A travel blog of Ireland, Europe, and New Zealand

Kilkenny Castle

A Day Trip to Kilkenny

Kilkenny was a town we had not yet been to, so with Ros here, we did a day trip on the train, which got us there in about 1 hour and 20 minutes from Dublin’s Heuston station. The town, sitting astride the river Nore, is an attractive place, obviously doing well out of tourists. We arrived just on lunch time so had a delicious light lunch (did we have a glass of wine? Yes, I think we did) at Matt the Miller’s, a pub over four levels alongside the river.

Kilk01 Kilk02The focal point of Kilkenny is the 13th century castle which until 1967 was the home of the Butler family for over 600 years. (Some of Pip’s cousins are Butlers – their name, not their job – and they are probably descendants.) It has been well-preserved and we spent a couple of delightful hours exploring it. It is set in extensive and well-manicured grounds – I wouldn’t want to mow the lawns.


Sean, Michelle, Cushla and Megan Butler, your castle awaits

Kilk07The interior is quite stunning it must have been a great place to live.


Infidels on the Moorish staircase


The Picture Gallery (they had a lot of pictures)


Picture Gallery ceiling detail

Kilk04 Kilk05 Kilk06 I remember when very young being told off by my mother – my brother and I were “fighting like a couple of Kilkenny cats”. I kept a wary eye out in the town but found out that the cats in question were just memories from a long-distant past. The story is that two Kilkenny cats fought so  fiercely that when the fight was over, only their tails remained. It seems a peculiarly Irish story, kept alive with this limerick:

There once were two cats of Kilkenny
Each thought there was one cat too many
So they fought and they fit
And they scratched and they bit
Till (excepting their nails
And the tips of their tails)
Instead of two cats there weren’t any!

6 thoughts on “Kilkenny Castle

  1. MEL

    Another great set of magic carpet ride photos…especially the infidels having fun ! The castle looks amazing, and I can only wonder what the tatie farmers thought of it all… if they ever got near enough to see it ! The age old story of the rich get richer and the poor have kids. Talking of which… in the herald this morning the top bosses have got an approx 12 % pay rise. in 2015 while the poor old worker gets zilch. Fonterra’s boss is the highest paid with a salary of $4,940.000. Average pay for top execs $1,676,757.

    Anyway, back to earth… must be lovely having lots of visitors , and glad to see sunnies being worn at the castle. Spring must be springing! Also, pleased to have the limerick about the cats as I have heard the saying but not the origin.

    1. Bruce Post author

      Yes, spring has sprung! They are forecasting Summer here to start on about the 20th June and finish about the 22nd June…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *