Kilkenny Castle hails from the days of the legendary Strongbow, The Second Earl of Pembroke, who built the then wooden fortress for the much needed protection of the River Nore waterways during the Norman occupation of the 12 century.
The castle changed hands over the centuries. 'Survival of the fittest' rings true when the Butlers of Ormonde, a wealthy, resilient and politically astute family who had arrived in Ireland with the Norman invasion, lay claim to Kilkenny Castle in the 14th century. Full of determination to integrate, the original family name of FitzWalter was changed to Butler, and James proclaimed himself the ruler of the area.
In 1967 the deteriorating castle was sold to the Castle Restoration Committee for 50 pounds! Take note all you aging hippies, Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull attended the handing over ceremony, it seems.
Restoration did occur and the Castle is now open for public viewing.
The castle gardens make a pretty picture.
At the end of the tour you can enjoy a cuppa and scones in the rustic castle kitchen.