Regeneration of King's Island ~ Saint Mary's Park

Re: Planning Notices / Regeneration of King’s Island ~ Saint Mary’s Park

Postby CologneMike » Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:10 pm

gunter wrote:
Image

To me, this case illustrates what happens to highly sensitive redevelopment sites in the absence of a strong planning vision.

This is a corner site on the city's medieval high street, diagonally opposite the cathedral. The site incorporates the two and a half storey remains of a late medieval party wall (including 1st floor carved fireplace). It would be hard to envisage a site with greater redevelopment sensitivities.

However, none of these sensitivities appear to have informed the design of the proposed office block (café? on ground floor) which offers the same glass box aesthetic to the streetscape that one imagines it would have anyway, had the site been located anywhere else.

What was the planning response?

The Limerick City planner initially expressed concern about ''no account being taken of the gradient of the street (St. Peter's St.), the scale and bulk of the design and the inappropriate glass box design'', yet nine month later, as the Bord Pleanála inspector's report stated, virtually the same design proposal was granted permission.

The ABP inspector then went on to citicise the 'scale, bulk and design' of the proposed development, but ''. . . more so in relation to the small scale fabric of the surrounding area rather than the impact on the nearby protected structure . . .'', and recommended refusal.

Taking up the theme of 'scale, bulk and design', the Bord rejected their inspector's recommendation to refuse and granted permission, but with the omission of a full storey and a block to the rear.

So the development will still be a glass box, but now it will be a squat glass box!

Instead of Limerick City Council leading from the front and demanding an architectural response that re-imagines Nicholas St./ Mary Street in the scale and status of it's once great medieval main street, the city will get anonymous scaled down office park in-fill so as not to visibly obtrude in the eroded streetscape of anonymous truncated two storey houses that inhabit the corpse of it's civic heritage.

There isn't even a condition requiring a plaque commiserating with Limerick on the loss of it's civic spine?


A similar contemporary infill glass gabled building from the Cologne Old Market (alter Markt) Quarters might be a nicer alternative than the proposed glass box above. I personally like this steel framed / glass façade especially when a site was completely lost. Unfortunately the images are not the best of quality.
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Re: Regeneration of King’s Island ~ Saint Mary’s Park

Postby dave123 » Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:23 pm

I hope that gets turned down....

They can build an new building that has features that blend into the area. I looked at it a few times before. I thought it was ok.But having a look at the sensitivity and character of the street its a no no for me. They need to go back to the drawing board here.

I think Limerick is a very sensitive city in this regard. Have we not learned from Cruises street and Arthur's quay. Opera centre is a vast improvement from the contemporary crap we are used to see springing up in our city centres around the country.
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Re: Regeneration of King’s Island ~ Saint Mary’s Park

Postby CologneMike » Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:29 pm

Re-inventing Nicholas Street / Mary Street

90% of the gabled houses in the old market quarters of Cologne were destroyed during the 2nd world war. They rebuilt this area in 1950’s / 60’s with plain apartments and just a gable roof feature on top thus retaining a feeling from the old original area.

Whereas the numerous gabled houses on Nicholas Street / Mary Street in the Englishtown fell into decay or were scaled down to two storey dwellings during the advent of the Georgian Newtownpery.

Would it not be worth exploring the idea of doing something similar here with Nicholas Street / Mary Street by topping up the two story buildings by two floors plus a gabled roof. Look at the building of the infill above. Built in 1721, rebuilt in 1914 and 1954.

I wonder could the Heritage Council accept this for the Englishtown, just like what was done in Cologne after the war?

Englishtown (King’s island) posts from the Dutch Billy thread.

126, 131, 132, 140, 141, 209, 210, 212, 214, 216, 235, 237, 245, 246, 249, 250, 251, 252, 253, 254, 255, 256.

  • Image 1 Nicholas Street (King’s Island)
  • Image 2 Cologne ~ Alter Markt (1950’s)
  • Image 3 Cologne ~ Alter Markt (Today)
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Re: Planning Notices / Regeneration of King’s Island ~ Saint Mary’s Park

Postby gunter » Fri Jul 10, 2009 12:25 am

CologneMike wrote:A similar contemporary infill glass gabled building from the Cologne Old Market (alter Markt) Quarters might be a nicer alternative than the proposed glass box above.


