King John's CastleApprox. Time: 2 hours
Activity Level: Easiest

The Shannon brings us to Limerick City and King John's Castle. The archaeological remains here of pre-Norman houses represents the beginnings of urban history, while the Castle itself and the exhibition housed in the entrance building brings to life the Viking origin of the city and subsequent Anglo-Norman colonisation and development of a thriving medieval town.

The Castle is the focal point from which to tell a story of the city and the native Irish Celts who have populated it from its beginnings, augmented by English, Huguenots and Palatines at diverse times in history.

Part of the exhibition includes a very striking series of six life sized wooden sculptures representing characters associated with the history of the castle. The front and back of the exhibition centre have been draped with heraldic banners depicting scenes from medieval times including the castle namesake, King John.

The archaeological remains which lie underneath the exhibition centre represent the beginnings of urban history.

A specially commissioned film showing actors portraying the key characters involved in the 1691 siege which ended in the famous Treaty of Limerick is a major feature.

King John as 'Lord of Limerick' minted his own coins. The Royal moneyer struck the coins in the Castle Mint. Today visitors can strike a replica of the original coin as a souvenir of their visit.

Explore the courtyard for its many artefacts of battles and sieges and meet with the costumed animators who illustrate life in 13th century Limerick.