Bunratty Folk Park: the waterfall, the lamb, & the fairy village

This is post #4 of a blog series I’m writing including pictures of the recent amazing trip I took with our precious, beautiful daughter Leah. Here are posts #1, My daughter Leah and I went to Ireland,  #2, Ireland: Dreams Come True, and #3, We visited Bunratty Castle in Ireland.

We took so many pictures with our phones that I need to break up the posts, to make it easier for you to read, as I know you live a busy, hectic life like mine and you don’t have lots of spare time!

I hope these blogs inspire and bless you. I thank my Lord Jesus Christ, who made this amazing opportunity and prayer possible.

“Ireland was a place for the renewal of hope and I still see it like that.”–Daniel Day-Lewis

Me at Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
Me at Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

My heart is aching to go back to Ireland! My and our daughter Leah’s vacation there was just too short! I believe I’ll go back again one day and am already praying about this!

Bunratty Folk Park tea shop
Bunratty Folk Park Tea Room

Before Leah and I visited Bunratty Castle in Ireland, we walked around Bunratty Folk Park, which is right by it. It’s a quaint little village filled with rural, primitive homes and shops, reminiscent of the 19th Century.

The first place we saw was the Tea Room, where visitors were drinking tea and enjoying scones. The scones in Ireland are delicious! They are light, fluffy, and sweet, reminding me of a combination between a biscuit and a little cake. They’re often served with butter and jams.

scones
scones

The houses and buildings in Bunratty Folk Park are recreated and furnished as they would have appeared at that time according to their social standing, from the poorest one-room house to Bunratty House, a Georgian residence of the last family who occupied Bunratty Castle. Leah seemed especially interested in the poor one-room house, which had a sign hanging on it outside that the servant worked for 80 days for the landlord on the land, renting the house, and after that he owned the house. Most of the houses were simple and plain, with a thatched roof. 

Leah reading sign at One-room house in village
Leah reading sign at one-room house in village

Several of the houses had chickens or other animals in the yard or nearby, such as goat, pigs, and chickens. Each family had to provide for their own needs in food, clothing, and supplies. I took a pic of the pig for our red-headed granddaughter Violet, who adores pigs!

Our beautiful red-headed granddaughter Violet
Our beautiful red-headed granddaughter Violet

I love sheep and was happy to get a pic of this one lone lamb grazing in a pasture. It reminded me of how Jesus is the Good Shepherd who loves His sheep and takes care of them, something God has been speaking to me much about the last several years. Jesus talked about the Good Shepherd leaving the 99 to go after the one lost lamb. (Matthew 18:12) My song for this year which has this theme is Reckless Love by Cory Asbury

Leah liked the two Irish wolfhounds, although they were sleeping when we looked at them. Historically, the wolfhound was a dog that only nobles could own and was taken up by the British during their rule in Ireland. It’s been adopted as a symbol by the national rugby league team and the Irish Rugby Football Union.

I took a pic of these pigs for Violet!
I took a pic of these pigs for Violet!

 

a lamb grazing in a pasture
a lamb grazing in a pasture

 

Irish wolfhounds
Irish wolfhounds

 

Black chicken and duck in village
Black chicken and duck in village

Although I couldn’t wait to drive to the Cliffs of Moher (one of the main reasons I wanted to see Ireland), I’m so happy that Leah and I walked around this village in the cool, peaceful outdoors. Leah loves nature like me, and I felt this time ministered to her soul.

Bunratty Folk Park
The path in the village at Bunratty Folk Park

The houses were quite primitive, decorated with old furniture like tables, beds, and hope chests and a few kitchen items.

bed & hope chest
bed & hope chest

 

kitchen cupboard with dishes
kitchen cupboard with dishes

 

house table & pitcher
house table & pitcher

I could hardly believe we were walking around in Ireland; it felt surreal! It is so green, just like you’ve heard and imagined. One of the first things we saw in the village was a small but beautiful waterfall. I love waterfalls, so this really blessed me!

village waterfall
village waterfall

 

me by village waterfall
me by village waterfall

Another cool thing we saw in the village was a water mill, which is a mill that uses hydropower. It is a structure that uses a water wheel or water turbine to drive a mechanical process such as milling (grinding), rolling, or hammering.

village windmill
village windmill

 

windmill wheel
windmill wheel

 

windmill water
windmill water

At one house, there was a marble scuplture that was so pretty of the Virgin Mary and child Jesus.

marble statue in village
marble statue in village

The village also had a pretty church. 

village church
village church

 

church in village
church in village

 

ornate wooden pews in church
ornate wooden pews in church

 

stone floor in church
stone floor in church

 

church door
church door

 

church baptismal
church baptismal

 

podium where the priest stands
podium where the priest stands

Bunratty Folk Park also had a quaint fairy village for children. Ireland is well known for “lucky” four-leaf clovers, a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, leprechauns, fairies, ghost stories, and other folklore. While I believe much of this is demonic in nature, Leah and I both thought the fairy door in a tree was cute.

At the big mushroom park, a mom was taking pics of her children. Afterward she said to them, “Fabulous pic! Wow!” Her little boy ran off saying like a parrot, “Oh wow, wow, wow!” Both Leah and I laughed.

sign for fairy village
sign for fairy village

 

fairy door in a tree

 

cute play area where little boy said, "Oh wow, wow, wow!"
cute play area where little boy said, “Oh wow, wow, wow!”

There was also a pretty flower garden in the village. This reminded me a little of The Secret Garden, a book and a movie that we read and watched when I homeschooled Leah when she was younger, that she enjoyed. Homeschooling our kids has given me some of my most precious, sweetest memories, especially when we went on fun field trips.

I’m so glad I was able to go on this trip to Ireland with Leah and make more good memories!

garden in the village
garden in the village

 

village garden flowers
village garden flowers

I don’t know what these red flowers are named, but Leah and I both thought they were unique and beautiful. The garden also had sunflowers, some of my favorite flowers. Each time I see flowers, I think of my beautiful daughter Heather. Heather’s name comes from a beautiful, purple-blue flower that covers hills and is found widely in Europe.

unique red flowers
unique red flowers

 

red flowers
red flowers

 

I love sunflowers!
I love sunflowers!

In my next post in this Ireland Blog Series, I’ll share about our visit to the Cliffs of Moher–the highlight of the trip for Leah and me both. Be sure to check out the beautiful pics!

Leah at the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
Leah at the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
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