KING JOHN’S CASTLE, KILMALLOCK, COUNTY LIMERICK, 1963

A VIEW OF KING JOHN’S CASTLE (OR KING’S CASTLE), AN IMPRESSIVE-LOOKING FOUR-STOREY TOWER HOUSE IN KILMALLOCK IN COUNTY LIMERICK IN ABOUT 1963. DESPITE THE NAME, THE CASTLE WAS NOT BUILT DURING THE REIGN OF KING JOHN (1177-1216) BUT IS OF A LATER DATE (CONSTRUCTED SOMETIME IN THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY). IT IS SIXTY FEET HIGH WITH BATTLEMENTS AND AN ARCHWAY ENABLING PUBLIC PASSAGE AT STREET LEVEL. DURING THE CONFEDERATE WARS (1641-1653) IT WAS USED AS AN ARSENAL BY JAMES TUCHET, 3RD EARL OF CASTLEHAVEN (1612-1684), A CATHOLIC ROYALIST ARISTOCRAT, AS HE BATTLED WITH OLIVER CROMWELL’S PARLIAMENTARIAN FORCES. CROMWELL’S ARMY LATER USED THE TOWER HOUSE AS A HOSPITAL AND DEPOT. IT WAS SUBSTANTIALLY RENOVATED IN THE EIGHTEENTH AND NINETEENTH CENTURIES AND, FOR A TIME, WAS USED AS A BLACKSMITH’S WORKSHOP. IT IS NOW A PROTECTED NATIONAL MONUMENT.

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