The Arrangement of the Rooms
The Gaelic Tower House of Ballyportry contains six bedrooms and two bathrooms with showers as well as a guest bathroom at the ground floor entrance.
Ballyportry sleeps between four and eight guests comfortably.
You enter into a kitchen sitting room with a huge fireplace; a stone coffee table and a turf burning stove, well stocked bookshelves and with all you need for convivial dining. There is good quality crockery and plenty of serving dishes made in the pottery on the way into Corofin.
The fridge freezer and dishwasher and a large six burner gas range for cooking are the 21st Century contributions to comfortable rustic living. The underfloor heating and the thick limestone walls retain the heat well.
The 6 floored Tower House is furnished in an authentic way using fabrics in keeping with the late 15th Century. The sheets and pillowcases are of linen, and wool blankets from Co. Tipperary complete the dressing of the beds. All the furnishings reflect the time of late medieval Ireland, a time of hospitality, song, and poetry in Gaelic Tower Houses. To this end the best of craftsmanship is used through out in the ongoing process of furnishing the five hundred year old Gaelic Tower House.
From the entrance a stone spiral steps leads up to the other rooms. At the top of the Tower House is the impressive Great Hall with exposed oak roof trusses, an open fireplace, couches and a table for dining. There is a second kitchen with dishwasher, fridge and electric cooker that serves the Great Hall.
Please note that the wonderful curving late medieval stone staircase may not suit small children or those with walking disabilities. Along with the guest WC on ground floor level there are two bath rooms. While the water supply will cope with several showers at a time, guests may need to stagger the times of ablutions!
Click for an cross section drawing of the Tower House.
The Burren and County Clare
Clare is a peninsula surrounded on three sides by the Atlantic Ocean and by the Shannon River and Estuary to the East. The Burren is the most famous part of Clare and is to the North of the county, and together with the Aran Islands formed the ancient kingdoms and territories of the O’Brien’s and O’Loughlins. To this day the same family names endure in the Burren as those first recorded in manuscripts of almost a thousand years ago.
The strong traditional music culture for which Clare is known attracts musicians from all over the world and the extraordinary wild flowers of the Burren are renowned for their beauty and variety in the spring and summer months.
Shannon Airport, Galway and Cork are the nearby international airports. The closest railway stations are Gort and Ennis.
Please refer to 'A day in the Burren.pdf' and 'Favorite Things.pdf' in the download section for further information. 'Although the geological and botanical credentials of the Burren are of international significance, it is as an archaeologist that I can really commend it.' Patrick F. Wallace. Introduction to The Book of the Burren 1991.
Visit www.burrenbeo.com for more information.
View Larger Map
The landscape as seen from the roof of the Tower House is a pattern of small fields bounded by hedgerows that come into blossom in the early summer. Lakes that change in size with the seasons surround the castle. Horses, cattle and donkeys graze nearby. The land around the tower is roughly grazed by a horse and a donkey that belong to a neighbouring farmer.
Wild irises grow along a stream that makes a gentle sound as it tumbles through some stones, a sound that would have been heard in the centuries past by those who stayed at Ballyportry when Spain and France were far afield and before the New World was discovered by Europeans. A densely planted wood of deciduous trees marks one end of the five acre property. The trees are thick with moss and lichen, and a home to the elusive and rarely sighted pine martens. In winter a red barked cricket willow blazes out and the streams can flood to bring swans and herons into close proximity.
Some 20th century houses are in sight along the road and the famous limestone terrain of the Burren is adjacent with Mullaghmore as a landmark and a good walking destination 10 minutes away by car. The ‘Craggy Island’ house of the television series Father Ted can be seen nearby.
Up in the hills the Burren flowers flourish in the limestone with Arctic and Mediterranean species side by side, and wild goats and hares appear from time to time as ravens and skylarks use the thermal air currents of the hills.