A bit of Limerick history

The history of Limerick, stretches back to its establishment by the Vikings as a walled city on King’s Island (an island in the River Shannon) in 812, and its charter in 1197.

A great castle was built on the orders of King John in 1200. It was besieged three times in the 17th century, resulting in the famous Treaty of Limerick and the flight of the defeated Catholic leaders abroad. Much of the city was built during the following Georgian prosperity, which ended abruptly with the Act of Union in 1800.  (Wikipedia). Read more

And a few interesting facts from the “Did you know?” Limerick facts authored by a passioned historian of the city, Sharon Slater, on her website “Limerick’s Life”:

Did you know that:

  • The grandfather of English poet and novelist Robert Graves was the Charles Graves, Bishop of Limerick for 33 years and is buried in St. Mary’s Cathedral. One of the epitaphs on his headstone was written by Douglas Hyde.
  • In 1892 after spending £35,000 on new water pipes in the city it was discovered on turning the taps that eels were making their way into the kitchens.
  • There are 10 places in America called Limerick .
  • In 1963 JFK visited Limerick and gave a speech at the Greenpark Racecourse.
  • In May 1868 the Norwegian emigrant ship “Hannah Parr” was towed into Limerick docks after being extremely storm damaged. Three children on board died shortly after arrival and were buried in St.Munchins C.o.I. While the remaining 400 passengers and crew were cared for by local citizens, while their ship was being repaired.
  • The famed Limerick Lace was founded by Charles Walker who in 1829 brought 24 girls from England to instruct 300 Limerick women and children in lace making.
  • There was a tradition in Limerick on a wedding day for an arrow to be shot into the Shannon.
  • John P. Holland (1840-1914) the inventor of the submarine joined the Christian Brothers in Limerick in his youth.
  • In 1830, when the old Baals Bridge was demolished, a metal plate with the following inscription was discovered:
    “I will strive to live,
    with love and care
    Upon ye level
    By ye square” 1507

Drawing of the old Baal’s Bridge; Source: Bridges of Limerick