape of the surrounding Burren area.
We can send you the Menus for Dinner and will put you in direct contact with our Guide who is an excellent cook. Most of our guests arrange to have dinner prepared for them on the night of arrival.
Our Guide is available at the end of the phone throughout your stay.
There are two large bedrooms one on top of the other, each with a large double bed and they act as master bedrooms. The sequence at this side to the house is:
Ground floor entrance level: kitchen/sitting.
First Floor above it: a large bedroom with a large bed with a bathroom on the same level. The bathroom has a sink, shower and toilet.
Second Floor above this: a large bedroom with a large bed.
Third Floor above this: the Great Hall.
On the other side of the stairs there are 4 bedrooms one on top of the other in the original bed chamber spaces. Of these 4 there are two of them that have a double bed in which a couple can sleep.
The other two bedrooms have two single beds in each of them, which are usually considered as bedrooms for children who like to share a room or good for a single adult, or maybe two adults who know each other. They are similar in scale to a wagon lit sleeping berths etc...
There is a kitchen at the top of the house and another at the bottom.
There are 3 bathrooms, one in the original garde robe space with a shower, toilet and sink and this is above level 2 large bedroom space.
There is a toilet/cloakroom at ground floor/entrance level.
Otros aspectos destacables
We will send you a lot of information to help you to appreciate and enjoy a preserved 15th century castle: The Reading List, 12 Points about the Castle, 7 Special Treats, The Preservation,The Wild Geese and Ballyportry and others.
Everyone shares all the spaces in practice and walks in and out of every room. At least that is our experience and whenever anyone worries and doubts about how people will get on…the castle takes over and it all works out fine. It is a castle with a benevolent and kind personality that enjoys gatherings, which it was designed for in the 15th century. Most of us live in late 20th century houses and are unused to other arrangements. This is a conservation project and we hope you will appreciate and enjoy it.
Smoking is not permitted within the castle and candles are restricted to the stone floored downstairs kitchen and Great Hall at the top of the castle.
The hostess and guide for the castle is Tanya who will advise you about everything to do with the castle during your stay. In the same way that being in a boat is different from being on dry land we ask you to realise that this is a different dwelling from a 21st century house.
Please note that we say:
‘The wonderful curving late medieval stone staircase does not suit small children or those with walking disabilities'
‘This historic castle works best for families with teenage children'…
Only 8 guests are permitted to stay at the castle. The names must be submitted in advance of a stay.
The maximum extra table guests are 4.
Any meals that are cooked and served by Tanya are served downstairs.
No furniture is to be moved from one room to another.
Extra furniture cannot be brought in without the owner's permission.
If you wish to have a gala dinner upstairs in the Great Hall, when it is prepared by Tanya, it must be brought up from the downstairs kitchen by the guests.
It is not a good idea to allow any running around games with children in the castle. The risks are high of a child slipping and injuring themselves on the stairs while chasing or running.
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