Image
slightly wobbly 1980s sketch towards the Alte Markt area over waste ground

Some of those Cologne rebuilds can be a bit sterile, especially when they're neither a reconstruction, nor really contemporary, but reinstating the scale and respecting the plot divisions is really what I'd argue for.
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Re: Regeneration of King’s Island ~ Saint Mary’s Park

Postby CologneMike » Sat Jul 11, 2009 11:30 am

Nice sketch Gunter of the Town Hall, Cathedral and St. Martins.

True a fair share of the apartments from post war Cologne re-construction can be a bit sterile, obviously this was due to the naked necessity to house many hundred-thousand people very quickly back then.

One would have been forgiven to think that parts of Limerick (well into the 1980’s) had also been blitzed :rolleyes:, as large parts of the Irishtown / Englishtown were in a severe state of dereliction due to economic decline.

Would it not be worth exploring the idea of doing something similar here with Nicholas Street / Mary Street by topping up the two story buildings by two floors plus a gabled roof. Look at the building of the infill above. Built in 1721, rebuilt in 1914 and 1954.


I must correct an error on what I wrote above. It should read . . . . . . . Look at the building next to the infill above. Built in 1721, rebuilt in 1914 and 1954.

I wanted to take another look at your Bremen red brick gable in-fill from the Dutch Billy thread alas your “image shack” url was not linking to it this morning.

It would be an interesting candidate design for the site of the former gables on Mary Street below. Could you post it again.
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Re: Regeneration of King’s Island ~ Saint Mary’s Park

Postby gunter » Sun Jul 12, 2009 11:08 pm

This is that Bremen example again:

Image

If the Council devised a vision for Mary St. / Nicholas St. that encouraged this type of development; . . . strong urban scale, taking up the plot widths and the grain of the street at the height of it's development . . . , people would buy into that, why would they not?

This approach would deliver a higher quantum of development than is being achieved at the moment and if the architecture is stone and contemporary and it utilized all the numerous surviving fragments of original post-medieval structures still standing, the streetscape that could be created could be magnificent.

A lot of people probably wouldn't agree with me, but in the case of that 'Billy' terrace, I think I'd go one step further, see if an actual shell reconstruction wasn't possible!


Image
I acquired (at a fecking outragous cost) a slightly better copy of that Gaol Lane photograph with part of the Mary St. 'Billy' elevation in the distance.

That is assuming that this, largely undeveloped, site retains good archaeological layers that preserve the basement layout, and assuming (although I haven't had a chance to check out the early O.S. maps yet) that the last of the four houses lined up with the semi-preserved ruin known as Fanning's Castle, if we put all of that together with the photographic information, we'd have the bulk of what we need.

Image

Are we right in saying that the outline of the roof below the battlements of Fanning's Castle, is the same roof that ran to the narrow fourth gable in CologneMike's 'Billy' photograph?
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Re: Regeneration of King’s Island ~ Saint Mary’s Park

Postby CologneMike » Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:39 pm

gunter wrote:A lot of people probably wouldn't agree with me, but in the case of that 'Billy' terrace, I think I'd go one step further, see if an actual shell reconstruction wasn't possible!

That is assuming that this, largely undeveloped, site retains good archaeological layers that preserve the basement layout, and assuming (although I haven't had a chance to check out the early O.S. maps yet) that the last of the four houses lined up with the semi-preserved ruin known as Fanning's Castle, if we put all of that together with the photographic information, we'd have the bulk of what we need.


This is very likely as excavations have already revealed foundations of ‘Dutch Billy’ houses on Mary Street. Though I can’t pin point 48-50 Mary Street yet.

Below a 1960 map of the area, alas the cut off was along the site of Fanning Castle. I think I see a no. 34 opposite Gaol Lane?

Gunter, as for the picture from the Gaol Lane it’s truly great! :cool: Billy hunting not only consumes time but also hits ones pocket. The Limerick posters will have to return the complement with your next visit there.

Database of Irish Excavations Reports

48–50 Mary Street, Limerick

Urban medieval (2002:1220 R582557 00E0635 ext.)

Part of this site was excavated in 2000 before development (Excavations 2000, No. 594; Collins 2003). The remainder of the site was tested in 2002 to see whether there were archaeological remains in that part and to investigate further an undercroft feature partially exposed during the 2000 excavation.

