Things to see or do
- Continuing Details: 8. Island Road/Remains of the City Walls/Sally Ports Island Road roughly follows the route of the old city walls. The walls erected in 1237, separated the citizens of the city from the other inhabitants on the Island. What remains of the walls, dismantled in 1760, can be seen here. The Sally Ports, were used to attack the enemy from within the city. Another short section of the wall can be seen behind the Villier’s Alms Houses (No. 12) fronting on to the River Shannon. 9. St. Saviour’s Dominican Friary The Friary is said to have been founded c. 1227. In 1644 it became a Papal University for the Catholic Confederacy. Only one wall and some 15th century carvings remain. Folklore has it that the Martyred Bishop Terrance Albert O’Brien (now Blessed) is buried here.
- Continuing Details: 10. The Bishops’ Palace Limerick Civic Trust dates the building to the 17th century and considers it to be the oldest standing domestic building in English Town. This was the official residence for the Church of Ireland Bishops until they moved to a new house in Henry Street in 1784. 11. St Munchin’s Church While the existing church was erected in 1827, there is said to have been a church on this site since 561. The ancient parish church of St. Munchin may have served as a cathedral long before St. Mary’s was built. A unique feature of the church was that it retained an episcopal throne up to the 19th century. St. Munchin, who died sometime toward the end of the 5th century, is said to be buried here. The present church built in 1827 was deconsecrated in 1968. In was in disrepair when restored in 1988/89 by Limerick Civic Trust. 12. Villier’s Alms Houses Mrs. Hannah Villiers endowed the buildings on this site in her will in 1821. The construction took place in the Bishop’s Garden in 1823. Of interest from a medieval perspective are the remains of the two towers, which today form part of the boundary fronting on to the river. 13. Thomond Bridge The original bridge, which connected King’s Island with the Co. Clare side of the river, was built sometime between 1185 and 1210. This structure collapsed in 1292 killing 80 men. The bridge was then reconstructed with fourteen unequal arches. Unfortunately, while the bridge was sturdy it was often flooded at high tide. The present structure was built between 1838 and 1840.
- Continuing Details: 14. Toll House This humourous Gothic Style folly with exaggerated crenellations was designed and built by the architect James Pain around 1840. James and his brother George were also responsible for the design and construction of Thomond Bridge. 15. The North Munster Masonic Centre The Freemasons have been in Limerick since the first lodge was founded in 1732. This building, now under restoration, is the first building in the city to be owned by the Freemasons. The building when completed will house a museum, a library, will be open to the public and available for local community use. 16. King John’s Castle Average visit 1 hour 30 minutes The castle was built by Prince John of England c. 1210 later to become King. To protect and maintain Norman power in Limerick and Munster. Today the restored castle is open to the public and houses an imaginative exhibition of the history of the Castle and the area. 17. Limerick Museum Average visit 30 minutes, closed Mondays The museum contains over 30,000 items relating to the history of the city. Amongst the treasures are Limerick Silver of the 18th and 19th century and unique Limerick Lace. 18. Castle Lane Castle Lane, represents a range of architectural styles through the centuries. The Lane connects Nicholas Street to the River Shannon. 19. Nicholas Street Originally known as Main Street in Medieval times. The street is now named after St Nicholas of Myra, better known as Santa Claus. In times past the local parish church of St. Nicholas stood on the site now occupied by a local business called Styx. 20. The Widows Alms Houses Built in 1691, in the protective shadow of King John’s Castle, the ‘Widows Alms Houses’ originally housed the families of deceased soldiers garrisoned at the Castle. In 1970 a local group restored these houses. They were subsequently renovated by Limerick Corporation in 1993. 21. The Exchange Wall The exchange was built in 1673. This impressive facade of hewn stone with its seven Tuscan columns linked by a handsome balustrade is all that remains of the original building. The structure was rebuilt in 1702 and 1778. It fell into disuse when the new town hall was constructed across the bridge in Rutland Street in 1846. A brass plate on top of a carved stone pedestal known as ‘The Nail’ from the original exchange can be seen in the Limerick Museum (No. 17).
- Continuing Details: 22. Fanning’s Castle Built in the late 16th or early 17th century. Originally known as Whitamore’s or Limerick Castle, but colloquially called Fanning’s Castle after Dominic Fanning merchant and Mayor of Limerick who lived here and was executed by the Cromwellians in 1651. Patrick Sarsfield is said to have stayed here as a guest of Francis Whitamore the then Mayor during the 1691 Williamite Siege. 23. The Tholsel The Tholsel founded in 1449 was the earliest City Hall, later to become a jail. “This year the foundation of the Tholsel’s laid Where justice in those days was well displayed The use diverted, now ‘tis the common jail Where men do lie, not wanting crimes - but bail.” (Anon) 24. Barrington’s Hospital/Georges Quay The Barrington family, known for their good works spent £10,000 on the building of the hospital in 1829. Although it functioned as a general hospital, it specialised in the care of children. The hospital closed as a public institution in 1988 although part of it is still used today for its intended purpose albeit as a private clinic.
Medieval Limerick On Kings IslandLimerick City Limerick - Ireland West
The Administrative Heart of the City: From earliest times the administrative centre of the city was situated in English Town first with the construction of King John’s Castle and later with the establishment of the Tholsel, which was the city’s first town hall, build in 1449. Though the city has experienced many changes over the centuries, the administrative centre of the city is still situated on the Island. The present City Hall building on Merchant’s Quay was built in 1990 not far from the ‘Thingmount’ (a Viking counsel chamber and court of justice) where it is reported that the Viking’s established the first local authority for Limerick City over a millennium ago. Please click on the web link below for a map of the area with detailed descriptions of what to see on it.
ContactTelephone+353 (0)61 31 7522
Address: Tourist Office, Limerick City, Co Limerick, Republic Of Ireland