Kilkenny Castle

Location: Kilkenny Castle is located just a 2 minute walk from Hibernian House.

Rising above the Nore, Kilkenny Castle is one of Ireland's most visited heritage sites. The first structure on this strategic site was a wooden tower built in 1172 by Richard de Clare, the Anglo-Norman conqueror of Ireland better known as ‘Strongbow’. In 1192, Strongbow's son-in-law, William Marshall, erected a stone castle with four towers, three of which survive. The castle was bought by the powerful Butler family in 1391, and their descendants continued to live there until 1935. Maintaining such a structure became a big financial strain and most of the furnishings were sold at auction. The castle was handed over to the city in 1967 for the princely sum of £50. Kilkenny Castle today offers a range of cultural facilities and public amenities and is set 50 acres of extensive gardens and parkland. 

The focal point for most visitors to Kilkenny Castle is the Long Gallery, which showcases portraits of the Butler family, the oldest of which dates from the 17th century. The stunning hall is covered with a 19th-century timber roof vividly painted with Celtic, medieval and Pre-Raphaelite motifs by John Hungerford Pollen (1820–1902), who also created the wonderful Carrara marble fireplace, beautifully carved with scenes from Butler familys history.

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