Thomondgate was part of the “Northern” Liberties granted to Limerick in 1216. This area was the border between Munster and Connacht until County Clare, which was created in 1565, was annexed by Munster in 1602. The bridge was originally built in 1185 on the orders of King John and is said to have cost the hefty sum of £30. As a result of poor workmanship the bridge collapsed in 1292 causing the deaths of 80 people. Soon after, the bridge was rebuilt with the addition of two gate towers, one at each end. It partially collapsed in 1833 as a result of bad weather and was replaced with a bridge designed by brothers James and George Pain at a cost of £10,000.