The first fortress at Kilkenny was built by Strongbow in 1172. The stone construction was begun in the 1192s but not completed until the 1800s! It was home to the Butler family for more than 500 years from 1391 to 1931. The castle is surrounded by beautiful gardens full of hedges and statues, along the bank of the River Nore. Kilkenny Castle was granted to the city of Kilkenny in 1967, and it is now a national monument.
Built on a superb site along the River Nore from 1192 to 1207 to replace an earlier wood and stone one, by the first Earl of Pembroke, and then Guillaume de Clare,three of the original corner towers are still standing. The French influence can be seen in the main garden in front of the building. Sold on to the Butler family in 1381, it remained their property until 1967, although they had already moved out and sold the contents in the '30's. Although extensions had been added and restoration done the castle gradually deteriorated. Sold for a token £50 it is now maintained by the State, and holds regular exhibitions. The gardens and park behind are open to the public freely. Opening times etc can be found on the official site below.
It is from the rear of the castle you have another splendid view of the castle and its turrets, towers and battlements across the parkland. The entrance to the castle is from this side. Take a good look in the trees, there are plenty of squirrels to amuse you.
This site of this castle has been occupied for over 1000 years. It is best known as the home of the Butlers, who owned it from the 1300’s until 1967, when it was sold to the city of Kilkenny for 50 pounds. Most of the castle has been restored to what it was like in the 17th centry. The castle is pretty impressive, especially the long room which contains paintings of the Butler family and their friends. The castle has a pretty informative tour.
The tour lasts about 45 min and costs 5.40 (2.10 w/ student ID).
The only way and best way in my opinion to see the castle is on a guided tour, the castle stands high above the city and is as brilliant inside as out, offering some grand rooms to view and fantastic architecture.
This is the largest of the Irish castles I had a chance to visit. Apparently, the castle was built during the time of the Norman invasions. But, it has obviously been modernized much like other Irish castles I've seen.
I had a chance to visit the interior as well. The Castle now acts as a museum for a bit of Irish history.
The castel in Kilkenny is extremely cold inside so make sure you hang onto your coat and don't put it in the coat check. It is an interesting tour though and the tour guide, Seamus O'Brian, is overly Irish and very enthusiastic.
My mind is blanking when I think what to write about the Castle. I really should have listened in class when its history was all explained to us. I'll have to buy a guide and brush up on my history next time I'm home.
Kilkenny Castle - home to an ancient aristocratic Irish-Norman family who were Butlers of Ormond. THE thing to see in Kilkenny. The grounds are lovely to stroll around in too. We did the tour and it was good, but nothing a leaflet couldn't already tell you.
However the Castle is stunning, it is amazing how well it looks on the riverside after hundreds of years.
The Kilkenny Castle is absolutly breathtaking. We were visiting the castle on a day that the tours of the castle were free and it was a self guide tour. We were a little late in the day and they were about to close so we were kind of in a rush but the entire tour was very nice and we learned alot. Afterward we walked the premises and took some pictures, as we were walking around the sky started to turn black and there was a huge rainbow. We had a great but quick time at the Kilkenny castle.
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