Six trenches were opened on the site, which revealed the remainder of the first undercroft and the remains of two further limestone cellars. Architectural features recorded included corbels, niches and steps, as well as the remains of a red-brick arched passageway, which may be related to the ‘Dutch Billy’ houses that once stood on Mary Street. It was found that access to the undercrofts, averaging 6m wide and 20m long, could be gained from Mary Street to the west, with the northern and southern undercroft also having rear access. The central undercroft did not have rear access. Evidence of vaulting was found only in the northern undercroft.

A number of architectural fragments were also recovered during testing. Owing to the lack of secure dating evidence, it is difficult to date the structures, but it appears that at least parts may date to the later medieval period. It was agreed with the developers that part of these features will remain exposed as a component of the new structure, with the remainder being reburied and not affected by the building (Collins, forthcoming).

References
Collins, T. 2003 Excavations at Mary Street, Limerick. North Munster Antiquarian Journal 42, 69–88.
Colllins, T. (forthcoming) Stone undercrofts at Mary Street, Limerick. North Munster Antiquarian Journal 43.

Tracy Collins, Aegis Archaeology Ltd, 16 Avondale Court, Corbally, Limerick.


The 1907 'Sale of Limerick' Catalogue & Maps (Limerick City Council) See map 14

Alas trouble shooting: Upload of file failed. :( I will post the map latter.
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Re: Regeneration of King’s Island ~ Saint Mary’s Park

Postby dave123 » Tue Jul 14, 2009 10:14 pm

So any development on the Nicholas street proposal
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Re: Regeneration of King’s Island ~ Saint Mary’s Park

Postby gunter » Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:15 pm

Image

Originally posted by Junior on the First Brick House thread:

[INDENT]In the photo of Mary St. the laneway between the Dutch Gabled houses is Ryans Lane,it appears on the 1840 and 1870 Ordnance Survey maps of Limerick,the two closest Billy's are described in the Civil Survey 1654,they were refaced in brick in the early 18th cent.
The laneway is not mentioned in the mid 17th cent survey, the next two gabled houses were originally one property according to the civil survey measured 44ft fronting the street by 40ft,I would assume the redevelopment/refacing of these buildings accounts for the laneway where one would assume to find a dividing wall.
The next two storeyed flat gabled building, that has washing hanging outside is the building which fronts Fanning's Castle,(not really a castle more a castellated town house dating to the 15th/16th cent, these oppulent merchant class buildings were predominant on Mary St. -then known as High St.)
The furthest three two storeyed buildings which corner onto Creagh Lane replaced three timber framed cagework houses also in the early 18th cent.
[/INDENT]

I thought I'd paste this over here, since this is where we were discussing these houses.

Thanks for the detailed info Junior, this is a most puzzling terrace. I can see the differences between the second two Billys and the first two; the string courses and the narrower window proportions, but then there's the grouping of two slightly wider Billys in the centre and two narrower Billys on either end, which suggests a unified composition! And then there's that central laneway which also seems to imply a unified design approach in the development of the two properties, which would be a bit unexpected for this period.

So the next house (the one with the washing) lined up with ''Fanning's Castle'', and therefore would have had a tall gable also, if the roof profile evident at the rear (posted above) followed through to the front. This house would have been a four storey, three-bay, version of the Dutch Billy refronted, five storey, four-bay, stone merchant house beside the Exchange on Nicholas Street.

What an incredible street this used to be!
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Re: Regeneration of King’s Island ~ Saint Mary’s Park

Postby CologneMike » Fri Sep 04, 2009 11:55 pm

Going on what Junior wrote above, I think I have managed to pin-point “Fanning's Castle” on this map. If my notes match the photos in my camera then the map should be from 1900, this map and others can be seen in the city library.

Image
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Re: Regeneration of King’s Island ~ Saint Mary’s Park

Postby gunter » Mon Sep 07, 2009 9:51 pm

With a full basement level just waiting to be explored, pretty good photographic records, and nothing of any significance subsequently built on the site, I would seriously consider a reconstruction of this terrace as a first step in the regeneration of this once great street and as a representative example of the city's record of top class street architecture.

Image

A stab at a reconstruction of the street elevation just based on the proportions recorded on the O.S. map and a calculation of the dimensions based on the brick courses that can be made out in the quite high resolution photograph looking north-west on Mary St. It's a pity we don't know more about 'F' it looks like it had an interesting plan with perhaps a Rothe House style sequence of tiny courtyards leading to Fanning's Castle.

