Welcome to the Clare Archaeology Centre. Allow us to provide an overview of what’s on offer and illustrate why a visit to Dysert O’Dea Castle—and the surrounding 25 original archaeological field monuments are a must-see on any visit to County Clare. The authentically restored 15th century Dysert O’Dea castle was the stronghold of the O’Dea clan. It is now home to The Clare Archaeology Centre, opened in July 1986, and has been the recipient of numerous national awards.
The Castle was built in 1480 by Diarmuid O’Dea, Lord of Cineal Fearmaic. The uppermost floors and staircase were badly damaged by the Cromwellians in 1651. Repaired and re-opened in 1986, the castle houses an extensive museum, an audio-visual presentation, and various exhibitions. Surrounding the castle is the Dysert O’Dea Archaeology Trail (4km) containing 25 original field monuments. The trail can be walked or driven, and is open all year round. A guide is available at the Souvenir Shop. The monuments span dates from 1000BC to 1850AD, including two Romanesque Churches, the famous 12th Century Illuminated Doorway and High Cross of Dysert O’Dea, two 15th Century Tower Houses, 1st Millennium Stone and Earthen Forts, Holy Wells, Fulachta Fiadh (ancient cooking places), Proselytising Schools, Landlords’ Houses, medieval roads, and more. These are shown and explained on the Guide and Map available at the Castle.