King John was the brother of Richard the Lionheart, associated with legends such as Robin Hood and the Knights’ of the Round Table.
In 1642 the Great Siege devastated Limerick and the castle. Siege mines weakened the front wall (East curtain wall) of the castle and counter-siege mines carried out during the later and subsequent sieges. To date over 1,000 objects were excavated including skeletal remains of the siege period. You can view the remains of a medieval garrison and soldiers quarters recently discovered close to the sallyport area of the castle.
The site on which the Castle stands has been occupied for over 1000 years.
A number of houses believed to be viking in origin were uneartherd during earlier restorations of the Castle. Elements of these dwellings and some artefacts found on site can be seen at King John's Castle visitors centre.
The Pre-Norman features discovered are both defensive and settlement.
Extensive evidence of an early defense system and of a strong earthen rampart, held together with limestone boulders and protected by a deep ditch, show that King John’s Castle was built on an existing fortification.
King John’s Castle retains many of the pioneering features, which made its construction unique for the day. Its massive gate house, battlements and corner towers await your exploration while the armoury and its contents remain as evidence of its turbulent history
John, Lord of Ireland, though not as popular as his brother, was a formidable force in battle and when he set about claiming territory in Ireland, he certainly made his mark in Limerick.
Not only was the site used for defensive purposes, King John, as “Lord of Ireland” minted his own coins and the Royal moneyer would have struck the coins in the Castle mint. Before 1200 there were large earthen defences erected on high ground to defend the river crossing. Between 1200 and 1212 King John’s Castle was planned and built. In the following centuries it was repaired and extended many times.
Shannon Heritage is constantly looking at ways to enhance our customer experiences with value adding products and services.
We are delighted to offer our customers an Annual Membership programme that offers many benefits to users.
Both cards offer special admission rates to all Shannon Heritage day visitor attractions and evening entertainments in Counties: Clare, Limerick, Galway and Dublin.
Members can also avail of discounts on all purchases at Shannon Heritage operated Tea Rooms and Gift Shops.