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King John's Castle
 

County

Limerick

Coordinates

N 52° 24' 04.7"   W 008° 34' 35.9"

Nearest town

Kilmallock

Grid Ref.

R 60803 27861

Map No.

73

Elevation a.s.l. (m)

92

Date of visit

Friday 28 June 2013

GPS Accuracy (m)

3
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The tower house in the centre of Kilmallock. It has four pointed windows added in the 18th century, an arched passageway and a square window. This is the only original window from the 15th or 16th century.


This tower house is right in the middle of the town of Kilmallock in Sheares Street, and it's the town's best-known landmark. It was built in the 15th or 16th century and was given the name of King John's Castle, though King John, also known as John Lackland (Richard the Lionheart's brother), had died in 1216.
The street itself, now Sheares Street, once was John's Street.
Its owner was probably a rich merchant of the town and it's believed that other tower houses like this one existed in Kilmallock, but only this survives.
The archway in its lower storey was one of the accesses to the town, the passage is aligned southeast-northwest (145°-325°).
It has four storeys, the roof level has battlements. It measures 8 metres in width and 7 metres in length.
The pointed windows were added in the 18th century, the only original window is the square one with the mullions on the southeast (145°) side on the ground floor.
In 1645 the Catholic Irish Forces, led by James Tuchet, 3rd Earl of Castlehaven, used the tower house as an arsenal, and less than ten years later the Cromwell's Parliamentary Forces used it as a hospital and depot.
Other castles in Ireland share the same name, for instance one in Limerick city and one in Carlingford.


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