Askeaton Castle and Franciscan Friary

  • Askeaton Castle and Franciscan Friary 810 x 456
  • Askeaton Castle and Franciscan Friary 810 x 456

Askeaton Castle was founded on an island on the River Deel around 1199, probably by William de Burgo.

Open Daily from 11 April – 2 November 2023. Free Admission.

Tours at 10am, 11.30am, 1.30pm & 3pm.

Please note: Entry is by guided tour only as there are ongoing conservation works at the site. Please wait at the gate where the Guide will meet you and take you on tour.

In the very heart of this County Limerick town stand the impressive remains of a medieval fortress. Askeaton Castle dates from 1199, when William de Burgo built it on a rock in the River Deel.

Over the centuries, the castle proved itself key to the history of Munster. It was the power base of the earls of Desmond after 1348. In 1579 it held out against the English general Sir Nicholas Malby, an incident that helped spark the second Desmond Rebellion.

The banqueting hall is one of the finest medieval secular buildings in Ireland. The tower is partly ruined, but some fine windows and an exquisite medieval fireplace have remained.

The early eighteenth-century building nearby was used as a Hellfire Club. These clubs were rumoured to be dens of excess in which wealthy gentlemen indulged in drink, mock ritual and other nefarious activities.

The Franciscan friary of Askeaton lies by the river Deel, to the north of the village of Askeaton, Co. Limerick and the impressive castle of the Earls of Desmond, which stands on a rocky island in the centre of the town. The friary was founded either in 1389 by Gerald Fitzgerald (1335-98), 3rd earl of Desmond and Lord Justice of Ireland, or in 1420 by James Fitzgerald Fitzgerald (c.1380–1462), 7th earl of Desmond. The extensive remains of the friary and its surroundings represent an imposing medieval architectural landscape that was probably planned intentionally in the early fifteenth century. The friary’s cloister is intact and an image of St Francis is carved into the cloister arcade to remind the Franciscan friars of their patron saint as they went to and from divine office.


Askeaton Castle, Office of Public Works, Askeaton, Co. Limerick

Opening Hours

Open Daily from 11 April – 2 November 2023

Tours at 10am, 11:30am, 1:30pm & 3pm

Free admission

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Treaty Stone Limerick. Photo Piotr Machowczyk