ImageImageImage

The fact that these buildings offer a good model of medium density urban development means that we might evem learn something in the process.:)
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Re: Regeneration of King’s Island ~ Saint Mary’s Park

Postby CologneMike » Tue Sep 08, 2009 9:53 pm

Man your elevation of Mary Street above is fantastic! :cool: I’m all for the reconstruction of that terrace.

Gunter, ever think of moving to Limerick for a spell and get involved in this regeneration stuff.

Take a look at the poor attempt they made on those 1980’s gabled houses further down Mary Street ~ Baal’s Bridge. Not very inspiring are they! The original Dutch Gables as seen below from 1898 had character!

Image

Photograph. Glass slide. (1898) Limerick City. Titled: Dutch Gables. View of houses and shop fronts on Mary St, east side near Baal’s Bridge, including Pawn Office with three balls and sign. Man and woman on footpath, laundry hanging out one window. Road unpaved.

http://www.limerickcity.ie/Museum/image/0000/00003563.jpg


Image
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Re: Regeneration of King’s Island ~ Saint Mary’s Park

Postby gunter » Wed Sep 09, 2009 10:17 pm

Yea, one positive thing about the recent stuff at the bridge end of Mary Street is that the medieval narrowness of the street has been maintained, but apart from that it's pretty depressing.

Image
Mary Street from Baal's Bridge

We're just not getting any sense that Limerick considers this to be one of the most important streets, if not the most important street, in the city and yet everywhere along it there are still tiny glimpses of it's former splendour that could be exploited to spark regeneration.

I don't want to start sounding like a broken record, but Mary Street/Nicholas Street (arguably Broad Street as well) is collectively such an important street that it really needs the City Council to come up with a pro-active architectural vision for it that captures and illustrates the enormous heritage and civic potential of the street.

ImageImage
remnants of high status street architecture on Nicholas St. truncated merchant houses with fine dressed stonework to the ground floor and 18th century red brickwork peeping out behind render on the upper floors.

Image Image
similar story further down Nicholas St. on the Peter St. corner.

Image . . . Image
again remains of high quality stonework on both sides of the ruinous site with the late medieval fireplace, where permission was recently granted for a glass office block that doesn't seem to make any attempt to work with these valuable remnants of stonework, or the original plot widths.

Image
another nice piece of good quality stonework from one of the two 'Billys' that adjoined the Gaol on Mary Street (opposite the terrace of 'Billys' discussed earlier), incorporated into one of the 20th century houses built on the site.

A street like this could be a model for, heritage sensitive, urban regeneration, it could present a masterclass in sensitive contemporary infill, It could be a focal point for pride in the city, not to mention it could be a tourist magnet.
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Re: Regeneration of King’s Island ~ Saint Mary’s Park

Postby gunter » Fri Sep 18, 2009 9:43 am

Quote from Junior from the the 'Riverside thread':

[INDENT]'The most puzzling thing about the designation of 'Medieval Quarter' is that not only does it exclude Irishtown,thereby diminishing its historical significance but on King's Island the northern section of the medieval town from Castle St. northwards is also cut off.
The Bishop's Palace, the home of the Limerick Civic Trust probably contains quite a bit of medieval fabric,especially in the basement.It was the site of Striches Castle prior to its remodeling as a Palladian structure.
On Verdant Place along the Shannon north of Thomond Bridge there is a fine stretch of the medieval town wall complete with the remains of two round mural towers.
I think this is a pointless omission from the medieval quarter, it seems that the council is solely concentrating on King John's Castle and St.Mary's Cathedral and not realising the possible economic and tourism potential literally on their doorstep'.[/INDENT]


I think this comment should be copied onto this thread, we really need to build up a head of steam on this. A 'Medieval Quarter' designation shouldn't be just about drawing tourists to the big medieval attractions, it should be about promoting an understanding and an appreciation of the whole historic city and that can be achieved by encouraging sensitive regeneration that respects the historic grain of the city.

We can see all across war damaged Europe that the heritage of any historic city can be made legible again, even if many of the buildings are new, provided the decision is taken to respect the early patterns and provided the new developments harvest every fragment of early fabric that is available. Research and guided repair are a big part of the solution, but at the end of the day, nothing pays more respect to the heritage of a damaged historic city than good contemporary architecture, but it can't be the architecture of the office park.
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Re: Regeneration of King’s Island ~ Saint Mary’s Park

Postby CologneMike » Fri Sep 18, 2009 10:40 pm

Junior wrote: . . . . . . it seems that the council is solely concentrating on King John's Castle and St.Mary's Cathedral and not realising the possible economic and tourism potential literally on their doorstep.


