LIMERICK ANTIQUITIES

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

Limerick anciently contained two Augustinian monasteries, one of regular canons, and the other of hermits: the regular canons had another house in the contiguous parish of Mungrett, which was destroyed by the Danes in 1107. In 1227, a Dominican friary was founded in the city by Donogh Carbragh O'Brien, Prince of Thomond, which became a place of great magnificence, and was the burial-place of various prelates and other eminent men: part of the walls still exists, and the cemetery formed the garden of the Presentation convent. There were also a Franciscan convent, founded by William Fion de Burgo; a house of canonesses of the order of St. Augustine, founded in 1171 by Donald O'Brien, King of Limerick, and a house of the Knights Templars; but no remains of these buildings are now discernible.

Its military antiquities consist of the ruins of the fortress called King John's Castle, at the end of Thomond bridge, comprehending the great gateway, defended by two massive round towers, and the outer walls, having similar defences, and presenting a fine relic of the military architecture of that remote period; of dilapidated portions of the walls and towers of the citadel nearly contiguous, in which the castle barracks have been erected; of various portions of the town walls, and of some of the outworks, especially a fort on the King's Island, north of the old town.

There are also some remains of the celebrated Black Battery, close to which was the breach defended so heroically against William's army. In the rural parishes of the liberties are the ruins of several ancient forts.

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