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A highlight for each class every year is the walking tour of Kilkenny with Paddy Tynan of Tynan Walking Tours. The tour aims to show a different aspect of the history of the city each year. This year sixth class decided to focus on the main historical sites in the city. Accordingly on Monday the 22nd of January, 2001 the class anxiously awaited the arrival of Paddy to begin our walking tour. What follows is a photographic record and some brief history notes compiled by the children.

The Black Abbey

The Black Abbey

The Black Abbey was built in 1225. It was founded by
William Marshall. In 1543 it was suppressed by Henry VIII. It was made into a courthouse when Cromwell came to Ireland in 1650. In 1866 it was reopened as a church. It is the only Dominican abbey in Ireland. The Abbey gets its name from the fact that the priests wear black over white robes. It is also known as the Abbey of the Holy Trinity.


St. Canice's Cathedral

St Canice's Cathedral, at the north side of the city, is built on the site of an earlier church founded by St. Canice. The tower was built in the 11th century. It is 99m high and was used as a belfry and a refuge in times of danger. The cathedral was begun by Hugh de Ross, continued by his successors, and competed in 1285. When Cromwell came to Kilkenny he used St. Canice's as a stable for his horses.


St. Francis Abbey

The abbey was founded by Richard Marshall, Earl of Pembroke in1234. The Black Death or plague, which spread through Ireland in 1348, was recorded by John Glynn who was a friar in St. Francis Abbey. A year later he died from the plague but he hadn't finished his account. In 1650 Cromwell demolished the abbey into ruins.

Smithwicks opened a brewery there in 1710 and it's one of the oldest brewerys in Ireland. It is now owned by Guinness. Guided tours are available each day during the summer.

The Court House (Grace's Old Castle)

In1566 James Grace handed it over to the people of Kilkenny for use as a jail. The jail was used until 1920. In 1762 it became a courthouse. For stealing bread you could be sentenced to3-4 years in jail. At least 4 people were in a cell.At least 100 prisoners were in there at any time. In 1830 some rebuilding took place including the facade, balcony and the stone staircase.


Rothe House

Rothe House is made up of three houses.The first house was built in 1594.The second house was built in 1604. The third house was built in 1610.The Rothes arrived in Ireland in about 1350 and gradually becane very powerful.

Rothe House is the only Tudor style house left in Ireland. It was the first house restored in Kilkenny. The third house is a ruin. The first two houses have been set up as a library and information centre.

Kytler's Inn

Dame Alice Kytler was born in Kilkenny in1280. Her father had a money lending business. When he died, Alice took over the business. Alice married four times and was accused of poisoning her husbands. She was accused of witchcraft by the Bishop of Ossory. Alice, her son William and Petronella, a servant were put on trial. Alice escaped to England, Petronella was burned and William was pardoned when he promised to re-roof part of St. Canices Cathedral. We know nothing of Alice after that.

Shee Alms House

Shee Alms House was first owned by the church.
The Shee family originally came from Kerry.
Richard Shee was a lawyer. He bought the house and he used it to care for twelve homeless people. The Shee family kept the poor people in care and shelter for 150 years.

In 1752 the house was sold. The house was restored in 1978. It is a priceless Tudor style building. It is situated in Rose Inn Street. The house is now a tourist office.

The Town Hall - Tholsel

The Tholsel was a house of taxes. It was built by the Colle family in 1761. The architect is unknown. The total cost of the building was £1,315. It was restored in 1949 for £49,000. In the municipal archives there is a fine collection of records, minute books and charters including the Great Charter of 1609 which elevated Kilkenny to the status of a city, and the Liber Primus. The first book of records dates back to 1230 A.D. The sword (1609) and the mace (1677) are very impressive.

Kilkenny Castle

Earl Marshall started to build the castle in 1192. In 1391 the Butler family moved into the castle. They left in 1935. The castle had 55 acres of land. It was sold to the public for the small sum of £50. It was taken into state custody in the year 1965. £5 million has been spent on the castle and now it has beautiful gardens and a childrens playground. The Butlers are buried in the castle with their dog Sandy. Kilkenny Castle is a great tourist attraction.

An rang agus Paddy Tynan ag balla an chaisleáin agus iad tar-éis an-taitneamh a bhaint as an turas. Ar ais ar scoil, bhí comórtas ealaine ag na páisti agus seo a leanas cuid de na h-irrachtaí. Beidh an rang ag tabhairt faoi thuras amháin eile roimh deireadh na bliana agus tá siad ag súil go mór le sin.

Drawing of St. Canice's Cathedral
Drawing of St. Franics Abbey
Drawing of the Black Abbey
Drawing of Rothe House
Drawing of St. Canice's Cathedral
Drawing of Kilkenny Castle


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