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Photos taken in August 2011



Adare (Irish: Áth Dara, meaning "ford of [the] oak") (Population 2,454 (CSO, 2006) is a village in County Limerick, Ireland.


in position

Adare's origin is as a settlement by a crossing point on the river Maigue. It is situated 16 km (10 mi) from Limerick City. Renowned as one of Ireland's prettiest villages, Adare is designated as a Heritage Town by the Irish government. Due to its origin as village of the Dunraven estate, Adare has a more planned appearance than many Irish villages and towns.


Adare is a tourist destination and the local heritage centre, which gives insight into the history of the village, also hosts a number of craft shops. The town is also a popular wedding and conference venue. Adare has two 18-hole courses - the Adare Golf Club, which incorporates a driving range and which was the site of the 2007 and 2008 Irish Open, the Adare Manor Golf Club and a pitch and putt course. Adare also has an equestrian centre: Clonshire.


The village offers three Hotels: The Adare Manor, The Dunraven Arms and Fitzgerald's Woodlands House Hotel.


Adare has six public houses: in the village: Bill Chawke's, Collins', Seán Collins' and Auntie Lena's; in the outlying areas are The Thatch and Neville's. Additionally, each of the three hotels and the two golf courses has bars/restaurants.


There are nine restaurants: Timmy Macs Bistro, The Wild Geese, The Inn Between, The Abbots Rest, The Arches Restaurant, The Blue Door Cottage Pantry, The Golden Dragon, The Pink Potato and Norios.


The main street combines typical Irish architecture with the English styled buildings and infrastructure purpose-built for the Dunraven estate. Examples of the latter architectural forms include the thatched cottages near the entrance to Adare Manor.


Scoil Naomh Iosaf (boys), Our Lady's Abbey National School (girls), St Nicholas' National School (mixed)  and Scoil Seán tSraide (mixed).


The main Limerick-Tralee road, the N21 goes through the village. The Adare Bypass is at an early planning stage.[citation needed] Adare is a stop on the hourly Limerick-Tralee/Killarney bus service. A railway line to Foynes passes through the town, but Adare railway station, which opened on 12 July 1856, was closed to passengers on 4 February 1963 and to freight on 2 December 1974. The line to Foynes continued to carry freight traffic until it was mothballed in 2001 and has seen no trains since 7 May 2002 when the annual Irish Rail weedspray train visited the line. The line is still officially open for traffic.

The ancient town lay upon the eastern bank of the Maigue near a ford (crossing point) in the region known as Ardshanbally (derived from Ard an tSeanbhaile - 'high ground of the old town'), about half-a mile from the modern town on the western side. Historically a market town, in the Middle Ages, Adare was a major settlement[citation needed] and boasted three monasteries and a castle (Desmond Castle).




Trinitarian Monastery, Adare

The Augustinian Priory was founded in 1316 by John FitzThomas FitzGerald, 1st Earl of Kildare. The Priory was suppressed in the reign of Henry VIII. In 1807, the church of the Priory was given to the local Church of Ireland congregation as the parish church. In 1814, the refectory was roofed and converted into a schoolhouse. Between 1852 and 1854, a second restoration of the church was undertaken by Caroline, Countess of Dunraven.








The Trinitarian Order established their only monastery in Ireland in Adare in 1230. The Abbey was restored in 1811 by the first Earl of Dunraven as the Catholic Parish church.









A castle or fortress is said to have first been built by the O'Donovans, rulers of the region into the late 12th century, and afterwards to have passed into the possession of the Kildare branch of the FitzGerald dynasty, who may be responsible for the majority of the remains of the present fortress (which occurred with Croom Castle, also on the Maigue). Desmond Castle, as it is popularly known, stands on the north bank of the Maigue. An extensive renovation has been in progress on the castle since 1996 and supervised tours are offered in the summer months. This is one of a series of significant Desmond properties, which also include the banqueting hall in Newcastle West, County Limerick.

Text from Wikipedia







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