Tour Kilkenny Castle in Ireland

February 28, 2013 by

Kilkenny Castle, Ireland

Kilkenny Castle, Ireland

Whether you’re a history buff, a fantasy enthusiast, or interested in all things medieval, a tour of Kilkenny Castle in Ireland offers a room by room look at castle life. It even takes visitors to those secret places for which castles are so well known.

Classic Arch Gateway

Kilkenny Castle’s gateway dates back to the end of the 17th century.

Step Through the Classical Arched Gateway

Kilkenny Castle’s gateway dates back to the end of the 17th century and is designed after the classical triumphal arch.

The lighter-colored stone keystone and exquisitely-hewn Corinthian capitals are original for the most part. Small rooms within the gateway probably provided housing for the gatekeeper when the castle was used as a residence. 

Three Towers of Kilkenny Castle

Two circular towers are located at each end of the gateway wall. The residential wing is located between the north and west towers.

The south tower, also known as the Parade Tower, is the largest of the remaining towers. This tower retains a large amount of its original materials and proportions. The biggest change in the Parade Tower is the windows which were added later.

At the base of this tower is the “medieval room” complete with authentic arrow loops.

Kilkenny Castle Fountain

Castle Gardens

Along with a tour of the Kilkenny Castle, guests enjoy a formal, terraced garden with axial paths radiating from a central fountain. The garden has been restored to what it once was during the ducal period.

The existing fountain is thought to be the base of an original water feature on the property. 

History and Architectural Phase Styles

A visit to Kilkenny Castle offers a first-hand look at the development of different architectural styles in Ireland used over centuries. Today, as the Office of Public Works strives to preserve history, they have also learned to incorporate a modern conference center within the medieval fabric of the Parade Tower.

Restaurant facilities are available on site in the Victorian Castle Kitchen, but seating is limited and reservations are recommended. 

Castle hours change throughout the year but can be found on the official Kilkenny Castle website. 

Photo credits: SloaneEsq, jamingray, LuMag00

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