Desmond Hall, Newcastle West. County Limerick     b. 13th – 15th centuries

This area of Ireland preserves many of Ireland’s surviving finest medieval halls that were used for banqueting and entertainment. Desmond Hall is regarded as the finest. It’s restored medieval features include oak galleries for musicians and a limestone hooded fireplace. Besides all the great parties, Newcastle West was sacked in 1302, destroyed in 1315.  James and Garret – Earls of Desmond were also killed here. During Elizabethan times three battles were fought near here and many members of the Knights Templar were also killed here. The motto for the town is ‘As Dúchas Dóchas’ which translates to ‘Our hope springs from our traditions’…which I’m not sure what that means after all those battles!