Cóilín Ó Drisceoil , National Monuments Service , will discuss the 2019 excavations at Kilkenny Castle and the uncovering of the missing wing.
The original gatehouse of Kilkenny Castle was situated on the park side of the castle courtyard and was built by William Marshal in the early 13th century to defend the main access to the inner ward. The structure stood until the late 18th century, at which time it was demolished, along with the rest of the east wing of the castle, to open out a view from the remaining castle over the parkland and beyond. Whilst the gatehouse appears on a small number of maps and illustrations, its precise location and physical form has been poorly understood. Excavations undertaken on behalf of the OPW in 2019 uncovered the twin towers of the gatehouse, along with part of a foregate and a short stretch of the northern (river) curtain wall. The line of the curtain wall was not what was expected and has major implications for our understanding of the overall layout of the Marshal castle. The excavation also produced an interesting corpus of artefacts, including musket balls that probably relate to the Cromwellian attack on the castle of March 1650, ceramics and a fine harp tuning-peg.
The event is free of charge. No booking necessary. Seats will be allocated on a first come first served basis. (Venue maximum capacity is 120 seats)