Around 15km southwest of Limerick on the N21 towards Kerry, ADARE draws in coach parties from far afield, with a reputation for prettiness that’s perhaps a little overblown – it is quaint, but marred by its position on a major national road. As the Heritage Centre reveals, it was made picturesque by design: the earls of Dunraven, landlords of Adare Manor, beautified their estate village with ornamental thatched cottages in the early nineteenth century, according to the current fashion for pastoral romanticism, and with Arts and Crafts–style houses in the early twentieth century. Set beside a broad main street and a prim town park on the south bank of the River Maigue, Adare’s attraction is enhanced by some impressive remnants, mostly ecclesiastical, of its medieval heyday.

 

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