There are many hotels around the River Shannon and Limerick city centre, which are ideally located to learn more about the history and culture of the city. Options range from budget two star hotels and B&Bs, independent boutique hotels in the Georgian Quarter or Newtown Pery, and modern high rise three, four and five star hotels close to the Shannon. These have fantastic views of the city and are a good base to see the main attractions like the Hunt Museum, Frank McCourt Museum, Limerick City Gallery of Art, St John’s Cathedral and the Treaty Stone.
Cultural Heritage of Limerick city
The Frank McCourt Museum is an independent museum dedicated to the life of Frank McCourt, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Angela’s Ashes and subsequent novels. The book has since been made into a film and there is an accompanying walking tour of the city which takes in many of the main locations such as Frank’s former school in the Georgian Quarter. The museum is run by a local artist, Una Heaton, and has expanded over the years although it relies on donations and isn’t funded by government. Una created several of the drawings and paintings and knows the McCourt family well so has plenty of stories to share. She has also replicated the look and feel of Frank’s former schoolhouse, a 1930s classroom and his childhood homes - right down to the smallest details, e.g. fleas in the bed! Various items have been donated by former pupils of Leamy School.
Architectural Heritage in Limerick city<P>The Frank McCourt Museum is in a listed building in Hartstonge Street in the Georgian Quarter of Limerick which formerly housed Frank’s old school, Leamys. Leamy House (formerly Leamy School) is a listed building in Tudor style with towers, turrets, ornate chimneys and gargoyles made from sandstone and limestone. The street is named after Lady Hartstonge, who was a generous benefactor and the sister of Edmond Sexton Pery, Speaker of the Irish House of Commons. The school was set up in 1843 by William Leamy as a place for the city’s poor Protestant boys and later became a national school for Catholic boys until 1953. After that it was occupied by various businesses until it was taken on by Una Heaton in 2009, initially as a gallery, which has since grown into a small but detailed museum thanks to her passion and time.
Walking Tours in Limerick city
The museum is a delight to walk around, as is the Georgian Quarter of the city with its narrow lanes and interesting architecture. It has a closeted feel in contrast to the expansive waterfront, which fits the mood of the book perfectly. You get a sense of the cramped conditions people lived in, close-knit communities and the hardship endured in times of poverty. There is an Angela’s Ashes Walking Tour which operates from Limerick Tourist Information Centre and needs to be booked.
There are lots of independent hotels full of character in and around the Georgian Quarter in Limerick city, close to the main attractions like Frank McCourt Museum, the Hunt Museum, churches and St John’s Cathedral as well as the city’s cafes, bars and restaurants. They often have good deals on visitor attractions so it’s worth asking ahead before you book tickets.