The concept for Craggaunowen was the idea of the late John Hunt.
John Hunt was an advisor to Sotheby's on Medieval Art and was, described by the art magazine The Connoisseur as "one of the best medievalists in Europe".
He bought the land at Craggaunowen following his excavation of Lough Gur, Co Limerick. He then set about the restoration of the castle and began the construction of an open air style museum including the reconstructed ‘crannog’ and ‘ring fort’. He generously donated the site to the Irish people.