The Limerick City Exchange was built in 1673 to house the city's covered market and council chamber. The Exchange and nearby Cathedral provided a city centre to 17th century Limerick. In 1702 the Exchange was demolished and replaced by a new larger building that didn’t project onto the street, as the previous one had. This was advantageous in allowing for the development of straighter wider streets in the city. During the mid-1800s, the Exchange fell into disuse as a new town hall was constructed across the bridge in Rutland Street. All that remains of the Exchange now is a row of Tuscan columns in the wall surrounding St Mary’s graveyard. This is a Protected Structure within the terms of the Planning Act RPS no. RPS010 and is within the Archaeological Zone.
Limerick Civic Trust engaged us to prepare a conservation report on the wall with a view to undertaking emergency repairs.
The wall had fallen into considerable disrepair owing to the growth of vegetation including Virginia creeper, Hedera helix (ivy) and Fraxinus excelsior saplings (ash) in crevices in the stone. This growth posed a significant risk to the wall in the short term and a project to remove the vegetation and repair the wall top was undertaken by the Civic Trust in Spring 2009.
Pollution damage was also noted which was a less serious threat but would degrade the fabric in the medium term.