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Heritage Ireland

King John’s Castle

The jewel of Kilmallock

Unguided sites

Kilmallock
Limerick

King John’s Castle

The jewel of Kilmallock

Unguided sites

Kilmallock
Limerick

Notice

King John’s Castle is a National Monument in state guardianship

*For External Viewing Only*

King John’s Castle

King John's Castle, a jewel in the crown of Kilmallock, is a medieval fortress, named after King John of England. However, despite its name, the Castle was likely built around the 15th century, even though King John died in 1216.

This 4-storey building boasts original mullion windows (vertical stone bars), battlements, and may have been part of the northern gate entrance to the town at the time. The pointed windows, which are a striking addition to the structure, were included in the late 18th century. It was renovated in the 19th century and used as a blacksmith’s forge for a while.

King John’s Castle is an example of a ‘Peel’ tower, which refers to a small fortified keep or tower house, and was likely not the only tower house in Kilmallock, however it is the only surviving one.

In 1645 it was used by the Irish as an arsenal under Lord Castlehaven, during the Irish Confederate Wars. However, just 6 years later, the fortress was used as a hospital in 1651 by Oliver Cromwell’s Parliamentary forces.

Today, it remains a focal point within Kilmallock (along with the Dominican Priory just across from it), with an archway on its lower level for the public to walk through, allowing people to cross through time and history.

Visit Historic Environment Viewer for more information on King John's Castle

Protect our Past - Click here to read about the importance of protecting our country’s unique heritage sites

This national monument is protected in accordance with the National Monuments Acts 1930 to 2014

 

 

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