The Plot leased to Edward Vokes by the Corporation in 1709. The houses marked as Shannon View Terrace are still standing, as are the two houses now combined as the Couragower Pub to the right of points C and D. The Shannon River is at the top of the plan. Mass Lane adjoins St. Munchin’s Catholic Church grounds, at the West end of Thomond Bridge.

The earliest mention of Vokes in limerick goes all the way back to 1703.

Edward Vokes clothier, he collected wool which was washed, carded, woven and woven into cloth. This was then sold on to make clothes.

He was active in political life in Limerick city and in 1714 was elected sheriff, after that he would have been known as Edward Vokes Burgess.


Records from the early 1800’s show that Vokes had moved from Limerick to the parish of Patrickswell near Adare. Barnlick House was built by James Nehill in the 1780s, he was a wealthy farmer from County Clare. Various members of his family lived in Barnalick. In a census of 1850 it showed Simon Vokes had been employed as a land steward and living at Barnalick. The family continued to live there and were granted the lands and house in the 1920’ Land Commission Act. A family picture of Simon Vokes circa 1900 with some of his family.


“In our obituary of last month we recorded the death of Thomas Phillips Vokes, for upwards of thirty years the chief magistrate of police in Limerick, a post conferred on him for his daring courage and extraordinary exertions in putting down the rebellious attempts which threatened the south of Ireland in 1820 to 1822. Mr. Yokes, at that period a country magistrate residing on his paternal estate, single-handed and unarmed, seized the notorious Captain Rock the terror of the whole district. During three days and nights he pursued him through the mountain fastnesses of Limerick, and at length having captured him, brought him in and lodged him in the county jail. He was soon after tried, convicted and executed When Munster was paralysed by the murder of Major Going and others — when magistrates shrunk in natural terror, well knowing the fatal consequences of activity — when harassed authorities, worn-out troops, and ill-organised police held back from a task of no ordinary danger and toil, Thomas Phillips Vokes boldly stepped forward to put down crime, and bring the violators of the law to instant and summary punishment. He claimed descent from the Vauxes, Lords of Gilsland, and in his belief he was borne out by the fact of his grandfather, Sir Richard Vokes, having originally spelt his name Vaux. Three times were the thanks of Government tendered to this officer, accompanied (on two occasions) by substantial pecuniary marks of approvaL He was the last surviving magistrate under Peel’s Irish Police Act. By his death a pension of £950 a year reverts to the Government”.

October 1852.

The Petty Sessions were presided over by a Magistrate and were the lowest courts in 19th century Ireland. They covered civil matters as well as criminal. Anyone could end up before the magistrate in the Petty Sessions. On a typical day the court might hear dozens of cases and the courtroom would be hot, crowded and loud. Even the legal professions complained about the conditions in the courtrooms.

If you sat in on one of these sessions you could find yourself next to the beer-breathed man arrested for public drunkenness the night before, leaning against the wall might be a local landholder determined to have something done about the goat that keeps wandering onto his land and eating anything that comes into its path.



9am ~ 6pm


2pm ~ 5.30pm