Desmond Castle in Newcastlewest, located in the picturesque west Limerick region of Ireland, is a remarkable example of medieval architecture. Among Ireland's surviving medieval halls, it stands out as one of the most impressive, with a rich history that dates back to the thirteenth century.
The castle's construction was initiated by Thomas FitzGerald, known as 'the Ape,' who was said to have been carried to the top of Tralee Castle by an ape when he was a child. However, most of the structure that exists today was built in the fifteenth century when the Desmond earls held immense power in the region. The castle was frequently used as a venue for grand banquets, and its spacious and imposing structure is a testament to the wealth and influence of the Desmond family during that time.
One of the most striking features of Desmond Castle is its oak gallery, which overlooks the main banquet hall. This gallery was once used by musicians to provide lively music for the revelers below. Today, the gallery has been fully restored, and visitors can admire its intricate carvings and stunning views.