The Hartstonges memorial plaque is located just off O'Connell street on the side of a building on Hartstonge street in Limerick city. It is quite small and would easily be missed if it wasn't illuminated by a powerful light, just off the side walk. The plaque was placed by Limerick Civic Trust. The plaque was erected because Limerick Civic Trust was proud of what Sir Harry and Lady Hartstonge achieved. The plaques words inform us of Sir Harry and Lady Hartstonge who lived on the street and that they were important people for Limerick, "The street is dedicated to the memory of Sir Harry (d.1844) and Lady Hartstonge who were eminent benefactors to the city. They lived on this street". However, the plaque does not provide the information of what feats they accomplished or what they achieved for Limerick city. This is somewhat disappointing considering historians and tourists could come to view the plaque for themselves and leave with little information about the Hartstonges. Nonetheless, amongst all the traffic and commotion in Limerick city, it is nice to go and view the small plaque which gives you some insight into the history of Limerick city. The plaque can be viewed below.
The Harstonges House
Hartstonge House is a town house, with no garden, it stands alone on Hartstonge St, towards Pery Square , taking a left on O'Connell's street facing the Cresent. It was the home (1860s-80s) of the wealthy Harris family, of Harris' bakery, Henry St, Limerick. Later from the Harris family came the actor Richard Harris Stephen O'Mara bought Hartstonge House from the Harris family and settled here in 1886. [ Stephen O'Mara left c.1909, definitely gone by 1910. Not likely that any other O'Maras lived there. People may get this house mixed up with the tall narrow house that contains the green Hartstonges plaque on it. The Hartstonges family did not live in this house but they lived in in the house with the plaque on it further up the street. The house is still surviving in Limerick City. Although now occupied by The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, who have named it Ozanam House after their founder. There is a plaque to Joseph O'Mara, the opera singer on this house. It says "Joseph O'Mara (1866 - 1927) the internationally famed Operatic Tenor lived here. He formed his own company in 1912 and starred in many acclaimed productions. He was a Freeman of Limerick." The name "Hartstonge House" is now used by another building on the street.
The Hartstonge House with the green Hartstonges plaque is located on Hartstonge Street. Hartstonge Street is strategically located in Limerick City Centre close to O'Connell Street, the main commercial thoroughfare of Limerick city. O'Connell Street encompasses the heart of Limericks business district acting as the main arterial route through the City Centre. On Hartstonge Street there's a series of old Georgian houses. Hartstonge Street is predominately commercial in nature with adjoining occupiers including Breen Geary McCarthy & Shee solicitors, Sullivan Insurance, and the Frank McCourt Museum. The Frank McCourt Museum is a museum dedicated to the award-winning author of Angela's Ashes. Other popular facilities in the area include Pery Square Hotel and Spa, Limerick City Gallery of Art, and the beautiful People's Park.
Hartstonge House History
Georgian Limerick was developed from the plans of Sir Sexton Perry from 1760 onwards and was known as 'New Town Perry'. The idea of the plan was to transform old medieval Limerick into a new modern setting. Hartstonge house was a protected structure and the old building had slowly deteriorated throughout the years into a state of disrepair. In 2006, the house was purchased in a keen attempt to refurbish and restore the key historical elements it possessed in particular the roof and fabric details and street facade. The house was to be used as a place for Lecturers and other academic personnel visiting the University of Limerick. Surprisingly the house is quite small even though it looks quite spacious from the outside.The residence has four floors,each with one single room.There is also a small basement.Refurbishment of the 1000m2 house finished in 2008. A view of the house plan can be seen here