King John’s Castle Limerick reopens with new medieval themed outdoor games TAGSKing John’s CastleMary O’DwyerMusic Limerick Advertisement Previous articleLimerick Gay Games committee finalises plans for site visitNext articleIncreased exploitation of Limerick migrants Guest Writerhttp://www.limerickpost.ie Facebook Twitter NewsPost Script – Mary O’DwyerBy Guest Writer – June 27, 2013 897 Email Linkedin Print King John’s Castle to be part of a virtual Culture Night celebration as Shannon Heritage ramps up marketing campaign RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR #SaucySoul: Room 58 – ‘Hate To See You Leave’ WhatsApp Celebrating a ground breaking year in music from Limerick Emma Langford shortlisted for RTE Folk Award and playing a LIVE SHOW!!! this Saturday #HearThis: New music and video from Limerick rapper Strange Boy Mary O’DwyerMary O’Dwyer has been working in King John’s Castle since 1992.The five-walled fortification has seen 800 years of Limerick history and will reopen this Friday after a €6.5million renovation project. The Corbally woman tells of romantic proposals on the tower and life in the corporation houses that once stood within the castle walls.I didn’t know much about the castle when I started as an assistant 21 years ago, but now I can rattle off facts at the drop of a hat. It was built in the 13th century by the Anglo-Normans and named after of King John of England. The walls of the castle were severely damaged in the Siege of Limerick in 1642, the first of several sieges of the city in the 17th century.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up It remained a military garrison until 1922 when Ireland became a Free State. In 1930, 22 corporation houses were built with in the courtyard. These were demolished in 1989 and King John’s Castle was restored and developed as tourist centre. Over the years, people who lived or had relations living in the Castle Barracks, as it as known, have come back to tell their stories of having King John’s Castle as their backyard.By all accounts, there seemed to be a massive comradely among them and myths, folklore and ghost stories abounded including how a soldier looks over the city every night from the Mint Tower closest to Thomond Gate.When the visitor centre was being built in the 1990’s they uncovered viking settlements. The site is ancient. Foreign visitors in particular are amazed by the vast and enduring history fo the place. We closed last November for the ultra-modern revamp. We now have stunning new exhibitions including touchscreen technology, computer generated imagery and ghostly projections. In the courtyard you’ll get a sense of the bustling activity that took place here including the blacksmith’s workshop complete with tools and weapons.There is also the remains of the Great Hall and the sanctuary of the chapel to experience. Over the years, we’ve had some famous faces visit the castle including presidents Mary Robinson and Mary McAleese and Frank McCourt. I also recall a few proposals in the tower. One American man orchestrated an entire holiday to Ireland for his fiancée-to-be and her mother just so he could arrive, unexpectedly at the tower, and propose.We also had an event for the special Olympics in 2003 which was magical. The castle will employ 24 people both full and part-time including a number of actors who will literally live out the history of the castle everyday. We are so proud of it and can’t wait to open the doors to the people of Limerick and visitors from further afield once more.My four-year-old son David is also very excited. He thinks it’s my castle!