The highest point in Kilkenny, 3 ‘official’ names and A statue by Benzoni

St Mary’s Cathedral is located in Kilkenny City and is the highest point in the City with its 186-foot high tower. Before the arrival of Cromwell in 1650, the Catholic congregation of Kilkenny celebrated mass in the ancient church of St. Canice’s. After this, St. Canice’s reverted to Protestant hands and the Catholics had no cathedral. A small chapel in St. Mary’s Parish – St. James’s Chapel, built-in 1700 functioned as the church and the cathedral. It was William Kinsella, who was appointed Bishop of Ossory at the age of 33, initiated the building of St. Mary’s in 1842. The Cathedral was designed by William Deane Butler and its style is described as ‘Early English Gothic’ based on Gloucester Cathedral in England. Work began in 1843 and was not completed until after the famine in 1859 and so provided much-needed work. The Cathedral has 3 names – St Mary’s, The Church of St Kieran, and, The Cathedral of the Assumption and holds a statue of Our Lady by the sculptor Benzoni who also sculpted the O’Connell Monument in the Irish College in Rome.