The Old Ground Hotel and Medieval Dinner at Knappogue Castle, Day Five of My Trip To Ireland  

Posted by Heidi

The Old Ground Hotel, by far the most beautiful hotel we stayed in during our visit, was a welcome sight as we drove into Ennis from Limerick.  (To see what we did the first half of day five, go HERE.  To see what we did on days one through four, click Here, Here, Here, HereHere, Here, Here, and Here.

The Old Ground Hotel dominates two sides of an old-fashioned square.  Directly across the street from it is an old church.

What can't be seen in these photos is the huge pair of hands that sit in the front of the church.  Below is a photo showing the hands--I have given it the water color treatment.

I love the concept though I am not sure how I feel about something of such recent construction on the site of such an old church.  Of course Mary wanted to know what it felt like to be in the hollow of His hands so she climbed up.  Sadly, the photo did not turn out very well but it gives one an idea of the enormity of this sculpture.

Back to the hotel--it is made up of smaller rooms which is a look I love.  Our room was on the ground floor on the opposite side of the hotel from the front desk.  This is the second sitting room we passed by to get to our room.  Locals have afternoon tea in these sitting rooms.

After we passed sitting room number two, we went through a doorway and came to sitting room number three.  We considered this our own private sitting room since, in the entire two days we were there, we only saw one person use it other than ourselves.  Pictures do not do justice as to the beauty and feeling of these rooms.

This picture shows the first sitting room off of the main entrance.  I love the sunken bookcase.  These rooms must be extra lovely on a cold, rainy day with the fires lighted.

We set off to explore.  The detail was amazing.

This door leads into the dining room which was a vision in blue.  This is the only photo I have of it--there were always so many people inside when I was there.  I adore the jury paneling!!!

This is a view of the first sitting room from the front entrance.  Gorgeous!

Of course there is a little area for umbrellas and the like when you first go through the front doors.  This is one fancy umbrella stand!

Once we got settled into our room and had time to explore, we were off for Knappogue Castle for our Medieval dinner.  This was no bawdy, raucous meal of the renaissance fairs we have so many of in the U.S.  It was, hands down, the best meal that I ate during our trip and was accompanied by fine singing, dancing and other entertainment.  This ruined church was spotted and photo'd through the window on our way to Knappogue.

A water color version of the ruins.

Another photo shop treatment of this building.

Finally we arrived at Knappogue Castle.  If I recall correctly (we have been home for nearly a month now--my memory is slipping) the family who owns this still live in parts of the castle.

This is the view enjoyed from the windows of the castle.  Mary's favorite color is green so she had to go and wallow in it.

The courtyard at one end with benches to view the gardens to the right.

Still having fun with the water color feature on Photo Shop.

The above photo is of our fantabulous tour guide, Alacouque.  We absolutely adored her!  Below is a view of the same gardens from the other end.

And a water color version . . ..

This was on the edge of the property--probably a watch tower of some kind.

This water color photo is of two of the talented musicians who played that night.  It was extremely dark (and authentic) inside the castle so I didn't have many photos that turned out.

The entrance for the carriages and horses at Knappogue.

For next time:  The Cliffs of Moher!

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