5 Castle’s to see in Limerick

5 Castles to see in Limerick

King Johns Castle Limerick Ireland
Photo via Canva

Ireland is full of castles and old medieval churches and abbeys. Limerick has a number of super cool castles and historical buildings to see. If you have some spare time you want to wander around Limerick, you won’t be disappointed with the number of cool things you will find.

Most of the buildings are FREE to visit from the outside mainly, you can take some photos and see the huge buildings from the outside and check out the cool old features. Some of the castles in Ireland and in Limerick are turned into tourist attractions or used for some business purposes. I have listed a few interesting castles below that hopefully you will check out and enjoy!

If you would like to check out my article on 24 Things to Do and See in Limerick, see this link!

King Johns Castle Limerick

King Johns Castle visitor centre Limerick
Photo via All Things Ireland

This building is probably one of the coolest and most visited in Limerick, it is now turned into a major tourist attraction and visitor centre. Kings Johns Castle dates back 800 plus years.

The huge castle is located in the heart of Limerick city and within walking distance of a number of cool places to visit, like Saint Mary’s Cathedral and the Treaty City Brewery. The site is open to visitors on a daily basis.

You can get a discount for booking your ticket online. The building has seen many interesting events in Limerick including the Treaty of Limerick signed in October 1691, this treaty ended the Williamite wars in Ireland. King Johns Castle has a really cool visitor centre that has some interactive displays that explain the history of the castle through the years.

The building is very popular with school tours and lots of tourists from all over the world stop off at Kings John Castle for a peep on their way around Ireland.

The site has recently been used for music gigs and events and this has been a major success bringing in visitors to Limerick and offering a truly unique music venue experience. It’s a pity that poor old King John never got to live in this superstructure that was built to stop attacks from the river Shannon.

The towers of the medieval structure on the waterfront were used to rain hell on the poor visitors coming upriver to attack. There are a number of lively displays in the visitor centre with some cool 3D models. There is some interesting computer-generated animation in the centre to see.

See my article on visiting King Johns Castle here!

Askeaton Castle, Askeaton County Limerick

Askeaton Castle is located in the town of Askeaton in County Limerick. The building is located just off the N69 motorway connecting Limerick to Tralee. Askeaton Castle is around a 30-minute drive from Limerick. The medieval building is built on the banks of the River Deel.

Askeaton Castle was won over by the English in the year 1580 during the Desmond rebellions. The building is not in great shape these days. The area of Askeaton used to be a constituency in the old Irish House of Commons. The building dates back to the 11th century, the large banqueting hall is regarded as one of Ireland’s finest mediaeval examples.

The medieval castle covers over two large courtyards, with an upper section that has a crowing rock and a super cool lower section surrounding it.

The original foundation of the building dates back to the early medieval period and the ground floor has vaulted chambers, kitchens and cellars. The castle has had some refurbishment works carried out over the years to help the building structure.

The building is FREE to visit and it is surely worth a trip out to Askeaton to pass away a few hours. There is a really cool Friary close to the castle called Askeaton Friary. The remains of a church and chapel are on the site. It’s definitely worth a trip, with so much to see, including the close by Fairy.

Glin Castle, Glin County Limerick

The wonderful Glin Castle has been home to the Fitzgerald family for over 800 years. The Fitzgeralds are known as the Knights of Glin. The building is located in a 400-acre wooded area on the banks of the large river Shannon. This super cool toy like fortress is surrounded by three Gothic designed folly lodges.

The castle is available to hire out for events, weddings, golf tour holidays and offers accommodation options. Glin Castle is available as a film location and you can have lunch on the grounds.

Glin Castle features 15 luxury en-suite rooms, a dining room, a drawing room and a grand hall. The building can cater for up to 85 guests. The grounds have some beautiful well kept gardens that have been developed over the years including a beautiful stream running through the land. The building has its own kitchen gardens that produce some delicious Irish produce.

Desmond Castle Adare Limerick

Desmond Castle Adare Ireland 1
Photo via All Things Ireland

This wonderful building is located on the main road from Limerick to Adare. The Desmond Castle is located on the left-hand side arriving into the beautiful village of Adare. The old building is located on the river.

The building is located on the edge of the village of Adare, just off the N21 on the main Limerick to Kerry road. The castle was built around the 13th century.

The Desmond Castle became an important fortress and belonged to the Earls of Kildare for around three hundred years. There are tours of the castle available in the summer months from the heritage centre in Adare village. You can see the building and take some photos without taking a tour if that’s what you would like to do, be warned there is no parking on-site without booking a tour!!!

Carrigogunnell Castle Clarina County Limerick

Carrigogunnell Castle is located close to the lovely little village of Clarina in county Limerick. The medieval castle dates back to the 13th century. Carrigogunnel was heavily damaged in the second siege of Limerick. The building is left in a ruined condition today, it is surrounded by beautiful green fields that make Ireland so famous.

The land surrounding the building was given by King John to Donchad O’Brien in the year 1209. The castle was a powerhouse of the O’Brien’s for many years.

Carrigogunnell was used by the famous Irish band “U2” on the cover of one of their albums. The great band have a strong connection to the city of Limerick. The band became U2 in the stellar ballroom in Limerick city changing their name on the night in 1978 from “The Hype” to “U2”

U2 decided that Carrigogunnell was the perfect setting for a photoshoot for the album “ The Unforgettable Fire”. This made Carriggunnell Castle famous worldwide, U2 is without a doubt Ireland’s biggest and most successful music band, it’s just great they decided to use Carrigogunnell for the photoshoot.

The super cool structure can be seen in the album photos. The area is a lovely place to visit, and it is surely an unforgettable experience if you stop off for a few photos, a must for all U2 fans!!!

Matrix Castle Rathkeale County Limerick

Matrix Castle Rathkeale County Limerick
Photo via Christophe Meneboeuf Creative Commons CC-BY-SA 2.5

Matrix Castle was built in the area of Rathkeale County Limerick and is around 35 minutes drive from Limerick City. The large stone structure was built by the Fitzgerald family who had the title of the Earls of Desmond. Matrix Castle was built around the 15th century. The large tower house of this building is mainly hidden by large trees.

The castle gets its name from the Celtic goodness of poems Matres. In the 1960s the building was in poor condition and an American purchased the castle. Sean O Driscoll fully restored the building to its former glory. Matrix Castle had a number of famous poets visit including English poets Sir Walter Raleigh and Edmund Spencer.

See my post on 24 Things to do and see in Limerick!

I hope you find this article useful, we welcome any comments or suggestions by email to info@allthings-ireland.com.


John C

All Things Ireland

John C

Hey, my name is John Conway and I love travelling around Ireland. I have a passion for All Things Ireland. I love the Emerald Isle! I love Guinness and green fields!

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