The Burren has long been a source of inspiration for, and in many cases, an adoptive home to artists of all genres. Poets, novelists, painters, sculptors, musicians and playwrights have absorbed its spectacular bare and stony beauty and created a multitude of rich works which continue to be enjoyed and appreciated.
Some of those who have been so inspired include W.B. Yeats, one of Ireland's best known and much loved poet-dramatists; the acclaimed Irish-Australian painter, Sir Sidney Nolan; Richard Long, the English artist; Seamus Heaney, the internationally renowned contemporary Irish poet, and British Poet Laureate, Sir John Betjeman, all of whom have immortalised the mystical beauty of the Burren in their work.
Though bare at first glance, the stony outward face of the Burren is far from barren. Within the many crevices and cracks, which punctuate its craggy pavement hills, grow some of the world's rarest flowers. This remarkable terrain is also home to a rich variety of fauna. Its equally lively bird and marine life is interesting too for the sheer diversity and quantity of species.
Virtually every field, every wall, every stone formation has its own remarkable story to tell. The stories detail the history of Irish civilisation going back over 7,000 years. Ancient monuments abound in the area and can be easily explored. They include megalithic tombs, prehistoric burial mounds, Bronze and Iron Age forts, ancient settlements and field systems, churches, monasteries, graveyards, holy wells and medieval castles, of which Newtown Castle, the College, is one.