Clonmel Town Walls

Clonmel Town Wall

Conservation and Management Plan.

The earliest surviving reference to the town of Clonmel is in the royal accounts of 1211-12 (Pipe Roll 14 John, see Henry 2007, 07E0133, 2). The earliest reference to the main street (O'Connell Street) is c. 1350 (as King's Street), Bridge Street 1388, Mary Street 1502, and Gladstone Street (Lough Street) 1532 (Bradley 1985, 45).

The parish church is mentioned as early as 1228, when Stephen of Lexington preached a sermon there (Bradley 1985, 47). The Franciscan Friary was founded in 1269. The earliest murage grant (licence to collect taxes to pay for town wall building or repair) is from 1298, to run for ten years. "Further grants were made in 1316, 1319, 1356, 1364 and 1409." (Bradley 1985, 47).

Thomas points out that some of these grants specified "stone walls" (Thomas 1992, 52). A grant of 1463 provided for tolls to be" expended on the diligent care of the southern gate, and reparation of the bridge and walls of the town" (CPCR II211, in Thomas 1992, 52). A charter of Henry V (1413-22) refers to "lately constructed great walls, towers, and fortifications" and a charter of 1608 refers to the ancient borough "fortified from the time of its foundations by forts and walls... for the amendment and repair whereof great and frequent costs are expended" (Thomas 1992, 52).

Of the 17th-century maps of Clonmel which have survived, the Down Survey map of 1657 is of lesser value, with a stylised circuit of wall and little detail. The Goubet map of 1690 (NLI MS. 2742) specifically records the town defences, showing the locations of gatehouses and towers, and outworks for added defence.

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Article and Image Source: http://www.southtippheritage.ie

Keywords: Clonmel,Walls,Fortifications, Ireland,Conservation



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