Medieval Quarter ~ Shannon Heritage ~ Limerick City Council

Shannon Development, I presume made this tourist walking route map for the Kings Island a few years back. What looks well on paper, I fear our average visitor would be disappointed with the three hour walking tour option, as some of the drawings just don’t simply live up to expectations. What to do with our remnants?

  1. Merchants Quay
  2. Potato Market
  3. Courthouse
  4. Civic Centre (City Hall)
  5. St. Mary’s Cathedral
  6. Old Courthouse / Gerald Griffin Memorial School
  7. Bourke’s House (Remnants)
  8. Island Road Walls (Remnants)
  9. Dominican Abbey (Remnants)
  10. Bishop’s Palace
  11. St. Munchin’s Church
  12. Villers Alms Houses
  13. Thomond Bridge
  14. Toll House
  15. North Munster Masonic Centre
  16. King John’s Castle
  17. Limerick Museum
  18. Castle Lane (Theme)
  19. Site of St Nicholas?
  20. Alms Cottages
  21. Exchange Façade (Remnants)
  22. Fanning’s Castle (Remnants)
  23. Site of Thosel? (lost)
  24. Barrington’s Hospital

Larger image here.
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Re: Regeneration of King’s Island ~ Saint Mary’s Park

Postby Junior » Sat Sep 19, 2009 4:56 pm

I plotted the extant medieval and 17th century buildings and town walls of the old city onto the most recent Ordnance Survey map in an effort to show that the medieval town plan is still visible in the modern streetscape .
When I walk around Englishtown and Irishtown I still feel that a lot of the character of the old town remains and that more than enough knowledge is known archaeologically and historically about Limerick to influence future development in a positive way.
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Re: Regeneration of King’s Island ~ Saint Mary’s Park

Postby Tuborg » Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:24 pm


Plans in train to relocate Kemmy Museum to Merchant’s Quay (Limerick Post)

Image

Mayor Kiely favours Henry Street as best location for District Court

THE JIM KEMMY Museum, located behind King John’s Castle, is to be relocated in the Merchant Quay building, which has housed the Limerick District Court.

Mayor Kevin Kiely has confirmed that once the District Court is relocated, the museum will then transfer to the vacant building next door to City Hall.

Some months ago, Pat Dowling, a director of services with Limerick City Council called for a more prominent relocation of the museum, which he contended is obscured by the medieval castle.

He argued that visitors were frequently unaware of the museum’s presence in the area and that consequently, its potential to attract visitors was reduced.


Speaking to the Limerick Post. Mayor Kiely confirmed that he has been in negotiations with the city manager, Tom Mackey and Mr Dowling on the issue.

“I’ve been pushing very hard for moving the museum Into what will be the former District Court and have also had meetings with the Defence Minister, Willie O’Dea, who has been very helpful and made strong representations to the court services - it’s now just a matter of getting the Office of Public Works, the City Council and the Court Services together to agree a compensation package, sufficient to fit out the building when vacated by the court, to make it suitable for the museum.

Mayor Kiely said that the council is paying in the region of 60,000 euro annually in rent for the museum building, to Shannon Development. “The transfer will mean the museum will now be in a much more prominent location, a location that is frequented by visitors to the city - they visit St Mary’s Cathedral and automatically wander into Merchant’s Quay. The tour buses depart from here and the Angela’s Ashes walking tours also gather here.”

The mayor is enthusiastic about transferring the District Court to the proposed Henry Street location.

“It’s an ideal arrangement, there’s underground parking and forecourts in the old Post Office site and being so close to the Garda Station on the opposite side of the road, it will save on garda patrols and manpower”. Asked if it is envisaged that the Henry Street location will be a short, rather than a long-term arrangement, (there has been ongoing speculation that the court would transfer to a site on the St Joseph’s Mental Hospital campus), Mayor Kiely said he feels it will be a permanent location for the District Court.

“The HSE has decided against giving land on the hospital campus over for this purpose - the Office of Public Works has been told that the HSE has other plans for it. I’m very happy with the arrangement for the transfer of the museum into what will soon be the vacated court building - I’ll be leaving no stone unturned in seeing this up and running as soon as possible.

