Kilkenny Castle, located in the medieval township of Killenny, Ireland, a short drive south of Dublin, is a sprawling ode to Victorian architecture. Haunted by a Celtic history much more colorful than it’s famed neighbors like Waterford Castle or Edinburgh Castle, a visit to Killenny Castle will make a memorable stop on your sojourn of Erin.
Tours take place every 20 minutes during the prime tourist season during July and August and take approximately 45 to 50 minutes. You’ll visit various rooms of the castle, as well as the Butler gallery. Guides will provide you with information on everything from the original (repurchased) furnishings to some of the nefarious deeds that took place in the castle.
Originally constructed by Strongbow in the 12th century, Kilkenny Castle has been a fixture of the landscape for more than 900 years. For the better part of 500 years, the castle was inhibited by the Butler family, a clan consisting of the Earls, Marquesses and Dukes of Ormonde. It was then given to the Nation in 1967, and has been opened to the public for tours of the castle and galleries.
The Castle Grounds
The back lawn of Kilkenny Castle, a rolling expanse of green more vivid than most of us have seen outside of a crayola box, may be the best place in sunny southeast Ireland to stretch out on the grass and relax. Provided you do so on a school day when the throngs of local teenagers are otherwise occupied. The location is attractive for many reasons, including the icecream vendor stationed just outside the gate and the plush carpet of grass below you, not to mention the price. Admission to the castle grounds is free.
Visitors are welcome to meander the trails found around the castle grounds and alongside the adjacent Nore River. The rose garden is lovely, as are the ruins dotting the river bank. You can wander for quite a spell if you head down hill from the castle grounds proper, cutting through barren fields, wild red poppies and thoroughbred country.
Opening Times: From October to March and April to May, tours take place daily from 10.30am to 5.00pm (Closed for lunch 12.45 to 2.00pm). From June to August, tours take place daily from 9.30am to 7.00pm. During September, tours are from 10am to 6.30pm.
Admission: Adult: 5.30; Senior Adult: 3.70 Student/child 2.10: Family: 11.50