Welcome To Newcastle West

Newcastle West is the largest town in the county save for Limerick city itself. It can be found on the banks of the River Arra in west County Limerick, Ireland.
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Information Newcastle West Ireland

Newcastle West (An Caisleán Nua Thiar in Irish, which literally means the same as the English) can be found on the banks of the River Arra in west County Limerick, Ireland. The largest town in the county save for Limerick city itself. At one time, the valley in which Newcastle West sits was called the Valley of the Wild Boar – a name so given because the wooded area was rich in the animals. An old name for Newcastle West is Castle-Roe. The Knights Templar built a castle in the area in 1184. The town later became Newcastle, West Limerick, but over time the Limerick part was dropped and the West part added to the name of the town instead. Newcastle West developed around a castle, as both its original and new names suggest. Its well preserved ruins can be found off the town square. Local sixteenth century landlord Sir William Courtenay owned 10,500 acres of land in Newcastle West in the late 16th and early seventeenth centuries. In 1624, he was denounced in the House of Commons for his beliefs: As a Catholic, he was persecuted by authorities and it is thought that his son George may have practiced his faith in secret. Their home is thought to have been a safehouse for priests. The parish was known as Newcastle and Ardagh in the early 1700s. At different periods, it was part of larger parishes but in 1764, Newcastle West became a parish in its own right. Less than ten miles north of Newcastle West is Shanid Castle. Built by Thomas Fitzgerald after he was given the land in 1198, the ruin sits atop a summit motte with a surrounding fosse and bank. The tower is polygonal on the outside and circular on the interior, only surviving in part to its full parapet height, with certain elements such as loop-holes and battlements extant. Captured in 1601 by the O’Donnell clan, it was practically destroyed in 1641.

Attractions Newcastle West Ireland

Banqueting Hall (Desmond Hall) - Newcastlewest

West Limerick preserves many of Ireland's surviving spacious medieval halls. The desmond banqueting hall is an imposing two-storey structure and was used by the Earls of Desmond for banqueting and entertainment. The Hall, vaulted lower chamber and adjoining tower were all constructed during the 15th century (the hall and chamber were built on the remains of a 13th century structure of similar size).

Croom Mills and Heritage Centre - Limerick

This uniquely restored nineteenth century granary shows working conditions for millers and blacksmiths in dramatic settings. It is complimented by an audio-visual film on the history of grain milling locally. The mill race flows gently beneath the superb restaurant and craft shop

Curraghmore Forest Park - Kilcornan

Located at Kilcornan, Curraghchase Forest Park is a six hundred acre plantation of exceptional beauty. It features walkways, a lake and garden, a nature trail and the ruins of the eighteenth century home of the poet Aubrey de Vere.

Foynes Museum - Limerick

The Foynes museum recalls the era with a comprehensive range of exhibits and graphic illustrations. It also includes a 1940s style cinema, the original terminal building through which many VIPs passed, war years' radio and the weather room. Irish coffee was "invented" here in 1943. During the 1930s and early 1940s, the port of Foynes was the fulcrum point for air traffic between the United States and Europe. The famous flying boats were frequent visitors, carrying passengers who ranged from celebrities to refugees.

Lough Gur Stone Age Centre - Ballyneety

Located at Ballyneety, the Lough Gur Centre is the most important Stone Age site in Ireland. The visitor centre, on its lakeside site, contains a display and audio-visual show presenting the site's history. The archaeology of the area provides evidence of the activities of the first farmers in the region, their dwellings, ritual and burial sites, as well as their tools and implements. The story stretches over 5,000 years and continues to the present day.