Limerick is this year’s European City of Culture and there are some fantastic family events planned at King John’s Castle Limerick, one of the great Irish castles.
Following a €5.7 million redevelopment King John’s Castle re-opened in 2013 and visitors have been flocking there ever since.
What is it?
King John’s Castle is located on King’s Island in Limerick, Ireland, next to the River Shannon. The walls, towers and fortifications remain today, and are a visitor attraction run by Shannon Heritage. King John, the brother of Richard I of England (aka “Richard the Lionheart” famous from Robin Hood and the crusades), ordered the castle to be built but never in fact visited it. We asked Jill from Mykidstime to visit last year and tell us about it:
What did Jill and her family think of it?
The exhibits take you from early Anglo-Norman times to the Siege of Limerick Castle in 1642.
On your journey there are the usual information posters to read, but the great thing about the ones at King John’s Castle is that there is text catering for younger kids printed down below.
There’s plenty to cater for younger children: they can try on costumes, play games, build things, touch replica items (nice to see a Please touch! sign for a change) and run in and out of corners and even crawl through a siege tunnel”. Read more about Jill’s visit.
Events to Celebrate Limerick City of Culture 2014
Saturday March 29th – Feast of Entertainment
King John’s Castle will echo to the sounds melodic feet tapping and stirring Irish music on Saturday March 29th. The event starts at 12 noon and runs until 4pm. Visitors will view the city’s most talented young dancers on stage accompanied by musicians on fiddle, accordion, bodhran and banjo.
The Fleming Ball Dance Academy is an integral part of Limerick’s Irish dancing heritage. Enjoy scheduled performances of Irish dancing and music in the courtyard as part of a very special visit of this iconic attraction. Audience participation is welcomed. Children can enjoy storytelling and face painting also. A fantastic day out for all the family. Normal admission rates apply.
May 17th 2014 – Siege of Limerick Renactment
A fantastic event reenacting the final stages of the battle of 1642 from the point of the breach in the Castle defenses. Jacobite and Williamite soldiers in full military costume stage a dramatic reenactment of the fearsome siege. Local peasants and brave siege women fight bravely beside the rebels to the sounds of cannon fire and musket. Normal admission rates apply
June 9th – 15th 2014 – The Salmon of Knowledge
A large scale production of a Traditional Irish Fable, The Salmon of Knowledge.
Orchard theatre present “The Salmon of Knowledge” the traditional Irish fable in a large scale spectacle incorporating, Circus skills, puppets, stilt-walkers, and fire performers. The Castle courtyard and towers form a dramatic backdrop to this exciting story presented over 7 days. Normal admission rates apply.
Sunday July 20th 2014 – Sense & Sensibility at King John’s Castle
Celebrate Limerick City of Culture with Chapterhouse Outdoor Theatre’s Jane Austen’s ‘Sense & Sensibility’ at King John’s Castle July 20th at 6.30pm.
Bring your own picnic, champagne, seat and enjoy in the courtyard of the newly refurbished King John’s Castle. Tickets are available to book online at www.shannonheritage.com.
Have you visited Limerick Castle lately? What did you think? Tell us in the comments below.