Dig a Little Deeper and look beyond to discover hidden gems
Visitors to Kilkenny’s medieval city will be captivated by its majestic castle, fairytale turrets and medieval archways as well as the unique character of its many cobbled streets and winding pathways. But dig a little deeper to discover mystical stories hidden amongst its city walls and a region brimming with historical twists and turns. Uncover the real Kilkenny and delve into a whole new side of the city you never knew, from historical treasures to ancient sites, experiences to entertain and delight the whole family.
Medieval Mile Museum
From Viking invaders and Norman knights, to high kings, high crosses and monks, journey through the fascinating 800 year history of Ireland’s Ancient East with a visit to the former 13th century St Mary’s Church, which has been carefully restored and converted into the Medieval Mile Museum. Set in the heart of the city, a guided tour tells the stories of Kilkenny’s powerful patrols and provides a thorough history of the church, the Castle, and Ireland’s Ancient East, with architecture, artefacts and interactive displays which play homage to a rich, turbulent past.
Kids will love the interactive display, child friendly audio guides in English, Spanish, German, Italian and French; a treasure hunt map and a chance to grab a spooky selfie in a monk’s stone coffin!
One of the largest and most impressive medieval monuments in Ireland with its striking feature of medieval tower houses, is located in the small village of Kells, far from the hustle and bustle of Kilkenny city. Walk in the footsteps of your ancestors and visualise the monastic precinct in its hay day, before enjoying a packed picnic, a short walking loop along the river to the old water mill, and all the serenity the King’s River brings. Stop by the gorgeously quaint ‘Jen’s Cafe’ for tasty lunch and relax to the soothing sound of the mill wheel turning.
MacDonagh Junction Famine Experience
Having only launched in late 2017, The Famine Experience is new to Kilkenny and will open your eyes to the blight of the Kilkenny famine inmates of the 1840’s. Described as the most significant discovery in the world, relating to the Irish famine, the free, self-guided audio visual tour recalls the heartbreaking and poignant human famine story set amidst the buildings of the former famine Workhouse.
This self guided tour will open your to eyes to a bygone era of suffering and poverty, and don’t forget to leave your thumbprint.
Learn about the ground-breaking research carried out as the result of the unexpected discovery of over 970 human remains in 2005, described as the most significant discovery in the world relating to the Irish Famine. These remains, the Kilkenny Famine Victims offered groundbreaking osteo-archaeological insights into the influencing factors that made some survive and more perish in 1840’s Ireland. View the beautiful bronze sculpture commissioned in 2017 to honor their memory. Reconnect to them as individuals; realising that each had names, complex feelings, relationships, hopes and fears facing Ireland’s darkest period in history.
Costellos Brewery Experience
There’s no better reward after a day strolling through Ireland’s mystical past, from ancient castles and rugged stone monuments, than a brewery tour and a tasty brew inspired by the local environment. Costello’s, the new wave of Kilkenny brewers are on a mission to ensure Kilkenny’s rich brewing heritage flourishes.