Kilkenny Castle

The Parade, Kilkenny, Co. Kilkenny

Built from 1213, for William Marshall (d.1219), 1st Earl of Pembroke, to control the fording-point of the River Nore. Three of the four original stone towers he built still survive, incorporated into the main castle. It became best associated with the Butler family, Dukes of Ormonde, who purchased it from the Crown in 1391. They added to it over the centuries but by the 18th century it had become run down.... 
In the first half of the 19th century, the Butlers attempted to restore it to its original medieval appearance, also rebuilding the north wing and extending the south wall. Further extensions were made in 1854. The Butlers sold the contents in 1935 for a paltry £6,000 before moving to London and proceeding generations spent little time here. In 1967, Arthur Butler, 6th Marquess of Ormonde (grandson of Anson Stager, of Chicago, co-founder of Western Union), sold it for a token £50 to the Castle Restoration Committee. In America, Howard Gould's wife wished to build an enlarged replica on Long Island but because of her inability to agree to a design, Hempstead House was built instead.

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Contributed by Mark Meredith on 16/04/2019 and last updated on 03/04/2022.


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