Friday was shopping day and we headed off to the Old Boot Factory to see if I could find a pair of boots to supplement inventory of things to put on my feet. After wandering around a bit we did find the place and ultimately picked up a nice pair of low boots and several other things for our trip. Heading back to the room, we stopped at a nice Italian restaurant for lunch and then after unloading our stuff we went to tour Kilkenny Castle.
The Normans built Kilkenny Castle in 1195 to control a fording- point on the River Nore. It was both a symbol of Norman occupation and used as a defensive point for the City. Over the years it was modified and changed ownership several times but the longest owner/occupants were the Butlers. They owned and controlled the area for over 500 years. The final hereditary owner decided to grant the State ownership for fifty pounds. Thirty years of neglect meant the refurbishment was costly, but area families who had bought up furniture when the family moved south, responded to a request to donate furnishings from the 19th century. Photos by one local gallery owner over a period of time provided guidelines for wall coverings, room designations etc. The carpeting throughout was rewoven from patterns that had been designated as “not to be duplicated” except for the family. The family , over a 500-year residence, adapted the surrounding 12th century walls to the needs of each generation, including removing all the south walls to reveal the beautiful park. We spent about an hour on a guided tour of the Castle and ventured into a number of different rooms, learned the history of the place, and very much enjoyed what we saw. We have been in a bunch of Chateau’s, Castles and Big Houses, and I would have to say that the Kilkenny Castle was one of the most enjoyable ones I have seen.
The town of Kilkenny is a generous host to gatherings like the Subtitles Film Festival that was going on while we were in town.
They generate many return visitors, and seem to have a love of American culture
(see Paris Texas BBQ restaurant photo).