King Johns Castle

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Name King Johns Castle County Limerick Nearest Town Limerick City Access Road N7 About King John’s Castle was founded by King John in 1200AD not long after the Norman invasion in 1171AD.

This castle is an imposing site with its five drum towers and tall curtain walls.

It’s situated on the banks of the Shannon River.

King John’s Castle is a castle located on Kings Island in Limerick City.

The walls, towers and fortifications remain today, and are a visitor attraction.

The remains of a Viking settlement were uncovered during the construction of a visitor centre at the site.

The Viking sea-king, Thormodr Helgason, built the first permanent Viking stronghold on Inis Sibhtonn in 922.

He used the base to raid the length of the River Shannon fromLough Derg to Lough Ree, pillaging ecclesiastical settlements.

In 937 the Limerick Vikings clashed with those of Dublin on Lough Ree and were defeated.

In 943 they were defeated again when the chief of the local Dalcassian clan joined with Ceallachan, king of Munster and the Limerick Vikings were forced to pay tribute to the clans.

The power of the Vikings never recovered, and they reduced to the level of a minor clan, however often playing pivotal parts in the endless power struggles of the next few centuries.

The arrival of the Anglo-Normans to the area in 1172 changed everything.

Domhnall Mor O’Brien burned the city to the ground in 1174 in a bid to keep it from the hands of the new invaders.

The Anglo-Normans finally captured the area in 1195, under John,,Lord of Ireland.

In 1197 local legend claims Limerick was given its first charter and its first Mayor, Adam Sarvant.

A castle, built on the orders of King John and bearing his name, was completed around 1200.

Under the general peace imposed by the Norman rule, Limerick prospered as a port and trading centre.

By this time the city was divided into an area became known as “English Town” on King’s Island, whilst another settlement, named “Irish Town” had grown on the south bank of the river.

The walls of the castle were severely damaged in the Siege of Limerick in 1642, the first of five sieges of the city in the 17th century.

A visitor centre is now built at the castle walls, which provides information on the entire history of the castle.

Well worth a visit.

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