Historic and Heritage Sites in Kilkenny

Kilkenny offers a unique selection of historic sites and buildings from the 7th century onwards reflecting a tradition of monastic settlement and gracious living. 

Saint Canice's Cathedral

The ancient city of Kilkenny was named after a 6th century monk called Saint Canice. His memory lives on in the beautifully preserved St. Canice's Cathedral built overlooking the city in the thirteenth century. This hilltop cathedral is one of Irelands most beautiful Cathedrals.

Dating from the 13th century it has a round tower of more than 100ft which is open to visitors. Walls of the local Kilkenny Marble and pillars of pale sandstone combine to create an interior of simple grandeur.

An array of splendid 16th century tombs includes the beautiful effigies of the Butler family in the south transept.

Opening Times St. Canice's Cathedral:
April, May & September: Mon - Sat: 10am - 1pm & 2pm - 5pm, Sun: 2pm - 5pm.
June, July & August: Mon - Sat: 9am - 6pm, Sun: 2pm - 6pm.
October - March: Mon - Sat: 10am - 1pm & 2pm - 4pm, Sun: 2pm - 4pm.

(Please note the round tower opens at 10am and is not open between October and March)

Kilkenny Castle

Kilkenny Castle is the jewel in the City's crown and has been dominating Kilkenny City and South East of Ireland for more than 800 years. This Norman fortress is one of Ireland's most famous castles.

Former home of the Butler family, the castle contains many magnificent features and is well worth a visit. Guided tours are available.

Opening Times Kilkenny Castle:

Open Daily, but closed over Christmas and Good Friday.
April - May 10.30am - 5.00pm.
June - August 9.30am - 7.00pm.
September 10.00am - 6.30pm.
October - March 10.30am - 12.45pm and 2.00pm - 5.00pm

Rothe House

Rothe House was built in 1594 as a merchants dwelling and is now the City and Country museum and home of the Kilkenny Archaelogical Society. It consists of three beautifully restored stone buildings of great character divided by cobbled courtyards.

Shee Alms House

Shee Alms House was founded by Sir Richard Shee in 1580 to accommodate "12 poor persons in the city". This beautiful building has been painstakingly restored and now contains the Tourist Information Office and the "City Scope Exhibition" - an exciting recreation of the medieval city. Here also is the starting point for many of the city's walking tours.

St Mary's Cathedral

St. Mary's Cathedral built in 1849 using traditional local limestone, this has been the principal place of worship in the Catholic Diocese of Ossory.

Tholsel & Black Ferrin Gate

The Tholsel on Kilkenny's City Hall was built in 1761 by Alderman William Coles. It was destroyed by fire but completely restored in 1981 and now contains the Municipal Archives.  Black Ferrin Gate is the last remaining gate of the original walled town.