Knights Ride at Bunratty

Medieval archery contests, mounted swordsmanship and jousting will be showcased during the inaugural Grand Medieval Tournament at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park in County Clare this coming Saturday and Sunday.

Re-enactors from the Wexford-based “Horsemen of Eire” group will play the knights of the Earl of Ulster Hugh De Lacy and his bitter rival John DeCourcy as they take over the paddocks of the Folk Park.

Visitors can also experience a true to life medieval encampment and witness history come to life by meeting the characters, learning about the turbulent times, lifestyles, customs and skills of 12th and 13th century Ireland.

The two-day medieval spectacle will also afford the public an opportunity to witness the preparation and training required for those facing into battle and see how their customs, crafts and traditions have shaped modern society.

The tournament consists of a series of duels and feats of armed horseback and on foot where the two teams try to accumulate points. The closing ceremony each day will feature two of the most outstanding knights facing each other in an epic duel on horseback and on foot. 

Bunratty Castle was itself the target of multiple attacks during medieval times. The castle was captured and destroyed in 1284 before being rebuilt by Thomas de Clare, Lord of Thomond, three years later.