Considered one of Ireland’s prettiest villages, Adare is the definition of postcard perfection. Graced with traditional thatched roof cottages, this village is a peek into 19th Century Ireland, and contains some of the finest and rare examples of religious and medieval history. Access to the village is just a short 15-minute walk from the Manor House, and you can explore the area on foot. At Adare Manor, we are more than pleased to assist you with your trip to the village, and we have compiled all the need to know information for you to linger over before your adventure.
The ruins of Desmond Castle lie on the edge of Adare village. A Norman castle dating back to the 13th Century, it was a strategic fortress, and the home of the Earls of Kildare for almost 300 years, until 1563. In that year, the castle was forfeited to the Earls of Desmond who gave the castle its current name.
Tours of Desmond Castle operate daily from June to September by shuttle bus from the main street of the village. Group bookings may be accommodated outside of those months. Individual and group bookings can be made at Adare Heritage Centre. All tours of Desmond Castle are conducted through English, but bookings can be made for multilingual options. For more information on tours or to make a booking, please contact the Adare Heritage Centre.
The friary, also known as ‘Black Abbey’, is situated to the east of Adare village, opposite from Desmond Castle. It was founded in 1316 by John Thomas Fitzgerald, the 1st Earl of Kildare, and was confirmed to his son Thomas, the 7th Earl of Kildare, later a major patron of the Franciscan friary in Adare. The friary dissolved in 1539 but was later restored in 1807 by the 1st Earl of Dunraven, and since then the monastery has been used as the Church of Ireland. This church is now known as St. Nicholas’ Church, and is open to the public, with services held every Sunday at 12.00pm. For more information, visit Monastic.ie.
Also known as the Holy Trinity Abbey, it is the only example of a church of the Trinitarian order in Ireland. The origin date of the Trinitarian order in Adare is unknown, but it has been debated that the foundation date could have been 1226. The abbey was rebuilt in 1272 by the 1st Earl of Kildare, John Thomas Fitzgerald, but was later dissolved in 1539. The 2nd Earl of Dunraven, Windham Quin, gifted the ruined abbey to the Catholic parish in 1824, and was restored by English architect, Philip Charles Hardwick, who was later hired in the building of Adare Manor in 1850. The church is currently the Roman Catholic parish church of Adare and is open to the public everyday between 8.00am and 6.00pm. Visit Monastic.ie for more information.
On the grounds of the old Adare Manor Golf Course, the Franciscan Friary is a ruin situated by the river Maigue. The friary was founded in 1464 by Thomas, Earl of Kildare for Franciscan Friars of Strick Observance. It was later attacked and burned by parliamentary forces in 1646. However, the remains of the friary are largely intact and remains an important element of Adare’s medieval history. To visit the ruins, it is recommended to call into the Adare Manor Golf Club for permission to do so as you will need to pass through their golf course. Visit Monastic.ie for more information.
Adare Manor Museum
New to Adare Manor since its reopening in November 2017, the Manor Museum contains artifacts and tokens of memories that captures the enduring process of building the Manor House that took 30 years. You can learn the story of the Dunraven family and the events that took place in their lives, and see artifacts that were found during the reconstruction, dating to the 19th and 20th century. To visit the Adare Manor Museum, please contact our Concierge team who will gladly assist.
The Adare Heritage Centre
The Adare Heritage Centre is located in the heart of the village, and is a must-see for history lovers, and those who wish to fully explore the history of Adare. The centre has an excellent exhibition and audio-visual show that will enable you to see the town’s varied and rich history. You will also find a tourist information office, restaurant, craft shop and woollen mills outlet. The centre welcomes visitors daily from 9.30am to 4.30pm. To learn more about the Heritage Centre, you can visit their website.
Plan your visit
Along with historical sites, Adare Village is rich with fashion boutiques, bars and restaurants serving a variety of cuisines, with some of the best traditional Irish dishes. Whatever you are seeking out of your holiday, our Concierge team would be delighted to assist you in creating the perfect itinerary to get the most out of your visit to Adare.