The small and weird bits of Ireland
Located just outside the small village of Sixmilebridge, which is itself minutes from Shannon International airport, this fort was build atop a ring fort of earth that stood for nearly a thousand years. Sometime between the 16th and 17th century a pair of side towers were added. Some time shortly thereafter Oliver Cromwell ordered the stairs to the upper level destroyed and the roof removed. Nearly a hundred years later it apparently occurred to the English that mayhaps using the structure was a better idea than simply wrecking everything, in short order a constabulary was added to the side of the building lending to a very interesting lesson in construction methods over time in the region.
On the second floor which was accessible only through perilous climbing was a small stone seat above a long drop to the outside of the building. I am told that some poor wretch had the job of mucking out the waste, which really made me appreciate how much better janitorial staff have it today.
After having seen this small castle and appreciating the insane amount of labour it must have taken to construct it I felt compelled to see the grander castles in the area, as such I checked into the Bunratty Castle Hotel which unfortunately is merely castle adjacent but more than makes up for it with a spa and pool located in the basement.
The grounds around Bunratty Castle are spectacular and I would certainly advise spending a few days at the hotel to allow for extensive wandering.
I should further recommend the spa and ask that anyone visiting say hello to Jane the masseuse, primarily to confuse the hell out of her as I provided no forewarning that I would be suggesting such a thing.