Walls of Limerick. History of Limerick city

Walls of Limerick

Limerick is the Republic of Ireland's third largest city and was founded by the Vikings in the early 9th century.When the Anglo-Normans finally captured Limerick in 1195,their first task was to fortify it. King John's castle was completed around 1200 and work began on enclosing the city with a wall.By the end of the fourteenth century Limerick city became known as Englishtown and was well protected, having two main gates at Thomond Bridge and Baal's Bridge and nine lesser gates.


When the Normans first arrived in Limerick many of the original natives moved across the Abbey river to an area called Irishtown. This became an important enclave and it was also walled. The work was slow and went on through the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The Citadel complex was completed, towards the end of the 1590's the main features of which are thankfully still preserved. The gate house and inner gate can be seen in the grounds of St. John's hospital.

The old city walls took over 200 years to build and were approximately three miles long.The walls were fortified with many towers and gates. In total there were 17 gates-five in the Irish town and twelve in the English town.

Limerick city's status was changed in 1760 and the famous walls which existed for 100's of years were finally knocked down. Some of the remnants of the walls of Limerick can still be seen-in the vicinity of Lelia Street and St. John's Hospital and also along the Island Road and in the grounds of Limerick City Hall next to Castle Lane.