King John’s Castle

Practice Area for Knights at King John's Castle

Practice Area for Knights at King John’s Castle

I wasn’t expecting such a large castle here in the middle of the city of Limerick, then again, perhaps most large Irish towns have some sort of castle nearby, it is not surprising that Limerick also has one. To understand King John’s Castle, one would need to understand the history of Ireland. There was actually a Viking settlement here for the castle was even built. It may be hard to imagine Ireland without the English but before them, were the Vikings.

Blacksmith at King John's Castle

Blacksmith at King John’s Castle

There are actually remains of the former Viking settlement under the castle. Visitors first explore King John’s Castle by going under the castle. There have been excavations done on parts of the castle and walls and evidence of the Viking settlement have been uncovered here. There are also illustrations on how the original Viking settlement would have looked like. It is amazing to think that conquerors just keep building on top of the other. The Vikings used to raid others parts of the country from Limerick until they were defeated. The arrival of the English dramatically changed the course of history by taking over Limerick from the Irish. This is also the start of the long running feud between the English and the Irish. And what better way of stating ownership of a place than building a big castle.

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