Kilkenny Castle

Kilkenny Castle stands dramatically on a strategic height that commands a crossing on the River Nore and dominates the ‘High Town’ of Kilkenny City. Over the eight centuries of its existence, many additions and alterations have been made to the fabric of the building, making Kilkenny Castle today a complex structure of various architectural styles. The original Anglo-Norman stone castle was built for William Marshal, 4th Earl of Pembroke (c.1146-1219) during the first decade of the thirteenth century. Kilkenny Castle later became the principal Irish residence of the powerful Butler family for almost 600 years. The Butler ownership began when James (c.1360-1405), 3rd Earl of Ormond, purchased the castle in c.1391, and lasted until 1967 when Arthur, 6th Marquess of Ormonde (1893-1971), presented it to the people of Kilkenny in return for a token payment of £50. The buildings have been in the care of the Office of Public Works since 1969, and many important programmes of archaeological excavation, conservation, and restoration have been carried out there. Open daily for both tours and a casual walk on the grounds the childrens playground is open daily.

Castle Opening Arrangements, Daily:

October to February – 09.30 to 16.30
March – 09.30 to 17.00
April and May – 09.30 to 17.30
June to August – 09.00 to 17.30

September – 09.30 to 17.30
Christmas and New Year Opening Arrangements: The Castle will close at 13.00 on Thursday 24th December and will reopen as normal on Sunday 27th December 2015 at 09.30.

Access: February 1st to October 31st, self-guided visit and last admission 30 minutes before closing. November 1st to January 31st, visit by guided tour only and last admission 45 minutes before closing. Arrangements may be subject to change, please check with site.

Photography/filming not permitted. Groups of 10 people and more must be pre-booked.

For bookings: Tel: +353 56 770 4106, Fax: +353 56 770 4116 or e-mail: