GPS Coordinates: 52.3985, -8.5717 | View On Google Maps ⇨
The first reference to the town’s defences dates to the 1280’s and only mentions a communal fosse. Kilmallock’s medieval town walls are first mentioned in a murage grant from 1308, which refers to the enclosing and strengthening of the town to protect its inhabitants. The walls were built by the Anglo-Normans in stone, they enclosed 13 hectares and were 1,700m in perimeter. The continuous stretches of wall also contained a narrow wall walk. To this day 1100m of the wall survives today, though this is mainly 14th and 15th century improvements.
There were at least five gates that led into the walled town of Kilmallock. Their names were Water gate, Ivy gate, North gate, External gate/Friars gate and Blossom gate. There were also four towers. The town and its defensive walls suffered during the 16th century. Kilmallock was burned by James FitzMaurice FitzGerald in 1571, but was rapidly repaired by Sir John Perrott. When Cromwell arrived in 1645 his forces dismantled the town walls, but they were rebuilt only to be destroyed again during the Williamite wars in 1690-1691.
When visiting the walled town of Kilmallock, visit the impressive 15th century King’s Castle. Where you can see a 150m stretch of the medieval town wall. Then check out Friars Gate Theatre, a Heritage Hub/Information Point which will relate the story of the wider area. The theatre also has free copies of the self guided walk of the town.
Another must see in Kilmallock is the Dominican Priory, founded in 1291. On your way to the Priory drop into the tiny but interesting Kilmallock Museum, the exhibition there is dominated by a model of the 16th century town. Don’t miss out on a stroll through the Collegiate Church, which was the parish church for Kilmallock from 1241 until 1935. There is an interesting collection of 16th and 17th century memorials housed inside. Two sides of the graveyard are surrounded by another stretch of the town wall.
Make sure to stop at the 15th century Blossom Gate, the only town gate to survive in the 21st century. Finally check out the award winning West Wall Walkway.