Richard de Clare (Strongbow) built the first wooden fort on the site in 1172 to defend the river crossing. His son-law, William le Mareschal built the stone castle which continued to evolve into the 17th century vision you see today. You can self-tour the rooms which are now restored to look as they did in Victorian times.
Interestingly, the Butler family (the Earls of Ormond), bought the castle and the Lordship of Kilkenny in 1392. The Butlers lived in Kilkenny for the next 600 years and the long gallery is lined with portraits of the Butlers through the ages.
We found a few pubs where the atmosphere was cozy and historic and since it was a rainy day, we spent some time patronizing them!
The Rothe Family, along with less than a dozen other wealthy families, controlled Kilkenny’s trade and dominated its civic government from the late Middle Ages until the 17th Century.
The house is a wonderful look into the home life of a wealthy 17th century family in Ireland.
In the 19th century, extensive restoration and reconstruction of the nave was performed, which made possible the re-consecration of the abbey in 1864. The jewel colored stained glass window in the apse called the “Rosary Window” is from that period.