The Desmond Hall Newcastle West Co. Limerick curated by Noel OConnell

In the 15th century, clean water was hard to come by. So beer and wine was served instead of water.

The Earl and Countess always sat at the main table with their children beside them. When having guests for a feast, the most important guests sat at the top of the guest’s table, with the least important at the bottom. The best food was always served to the most important people and the worst was eaten by the least important. The windows of the castle were very narrow because in the case of an attack on the castle, the attackers would have less chance of shooting an arrow through them. They also let out less heat as the windows did not have glass in them at this time.

The guards in the castle always kept watch on the tower in case of an attack. There was also a guard posted in the crow’s nest which was stationed at the top of the tower. While sleeping, most guards slept sitting up because the castle was so damp and many had trouble breathing.

There was a room for playing cards, chess and other games. There was no electricity, books or toys back then, so that was their only way of finding entertainment.

The tower was accessed by a spiral staircase that went around to the right, which made it easier to defend as most people are right handed and it would be difficult to fight against those defending the tower.

There was also a secret escape route in case the defenders were overpowered.