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a book by Bernard Share
Bunratty Castle in Ireland has been the prototype for authentic castle restoration for more than a century now and remains a beacon of what can be done with historical edifices- time, energy and money permitting! I have had "Bunratty: Rebirth of a Castle" on my book list for some months now and felt I should write about it a little more in depth for those who really do love castles as much as I do, just to get a true idea of this particular type of venture.
Anybody who likes feudal history served up with their battlements, drawbridges, Irish ditties and medieval banquets will devour this book with absolute abandon. Many books have been written about Bunratty Castle but Bernard Share’s is written in a style that will engage you from the first to the last sentence. The history given in the beginning portion is thorough- going all the way back from the year 1277 and it won’t put you to sleep. Quite the contrary.
Bunratty started as a Norman fortress when the Shannon was invaded. Eventually, it fell into the hands of the O’Briens and a struggle over centuries ensued between the McNamaras, O’Briens and the British government. Control over this impressively tall castle was a true advantage because of its strategic placement.
By the second half of the book, when the smoke of its violent history had cleared, Mr. Share tells how it eventually was restored from ruins into a spectacular showcase. Today, visits to Bunratty for adventurous tourists entail nightly medieval-type banquets and Ireland’s top drawer entertainment.
Count Gort and Ireland’s office of Public Works set Bunratty’s restoration in motion after it was purchased for 1,000 pounds by said Mr. Standish Robert Gage Prendergast Vereker ( seventh Viscount Gort). At the time of purchase, in 1953, it had fallen into bad condition and had to be heavily restored. Count Gort had bought no bargain by an outsider’s standards but his venture has started a new era in historic preservation that I hope will continue in Europe and throughout the world.
The account of its restoration will be of further interest to those who have purchased historic homes and edifices, giving out invaluable restoration details and showing some of the work through photographs and diagrams! Rejuvenation of Bunratty is nothing short of miraculous and its revival exemplary in historical preservation and integrity of its usage. Mr. Share’s book shows all the capabilities of this undertaking and made it fun to read about in the process.
Click on the book in the book list to find out how you can get your own copy!
Qui vous garde que le sentiments a-t-il aime’ ?
Demoiselle du Chateaux surement!