The former St Mary’s Church has been converted into a modern museum, and is a venue for select events and exhibitions. