Adare Castle Co. Limerick is located on the northern bank of the Maigue River c.150m east of the bridge. A bridge is marked in this location on the Down Survey map (c. 1656). The land in the vicinity of the castle is lowlying. The ruined Franciscan Friary is located 400m to the east and the Augustinian Friary 350m to the southwest.
The modern town of Adare is located c. 600m to the south of the castle, set back from the southern bank of the river. Recent archaeological work by Sarah McCutcheon (Limerick County Council) has demonstrated that the town (LI021-032) may have existed in its current location, in proximity to the Trinitarian Abbey, as early as the 13th/14th centuries (McCutcheon pers. comm.).
The castle was strategically constructed on the east bank of the Maigue River to protect the river’s first fordable crossing point some eight miles inland from where it issues into the Shannon Estuary. A fourteen arch bridge was later built by Gerald, the fifth Earl of Kildare, between 1390 and 1410 (Lewis 1837, 8-9). During repairs to the foundations of the bridge arches in the early decades of the nineteenth century a large post or pile of an earlier wooden bridge was revealed (Dunraven, 1865, 104).
Authors: Laurence Dunne and Jacinta Kiely
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