Blog

Discover the lesser known stories of the Castle
The Month of January and Kilkenny Castle.

The Month of January and Kilkenny Castle.

  Located in the Main Hall of Kilkenny Castle today, there are a pair of beautifully decorated bronze urns originally designed for a garden. The pair are very fine copies of two bronze urns designed in the Louis XIV style by Claude Ballin for Versailles. The...

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Mary Shelley, Richard Rothwell and James Butler

Mary Shelley, Richard Rothwell and James Butler

  As you enter the Main Hall of Kilkenny Castle today one of the most striking portraits on display on the right hand side is of James Butler (1774 -1838) 1st Marquess (3rd creation), 19th Earl of Ormonde and Chief Butler of Ireland. In the portrait, the Marquess...

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Vita Sancti Kannechi (The Life of St. Canice).

Vita Sancti Kannechi (The Life of St. Canice).

John Butler (1808 – 1854), 20th Earl and 2nd Marquess of Ormonde was born in Dublin and like other members of his family he was educated at Harrow and then Christchurch Oxford. Like his father James Butler (1774 -1838) he was elected a Whig M.P. for Kilkenny (1833...

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The Theatre and the Dukes of Ormonde

The Theatre and the Dukes of Ormonde

The Theatre and the Dukes of Ormonde Throughout his long and eventful life James Butler (1610 -1688), First Duke of Ormond showed a keen interest in the theatre. At a young age while in London, his biographer Thomas Carte (1686 – 1754) recalled that his family were in...

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Bullets on the Battlements, the 1922 attack on Kilkenny Castle

Bullets on the Battlements, the 1922 attack on Kilkenny Castle

Bullets on the Battlements, the 1922 attack on Kilkenny Castle Kilkenny Castle has a rich and varied history and one of the most dramatic events occurred relatively recently when possession of the castle was contested by Irish troops who were split by their support or...

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The Early Courtship of James Butler and Elizabeth Preston.

The Early Courtship of James Butler and Elizabeth Preston.

The Early Courtship of James Butler and Elizabeth Preston. “Anonymous Account of the Early Fife and Marriage of James Butler First Duke of Ormond” “The Journal of the Kilkenny and South East of Ireland Archaeological Society, New Series, Vol. 4 No.2 (1863) and from...

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The Tale of Two Butlers

The Tale of Two Butlers

Charles Dickens (1812 -1870). Charles Dickens was an extremely enthusiastic self-publicist and travelled widely to promote his novels, short stories and non-fiction works. He was to venture to American twice; his first visit was in 1842 and became the basis for his...

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The Ossory Werewolves

The Ossory Werewolves

The Ossory Werewolves Accounts of the fabled werewolves of Ossory are recorded in Medieval Irish, English and Norse sources. The legends most likely originated from the fact that warriors in ancient Ireland are often referred to as having wolf like characteristics...

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The Ormonde Coat of Arms

The Ormonde Coat of Arms

Quarterly, first, Or, a chief indented azure; second Gules, three covered cups or; third, Argent, a lion rampant gules, on a chief of the last swan close of the first between two annulets or: fourth Ermine, a saltire gules. Above is the full heraldic description of...

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The Loss of the Southside of the Castle

The Loss of the Southside of the Castle

Over the centuries Kilkenny Castle has gone through major redevelopments and periods of dereliction and rebuilding. What we have today is a modern rebuild of the Castle taking it back to the late 19th early 20th century when it was a comfortable family home. Despite...

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A Forgotten Valentine’s Tradition

A Forgotten Valentine’s Tradition

Like many events in our recent history this Valentines will be very different, there will be no romantic weekends away or candlelit dinners in restaurants. One aspect of the Valentines tradition that is perfectly suited to social distancing however is the sending of...

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Christmas Cards and the Ormonde Family

Christmas Cards and the Ormonde Family

This popular form of seasonal greeting is comparatively recent in origin. W.C.T Dobson, RA, is usually regarded as having sent the first Christmas Cards in 1844. Sir Henry Cole and J.C. Horsley produced the very first commercial Christmas Card in 1846, although it was...

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Lady Margaret FitzGerald and Butler Folklore

Lady Margaret FitzGerald and Butler Folklore

The Butler dynasty by the early part of the 14th Century were to emerge as the pre-eminent family in Ireland, even surpassing the FitzGerald and Burke families later in the century. Part of this success can be attributed to their loyalty to the English crown. This...

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Folklore and Fairies and the Question of National Identity

Folklore and Fairies and the Question of National Identity

Folklore and Fairies and the Question of National Identity. Due to its complexity folklore does not have a single definition. One definition, includes Folklore, as a historical and cultural process producing and transmitting beliefs, stories, customs, and practices.  ...

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