One of Clonmel's most distinctive landmarks, the restored Main Guard was built in 1675 by James Butler, Duke of Ormond.
The Main Guard served as the courthouse for the Palatinate, or administrative area, of County Tipperary. In 1715, the Palatinate jurisdiction was extinguished.
The ground floor, consisting of a loggia (or gallery) of open arches, was converted into shops and had additional floors added around 1810. The Main Guard, with its distinctive clock tower, has been recently restored to its original form.
Almost ten years of painstaking restoration, which included incorporating stone from nearby Cistercian ruins, resulted in a Heritage Award for Best Practice in Conservation in the Tipperary 2004 RIAI Awards.