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Basic Info

Name: Kilkenny castle Location: Kilkenny CO. Country: Ireland


Beginning as a motte castle of c.1171, built by Strongbow and destroyed presumably by the native Irish in 1174, the castle at this important early Norman town was begun again by William Marshal during his years in Ireland (1207-12). He laid down a trapezoidal-plan enclosure of stone walling with massive round towers on the corners (three of which survive in differing conditions, and measure 11.3 x 8.2 metres [37 x 27 ft] and 7 metres [23 ft] in diameter). The original enclosure walling was over 1.8 metres (6 ft) thick, and some of it survives on the north side. If there were other buildings of this early period they have not yet been clearly identified, although there exists a description of the castle given in 1307, which summarizes Kilkenny as it was in or about that date, namely, `in which are a hall, four towers, a chapel, a mote, and divers other houses'. A century or so after this description, the castle came into the possession of the Butlers, Earls (and later, Dukes) of Ormonde who, over the centuries, especially in the reign of Charles II (1660-85) and again in the mid-eighteenth century and early nineteenth century, carried out extensive remodelling of the original works. Today, Kilkenny is an ancient monument and houses the National Furniture Collection of Ireland.

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Last modified:: 2015/07/14 11:34