Monday, August 23, 2010

Kilkenny Castle

Kilkenny Castle stands dramatically on a strategic height guarding a crossing on the River Nore and dominates the ‘High Town’ of Kilkenny City.

Known as one of the most recognized buildings in Ireland, the castle is steeped in Irish medieval history. It was built in 1195 for William Marshal, 4th Earl of Pembroke to control a fording-point of the River Nore. The Castle is seen as a symbol of Norman occupation. Kilkenny Castle later became the principal residence of the powerful Butler family for almost 600 years.

Through the eight centuries of its existence many alterations and additions have been made to the building, making it a complex structure of various architectural styles. This 800-year-old Norman castle remains in remarkable condition with many of its original features. Two wings of the castle have been restored to their 19th Century splendor and include a library, drawing room and the magnificent long gallery. The river wing houses the Butler Gallery of contemporary art. Additionally, a state-of –the-art conference center is situated in one of the castle’s 12th Century towers.

Set amid 50 acres of charming and extensive gardens and woodlands, overlooking the River Nore, the castle has a long established rose garden, mature trees and an ornamental lake. The castle gardens around Kilkenny Castle are well worth a visit.

Visitors can explore the castle and their grounds at their leisure. In addition to an information sheet, dedicated guides offer information about the castle’s rich history in its period rooms.

Celtic Tours features Kilkenny Castle on a number of our tours of Ireland. Please visit our website for more information.

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