Adare and District

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Adare Manor
Located in a vast demesne, Adare Manor is a mansion located on the banks of the River Maigue; it is the former seat of the Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl. The present building was built in the early 19th-century in a Tudor-revival style, while retaining part of an earlier structure. It is now the Adare Manor Hotel & Golf Resort, a luxury resort hotel.

Tír na nÓg, a historic thatched cottage in Adare, pictured here in 2013. Built as part of the Dunraven estate in 1835-70, it was destroyed by a fire in June 2015.[5]
The main street combines typical Irish architecture with the English styled buildings and infrastructure purpose-built for the Dunraven estate. Examples of the latter architectural forms include the thatched cottages near the entrance to Adare Manor
Historic surnames in Adare[edit]
Some of the most common, well-respected and iconic surnames in Adare include the following: Blake, Brennan, Carmody, Chawke, Griffin, Hickey, McNamara, Kelly, Lavin, McMahon, Ryan, Smith, Hogan, Lyons, Masterson, O'Donnell, O'Regan, Switzer, Fitzgerald, Walsh.

The River Maigue is tidal as far as Adare, with the settlement forming around the eastern bank of the overlooking the fording point from which the village gets its name. An annalistic reference is made in the medieval Annals of Inisfallen at AI982.4 "The Tree of Mag Adar was broken by Leth Cuinn". Owing to the strategic importance of the river crossing the Desmond castle was built overlooking the site near Ardshanbally (derived from Ard an tSeanbhaile - 'high ground of the old town'), and was first mentioned in 1226. Historically a market town, in the Middle Ages, Adare boasted three monasteries. Owing to the influence of the Earls of Dunraven, who built the Adare Manor (now a luxury resort hotel) a strict plan was laid out for the town.
A castle or fortress is said to have first been built with an ancient ring-fort, by the O'Donovans, rulers of the region into the late 12th century, and afterwards to have passed into the possession of the Kildare branch of the FitzGerald dynasty, who may be responsible for the majority of the remains of the present fortress (which occurred with Croom Castle, also on the Maigue). Desmond Castle, as it is popularly known, stands on the north bank of the Maigue. An extensive renovation has been in progress on the castle since 1996 and supervised tours are offered in the summer months. This is one of a series of significant Desmond properties, which also include the banqueting hall in Newcastle West, another castle in Askeaton and Castle Matrix near Rathkeale, further west in County Limerick.

The Augustinian Priory was founded in 1316 by John FitzThomas FitzGerald, 1st Earl of Kildare. The Priory was suppressed in the reign of Henry VIII. In 1807, the church of the Priory was given to the local Church of Ireland congregation as the parish church.[4] In 1814, the refectory was roofed and converted into a schoolhouse. Between 1852 and 1854, a second restoration of the church was undertaken by Caroline, Countess of Dunraven.

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