While still in the bay, you should see Castlebawn Castle, which has been beautifully restored over the past fifteen years and can be visited during July and August. Scariff is a lovely market town with plenty of shops, pubs and restaurants in the market square. There is a riverside walk along which you will find a big playground and a 19th century water tower masquerading as a magnificent 17th century tower house. There are also various other attraction’s in this east Clare area to keep you busy.
A wedge tomb at Cappabane (north of Scariff) is said to be 4000 years old and the area has been inhabited since this period.
Castlebawn was built by the McNamara chieftains during the mid to late 16th century and the family name of McNamara is still quite popular around County Clare today. Records show that Castlebawn was built by Owen McNamara, but does not give the year of construction. The earliest date on record mentioning Castlebawn is 1570, when Sean McNamara, Chief of Eastern Clann- Cuilein, died, leaving Castlebawn to his son, Sir John McNamara. The last occupier of Castlebawn was Simon Flannery, early in the 20th century. Even today, many local people still refer to it as Simon’s Castle.
In the 1840s, the town was hit hard by the famine and a workhouse was built to ease the suffering of the poor. In 1921 the remains of the workhouse were burnt to the ground by the IRA to prevent it being used as a barracks by the infamous Black and Tans.
Ireland’s largest organic seed farm is located three miles outside Scariff and is worth a visit. It contains orchard walks, a café and visitor centre. Some great work has been done here over the past twenty years and the farm continues to grow, with plenty of facilities for tourists. This is a special and peaceful place and tours are available at anytime during the week and is free for children.
For those in the mood for some great Irish food, you do not need to go any further than the market square where Ber’s Cafe is located and this charming cafe is very popular amoung the locals .
The Scariff Harbour Festival takes place over the August bank holiday weekend and includes music, street theatre and other entertainment.
Take a short trip to the Irish seed savers visitor centre.
Visit the wonderfully restored Castlebawn Castle. (pre booking essential)
The riverside walk is lovely.