Dunmore Caves 2/3 miles north discovered in 928AD. darkest caves in Ireland. Kilkenny Castle 2 miles. Kilkenny Golf Club 1 mile, Castlecomer Golf Club 6 miles. Jenkinstown woods only 2 miles which boasts 5/6 miles of woodland walkways.
This superb castle is located on elevated ground beside the river at the south-eastern end of the city. The castle was built in the thirteenth century on the site of an earlier fort. However, the present building is vastly different from the stronghold erected by Strongbow in the middle ages. Despite this, the present structure retains the architectural lines of a medieval castle. The building forms three sides of a quadrangle, with three of the four original round towers intact. The Butlers, the Earls of Ormonde (an Hibernicised Norman clan), occupied the castle from the fourteenth century onwards. In modern times, the castle has been restored to its former glory by the state, and was officially open to the public in 1976. There is an exhibition hall open to the public in the Old Castle Stables.
ST. CANICE’S CATHEDRAL
St. Canice’s was erected in the thirteenth century, and is accessible from Irishtown via St. Canice’s Steps. The cathedral features a magnificent tower that offers impressive views of the city. The cathedral evolved over the centuries and was unfortunately damaged by Oliver Cromwell’s troops in the seventeenth century. This Kilkenny landmark features a fascinating collection of monuments and tombs dating from the Tudor era.
William Marshall (Earl of Pembroke) founded the Black Abbey in 1225 for the Dominicans. This impressive building is situated on Abbey Street, and features a tower and some magnificent windows dating from the original the original structure. The Dominican abbey was dissolved in the sixteenth century and subsequently became a courthouse. Fortunately, the abbey was restored to its former glory in the nineteenth century enabling it to be reopened as a church. At the Abbey entrance, one can find a series of monumental slabs and stone coffins dating from the middle ages.
NATIONAL CRAFTS GALLERY
The National Crafts Gallery is located in Castle Yard directly across from Kilkenny Castle. This gallery was initiated by the Crafts Council of Ireland with the objective of stimulating an innovative and quality design ethos in the Irish crafts sector. The gallery boasts an impressive range of craft exhibitions that successfully communicate and showcase the cultural and commercial attributes of the craft sector in Ireland.
SHEE ALMS HOUSE
Shee Alms House is situated in Rose Inn Street and was founded in 1582 by Sir Richard Shee. The purpose of these institutions was to take care of the poor, and this Tudor Alms House is one of the last remaining buildings of its type still in existence in Ireland. The building has been recently restored and now accommodates the Kilkenny Tourist Office.
This magnificent sixteenth century Tudor town house is situated on Parliament Street. Built in 1594 by John Rothe, the building consists of three houses with courtyards. Rothe House currently houses the museum and library of the Kilkenny Archaeological Society.
Within the museum there are a number of exhibits including period costume displays and a genealogical centre.
This central Kilkenny landmark dates from 1761. Erected by Alderman William Colles, the Thosel served as the market for the city (the word ‘thosel’ means literally a marketplace). Architecturally, the building has a double length arcade with an impressive Georgian Council Chamber room positioned above the arcade. There is a clock tower on the steeply pitched roof, and the southern wall contains the Kilkenny coat of arms. The original building was badly damaged after a fire in 1987, but has since been completely restored, and now serves as the City Hall. Nearby Attractions – Kilkenny County
Kilkenny County and surrounding areas.
A well-developed Show Cave and exhibition centre. Admission is by guided tour only. Open 7 days a week until 31st Oct. with tours commencing at 9.30am. During winter months tours only on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays or by appointment.
This Forest Park is associated with the Thomas Moore melody “The Last Rose of Summer”. There is a deer park, developed walks of varying length as wellas an estate and farm buildings which add interest to the park.
Fauna: Fauna: Fox, badger, stoat, red and grey squirrel and deer in the enclosure
Many species of birds inhabit this wood including the pheasant, raven and long-eared owl and there are bats in the old church.
Flora: Main Tree Species: Beech, ash, oak and Norway spruce. Some original park trees from the 1870s survive and include a number of rare species such as the Chinese necklace poplar.
Other Flora: A feature of this site is the beech wood with a carpet of bluebells during mid to late April.
Kells Augustinian Priory
An Augustinian Priory founded in 1193. Adjacent is an old mill recently restored with original features and structures open as a visitor centre and crafted area. Round Tower originally protected a wooden church. The Celtic cross dates from the 9th century and stands over the burial site of Niall Caille, High King of Ireland.
12th C. finest Cistercian monastic ruins. Visitor and exhibition centre. The abbey was built around 1160 by the King of Ossory, Donal MacGillapatrick, for the Benedictine monks. In 1180 it was taken over by Cistercian monks from Baltinglass Abbey. The Cistercian order was founded in 1098 in Citeaux. In 1228 there were 36 monks and 50 brothers in the abbey.The monastery was self-contained, and included its own gardens, watermills, infirmary, cemetery, kitchens, granary, stables and other outbuildings.
At the time of the dissolution of the monasteries in 1540 the abbey was granted on lease to James, the Earl of Ormond by the English crown. The lease included some 6,000 hectares of land belonging to the Abbey, watermills, cottages, weirs, fisheries and a castle
Glen and Waterfall
1790’s Romantic Era Garden, complete with Waterfall and Cottage Orné. A member of Houses, Castles and Gardens of Ireland Opening Hours: Sundays, 2 to 6, from the beginning of April to the end of September. During July and August, the garden is open every day from 11am to 6pm.
Lory Meagher Homestead A 17th century thatched mansion recreated as it was
at the turn of this century. The Kilkenny GAA Exhibition centre and museum.
Woodstock Gardens are located in the south east of Kilkenny just outside the picturesque village of Inistioge. The gardens, overlooking the River Nore Valley, offer the visitor a wide variety of attractions and are a most relaxing and beautiful environment in which to spend a day. The gardens are currently undergoing restoration by Kilkenny County Council and further features and planting are being added all the time.
The main development of Woodstock Gardens occurred in the Victorian Period with the works being overseen by Lady Louisa Tighe nee Lennox and head gardeners, Pierce Butler and later Charles McDonald. The gardens are being restored to the period 1840 -1890 with every effort being made to use plants and materials typical of the era.
Castlecomer has always been known as the centre of the Leinster Coalfield and provides the natural gateway to discovering the region. The interpretative centre will use exciting multi-media techniques to present the rocks as a vivid document of the past, and in particular the fossils, brought to light by the miners of Castlecomer, which have made such an important contribution to mankind’s knowledge of the first creatures to set foot on dry land.
A gift shop and café will provide an opportunity for the visitor to sample the Irish hospitality and relax in contemporary style surroundings. The visitor will be encouraged to explore Castlecomer Demesne and experience the dynamic landscape aided by interpreted and designed walks.