The castle is situated in Marys street Limerick. It was original known as Limerick or Whitmore’s castle but locally it was known as Fanning’s. The area around Marys street was known as an Englishtown at the time of the castles use. Even dough it’s called a castle it actually was a late medieval fortified tower. The building was built in the late 16th early 17th century. The castle was built by Dominic Fanning, a merchant and once mayor of Limerick City. He later on was killed by the Cromwellians for his part in the defence of Limerick City in 1651.
The castle was once five storeys high. The walls of the Tower were built of squared limestone blocks which were uneven and were different sizes. The castle had a very eloquent look. On the second and third floors there were two ogee windows which are located one floor above the other. The third storeys windows were slightly smaller than the ones below them. Otherwise on the top floor there was a single round-headed window. On the highest level the doors hence’d that the tower had external balconies or stairs. The castle would have naturally enough adopted a turret staircase and battlements this again added to its beautiful look. It was said that the eye catching look of the building reflected the Fanning’s who lived there. “It is eloquent of the prominent position of a family that was supplying bailiffs and mayors for the city from the mid-fifteenth century until Cromwell’s victory, when a new group of English Protestant families became dominant.”
However now days the building is allot less breathtaking. Over hundreds of years and development of the area, the tower has deteriorated. The castle now lies in the shadow of a large multi storey car park. All that is left of the castle is one standing front wall and have a standing side cable the rest has been levelled. A fence has been placed around the castle and surrounding area of the grounds for health and safety reasons. As in saying this castle still holds some importance to Limerick City. It gives the region History as well as character.
When I first decided to write a blog about Fanning’s Castle I was open minded. As I researched further about the tower, it was difficult as there was very little information about it, but in saying that it added a mystery element to the castle. This in actually fact motivated and interested me more to find out as much as I could. As well as this I was surprised by its location. When I found out where the castle was located I knew there was a Car park there. Never did I think this little History Gem was nestled directly behind it.