Earlier speculation that the City Library would take up occupancy in the court house building was dispelled by the city librarian, Dolores Doyle, who told the Limerick Post the building is too small for their purposes.

“The library in the Granary building on Michael Street is 14,500 square metres and is now much too small for our extended services, but the court building is only 8,000 square feet. What we are looking for in a new building we need for the library is 20,000 or more square feet,” she said.



I feel this is more to do with the issue of rent than anything else. The very fact that the museum is underutilised can be attributed to the City Council's dismal failure to firstly promote, but also develop Kings Island as a tourist destination. As long as the Council keep kidding themselves over this issue, we are never going to see the area fulfilling its enormous potential!

Its also disheartening to see Kiely still pushing for the re-location of the District Court to the old GPO like an utter gombeen!:mad:
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Re: Regeneration of King’s Island ~ Saint Mary’s Park

Postby justnotbothered » Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:36 pm

Tuborg wrote:I feel this is more to do with the issue of rent than anything else. The very fact that the museum is underutilised can be attributed to the City Council's dismal failure to firstly promote, but also develop Kings Island as a tourist destination. As long as the Council keep kidding themselves over this issue, we are never going to see the area fulfilling its enormous potential!

Its also disheartening to see Kiely still pushing for the re-location of the District Court to the old GPO like an utter gombeen!:mad:


on the plus side, I doubt Kiely has any actual sway over where the Courts Service locate the Courts. This isn't too unlike when the (circuit and Hiigh?) Courts were temporarily relocated to the Red Church on Henry street. What is hugely positive is that the District Court has been permanently moved away from the city Hall.

I don't think the Museum is an ideal fit for that location though, it should be a space the citizens of Limerick can enjoy, will a museum really allow for that?
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Re: Regeneration of King’s Island ~ Saint Mary’s Park

Postby CologneMike » Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:56 pm

Junior wrote:When I walk around Englishtown and Irishtown I still feel that a lot of the character of the old town remains and that more than enough knowledge is known archaeologically and historically about Limerick to influence future development in a positive way.


Town Wall ~ Island Road

Looking at both maps (Shannon Heritage / Limerick Civic Trust) above, the former invokes an image of an intact wall running along the Island Road. Unfortunately it does not live up to expectations. The LCT map however outlines the existing remnants of the wall and also the presumed line between the remnants.

Still though the SH map captures ones imagination as to how the town wall once was. I wonder if an archaeological dig could unravel the foundations of the missing sections on the Island Road. Would it be acceptable to reconstruct the missing sections of the wall in accordance to guidelines on conservation for walled towns (Heritage Council)?

Some of the remnants are over grown with shrub, need repairing and preservation.

Image 1: Town Wall Island Road. (Peter’s Cell) see museum links 1 2
Images 2, 3: Birds-eye-view of Island Road. (Missing sections highlighted)
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Re: Regeneration of King’s Island ~ Saint Mary’s Park

Postby Junior » Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:38 pm

The Irish Walled Towns Network is a Heritage Council based conservation plan which was launched two years ago, its remit is constrained specifically to conservation and education of the existing town walls of Irish cities.
It has been mooted before to reconstruct stretches of the town wall but it is not archaeologically sound, An Bord Pleanala ,An Taisce ,to name a few organisations would never let it happen. The Irish Walled Towns Network (IWTN) through Aegis Archaeology has already completed a systematic survey of the walls of Limerick whereby the current state of the walls,deterioration & overgrown with shrubbery have been noted and there is a plan already in place to conserve the walls section by section, work has already begun on conservation of the little Gerard Griffith Street/Mungret Gate section of the town walls.
The section of walls on Island road is apparently the next in line, The Limerick Civic Trust has come into some criticism of late for not having a continuous management plan for the upkeep of the numerous sections of the town walls that they conserved in the early nineties.
Hopefully the IWTN will ensure that the surviving sections of walls are conserved and appreciated to the fullest extent.
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Re: Regeneration of King’s Island ~ Saint Mary’s Park

Postby CologneMike » Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:45 am

Tuborg wrote:I feel this is more to do with the issue of rent than anything else. The very fact that the museum is underutilised can be attributed to the City Council's dismal failure to firstly promote, but also develop Kings Island as a tourist destination. As long as the Council keep kidding themselves over this issue, we are never going to see the area fulfilling its enormous potential!


