County Kilkenny

The self catering holiday homes and cottages that we offer in Kilkenny take full advantage of its unique scenic beauty.

County Kilkenny is bounded by Counties Laoighis (north), Carlow and Wexford (east), Waterford (south), and Tipperary (west). The principal rivers are the Barrow, Suir, and Nore. The climate is mild. The county is well wooded; there are several state forests, and reforestation has been under way for many years.

Among the many prehistoric sites in Kilkenny are Iron Age forts, ancient stones incised with the cryptic ogham script, incised Celtic crosses, and megalithic tombs and underground chambers. At Harristown in the south is one of the largest dolmens (megalithic tombs) in Ireland. The name Kilkenny means “Church [or Cell] of St. Canice,” who founded his church on the site of the present cathedral in Kilkenny city in the 6th century.

Kilkenny became one of the counties of Leinster in 1210, but it had been a place of importance for centuries before. Some of the numerous castles in the county were built by the Irish and some by the Anglo-Normans. There are five round towers, one adjacent to St. Canice’s Cathedral. Thomastown, founded in the 13th century, has many historic remains, and at Jerpoint Abbey (founded 1158) are some of the finest Cistercian ruins in Ireland. There are remains of Augustinian priories at Inistioge, Callan, and Kells. Area 800 square miles (2,073 square km).

County Kilkenny is made up of undulating limestone plains, bordered by gently sloping hills. In the north lie the attractive uplands of the Castlecomer district. The Slieveardagh Hills and Booley Hills extend westwards to County Tipperary. The scenery is spectacular, especially in the valleys of the Rivers Nore and Barrow.

Kilkenny is an excellent sporting county with good opportunities for hunting, angling, shooting and golf. It is also famous for its hurling teams - the ancient Irish game is practised like an art form here.