Limerick city and county is extremely rich in the quality, diversity and extent of its surviving archaeological monuments and landscapes
Throughout Limerick there are over 8,000 monuments and more sites are added to the list each year. These vary from sites like the extensive prehistoric habitation sites at Lough Gur, to the later ringforts and the early churches and monastic foundations dispersed throughout the county; from the Viking City to the medieval chain of castles, towns, friaries and parish churches and the later town and tower houses.
All of these are evidence of the past inhabitants of the area. They populate our urban and rural landscapes, providing us with our roots and antecedents and providing visitors with interest and wonder. Many of the sites are threatened by decay through the forces of man and nature, others, such as earthen ramparts, are very fragile. Each one is unique and irreplaceable and together they represent a finite resource.
The Local Authority is dedicated to safe-guarding this archaeological heritage. There are approximately 67 sites or buildings in Limerick in State ownership or guardianship which are managed by the Office of Public Works. The Local Authority also owns many sites, most notably the majority of the ancient church and graveyard sites. The bulk of the monuments are held in private ownership. All, however, are held in trust for future generations.
These monuments are protected under the National Monuments Act (1930 and Amendments), the National Cultural Institutions Acts and the Planning and Development Acts. The Local Authority Development Plan also contains detailed objectives for the preservation and protection of the archaeological heritage
Limerick City Wall
Limerick City and County Council received a grant through the Irish Walled Towns Network Capital Grants Scheme 2021 to carry out works to the City Wall between New Road and Old Clare Street. This follows on from IWTN funded works in 2020, to complete the consolidation of the wall in St. John’s Hospital initiated by the Board of St. John’s Hospital in 2019. The south east of Irishtown has one of the best-preserved sections of city defences dating from the 15th century with modifications up to the late 17th century. The stretch of wall along New Road was restored by the Civic Trust in the 1990s culminating in the opening of the Linear Park in 1997. Further work was planned this year to consolidate specific sections and to eradicate the vegetation. This work was undertaken in October and has been successfully completed.
As part of Heritage Week 2021 a tour/talk on this section of wall was given by Local Authority Archaeologist, Sarah McCutcheon.
For images showing the progress of the Limerick City Wall project, click here.
Limerick City and County Council
Phone: +353 61 557289/ 87 2941601
- For Recorded Monuments contained in the Archaeological Survey of Ireland compiled by the National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht click here.
- For State-owned Monuments open to the public click here.
- For archaeological excavations in Ireland since 1970 click here.
- For the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland click here.
- For the Group for the Study of Irish Historic Settlements click here.
- For the Irish Post-Medieval Archaeology Group click here.
- For the Industrial Heritage Association of Ireland click here.
- For publications from the National Monuments Service click here.