Kilkenny Castle, Kilkenny City. County Kilkenny     1210

Kilkenny Castle is located in Kilkenny City at a strategic location that commands a crossing on the River Nore. This site was used by the local Kings of Osraige as their chief residence before the Norman invasion. The original Anglo-Norman castle was built by William Marshal, 4th Earl of Pembroke in 1210 and later became the principal Irish residence of the powerful Butler family for almost 600 years. The Butler ownership began when James (c.1360-1405), 3rd Earl of Ormond, purchased the castle in c.1391, and it stayed ‘in the family’ until 1967 when Arthur, 6th Marquess of Ormonde (1893-1971), presented it to the people of Kilkenny in return for a token payment of £50.. The Butler dynasty were a remarkable family who ruled this area for centuries. They were resilient, cunning and politically astute to be able to pick the ‘right side’ during times of war and just to be able to hang on to their property for so long! The castle was used as the location for the Confederate Parliament of the 1640’s and during the Irish Civil War of 1922 Republicans were besieged by Irish Free State forces here. This complex structure is made up of various architectural styles built over 800 years. It is now a national monument is one of the most visited tourist sites in Ireland.