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Kilkenny Castle Office of Public Works

OPW - Kilkenny Castle

The Parade, Kilkenny, R95 YRK1

Contact bookingskilkennycastle@opw.ie
+353 56 77 04100
+353 56 77 04106
+353 56 77 04108

  • Public Guided Tours
  • Guided Group Tours
  • Private Group Tours
  • Coach Parking Nearby (max 5 minutes)
  • Coach Drop Off Area
  • Coach Pick Up Area
  • Self Guided Interpretation
  • Guided Tours
  • Cafe
  • Viewing Point
  • Conference Facilities
  • Corporate Meeting Facilities
  • Incentive Venue
  • Outdoor Facilities
  • French
  • English

Kilkenny Castle stands dramatically on a strategic height that commands a crossing of the River Nore and has dominated Kilkenny for over 800 years.

The original Anglo-Norman stone Castle was built by William Marshal, 4th Earl of Pembroke during the first decade of the thirteenth century. However, it is largely synonymous with the very powerful Butler family, who bought the Castle in 1391 and it was to remain their principal Irish residence until 1935. In 1967, Arthur 6th Marquess and 24th Earl of Ormonde presented it to the people of Kilkenny for a token payment of £50.

In need of extensive restoration, Kilkenny Castle came into the care of the Office of Public Works in 1969 and over the next thirty years was extensively restored.

The magnificent Picture Gallery opened to the public in 1976. The Central Block with its elegant Drawing Room and Library opened in 1994. The final phase was the development of The Parade Tower wing, which is the dedicated events area of the Castle and has been specifically designed to facilitate conferences, receptions, banqueting, Civil and Humanist wedding ceremonies as well as cultural and artistic events.

Today, hundreds of thousands of visitors come to visit this grand country house and walk through its fifty acres of rolling parkland and formal garden.

OPW’s open access policy at Kilkenny Castle includes free programmes of events throughout the year, culminating in an engaging Christmas programme which complements the beautiful seasonal décor of this magnificent Castle.