A hidden gem in a quiet corner of Co. Clare. Craggaunowen brings to life the people, homesteads, animals and artefacts of Celtic ancestors.
With acres of outdoor space, rare breeds of animals and discovery trails to explore, learn about the famous Craggaunowen Crannog – fascinating lake dwellings found in Ireland during the Iron Age and early Christian periods. Explore the ringfort, a true reproduction of a farmer’s house, dating from the 4th or 5th century. It is complete with a souterrain, an underground chamber used as places of refuge during attack. Discover the fulacht fia, an ancient cooking site or indeed explore the charming Craggaunowen Castle, a 15th century tower house which commands over the site.
What makes a visit to Craggaunowen so memorable is the wonderful costumed animators who bring the whole experience to life. They entertain and enthral visitors with tales and demonstrations of the crafts, lifestyles and traditions of early ancestors.
Indeed, another important attraction at Craggaunowen is the ‘Brendan Boat’. This is the hide boat in which Tim Severin sailed from Ireland to the United States in 1978, when he and four crew undertook an epic journey to cross the Atlantic ocean in a leather boat. They enacted the voyage of St Brendan to prove that the saint and his monks could have discovered America 900 years before Columbus.
The boat, made from ox-hide on a frame of oak and ash, reached Newfoundland in 1977 and now resides at Craggaunowen.
Craggaunowen is also home to a variety of animals who would have once roamed the Irish countryside, including wild boar and soay sheep. For nature lovers, the park is a maze of quaint walking trails just waiting to be explored.
- The iconic Craggaunowen Crannog – Craggaunowen Crannog – fascinating lake dwellings found in Ireland during the Iron Age and early Christian periods.
- Costumed Characters – who bring the whole experience to life with tales and demonstrations.
- ‘The Brendan Boat’ – the hide boat in which Tim Severin sailed from Ireland to the United States in 1978.
- Ring Fort – a true reproduction of a farmer’s house, dating from the 4th or 5th century.
- Rare Breeds of Native Irish Animals – including soay sheep and wild boar.
- Souterrain – an underground chamber used as places of refuge during attack.