The Limerick School of Art and Design moved to the Clare Street Campus in 1995. The Clare Street Campus is located on the site of an old Lancastrian School, developed by Joseph Lancaster for the education of the poor in the early 19th century. Lancaster was a Quaker, born in London in 1788, who had devoted himself to the education of the poor. His system was to employ the more advanced boys as monitors, or assistant teachers, to enable a few masters to teach a large number of boys. Spelling and reading were taught from charts hung on the walls, thereby dispensing with the need for books for the poor and slates were used to write on, to save paper. His first school was founded in London in 1801 and his school in Limerick was probably founded around 1806. The entrance to the school was on Old Clare Street and this street became known locally as The Long Can, after the Lancastrian School.
Attendance figures dropped at the school and it gradually fell into disrepair. In November 1821, The Christian Brothers purchased the school for £200. In 1858, they let part of the garden to Madame De Beligond, superioress of the Good Shepherd Convent at an annual rent of £10. When the Christian Brothers left the building in 1888, they sold it to the nuns for £200, who ran a Magdalene laundry at the site until it was sold to the Regional Technical College in 1994.
Major refurbishment and construction works have been carried out at the site, in two phases. The first saw the refurbishment of much of the main building and chapel in the late 1990s. The second phase was completed in August 2008 and consisted of construction of additional space, further refurbishment and considerable ground works, including a new entrance onto Clare Street.