I don’t know what the numbers for visiting the museum are like. But given that entrance is free and its location alongside the castle, I always get the impression that it is very well visited in the summer months. The castle and museum seem to complement each other.

The Museums real drawback is that the ground floor is way too small to properly display its exhibits. In my opinion it’s simply too crammed and one would be forgiven to think that one had just walked into an exclusive antique shop.

By the way, as for the City District Court moving to Henry Street, I’m curious to know as to what use will be made of the “Hanging Gardens”. ;)
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Re: Limerick Civic Trust ~ The First 25 Years

Postby CologneMike » Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:51 pm

gunter wrote:The Exchange was probably built as an open structure on the ground floor, like the Tholsel, with a stone flagged floor.

With the ground level being so much higher on the cemetery side of the wall, there's a good chance that much of this stone paved ground floor survives, along with the lower sections of the back and side walls. If the burials could be relocated, it would be great to see the floor plan of the old Exchange excavated and the Tuscan arcade opened up again as some kind of outdoor exhibition space.

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the Tuscan columns peeping through the masonry in-fill on the inside of the street facade.


Exchange Wall 24, 25

Gunter, I’m jumping threads again as your idea fits in nicely with the other “potential candidates” discussed here for reconstruction. I would even contemplate its full reconstruction (1778 building). Space for re-internment of those graves could be available within the cemetery. The original site of the exchange does not appear to be that large. The ground floor I believe was a covered market and the first floor was the council chamber (1673 building). This would be an amazing add on for the Cathedral for administrative / residential purposes as their corner church house (Nicholas Street / Saint Augustine Place) is not really fitting for such a Cathedral.

The fate of the old Exchange was to be a sad one. It was abandoned by the Corporation and gradually fell into ruins. In 1884, it was purchased from the local authority by a wealthy member of the Church of Ireland named Robert Hunt who then presented it free of charge to St. Mary’s Cathedral. It was immediately demolished and the site was used to extend the burial ground surrounding the Cathedral. However, the colonnade at the front of the Exchange was salvaged and was incorporated into the wall of the burial ground.

(History of Limerick Corporation by Mathew Potter)


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Re: Regeneration of King’s Island ~ Saint Mary’s Park

Postby gunter » Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:50 pm

It's interesting that they appear to have re-used the parapet moulding and capping stones at first floor cill level when the building was dismantled.

I wonder is there a well preserved and probably very substantial medieval basement under that great 'Billy' re-fronted stone merchant house as well. Would they have filled it in and just started burying people above it? . . . . stranger things have happened ;)

The cemetery does function as a sort of landscaped square, even if we regret all the demolitions the created it. There probably isn't a good case for trying to reverse this now by attempting reconstructions, but I'd certainly look at re-locating the burials that prevent the archaeological investigation of these two significant buildings and look at ways of presenting their lower level remains, if they prove as interesting and as complete as I suspect they may be.

As you say, it would add greatly to the legibility of Nicholas St./Mary St. as the High Street of the medieval city, and open up glimpses of the cathedral which looks a bit walled-off from the street.
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Re: Regeneration of King’s Island ~ Saint Mary’s Park

Postby CologneMike » Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:29 pm

gunter wrote:It's interesting that they appear to have re-used the parapet moulding and capping stones at first floor cill level when the building was dismantled.

. . . . . . There probably isn't a good case for trying to reverse this now by attempting reconstructions, . . . . . . .

As you say, it would add greatly to the legibility of Nicholas St./Mary St. as the High Street of the medieval city, and open up glimpses of the cathedral which looks a bit walled-off from the street.


You seem to be in two minds about a reconstruction of the Exchange.

The areas highlighted below shows what exists today, by inserting a floor with six windows plus a little roof on top and we have our Exchange restored to its original state.

Would make an excellent building as a Registry Office for performing civil marriages.
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Re: Regeneration of King’s Island ~ Saint Mary’s Park

Postby Tuborg » Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:05 am

Damn that wealthy Protestant man anyway! :p Although to be fair, considering Limerick's record of preserving it's historic fabric, something would surely have happened to it regardless! Presumably Ireton's house was acquired for the cathedral under similar circumstances?

Re-instating the exchange sounds exciting in theory but in reality would it be an acceptable solution? Maybe it would be best to follow gunter's lead and try and make the most of whats left of it?

Also, I wonder how St. Mary's would feel about re-locating those graves, would they be open to it?
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