History of Limerick

History of Limerick

If you visit Limerick on your tours of Ireland then be aware of its history. It is very interesting.

The Vikings founded Limerick in 922 AD.

It was an obvious place to build a town because it was an island between the Shannon and the Abbey River and so was easily defended. Limerick soon became a thriving little town. However the Vikings fought each other as well as fighting the Irish. In 924 Vikings from Dublin attacked Limerick but they were repulsed.

Then in 968 the Irish captured Limerick…………… They killed many of the inhabitants.

In 969 the Vikings recaptured Limerick. However in the early 11th century the Irish again captured Limerick. Gradually the Vikings were absorbed into Irish society.

Inside Limerick there were the same craftsmen found in any Viking town such as blacksmiths , carpenters , potters and men who made things like combs from bone. Many artifacts have been found.

In 1194 The English captured Limerick and in the same year St Mary’s Cathedral was completed.

In 1197 Limerick was given a charter (a document granting the townspeople certain rights).

King John’s castle was built in the years 1200-1210.

Thomond Bridge was also first built during King John’s reign.

Many English settlers came to Limerick. They settled on Kings Island in Englishtown while the native Irish were moved across the Abbey River to Irishtown. In the 13th century a stonewall was erected around Englishtown. Later they were extended around Irishtown.

Limerick grew to be a prosperous town. Farm produce was exported and wine was imported from France and Spain.

In 1171 a nunnery was founded in Limerick.

Then in the early 13th century the friars arrived in Limerick. Friars were like monks but instead of withdrawing from the world they went out to preach.

In Limerick there were also crutched friars. Their name is a corruption of cruxed friars. Crux is the Latin for cross and they had a cross sewn onto their uniforms.

There were also Franciscan Friars known as grey friars because of their grey costumes and Dominican or black friars.

Also in the 13th century the Trinitarian Abbey was built.

In 1315 the Scots attempted to conquer Ireland and in 1316 Edward Bruce the brother of King Robert captured Limerick. However the occupation was short lived. In 1318 the Scots were defeated by an English army and Edward was killed.

Have a look at Limerick on any Ireland tours.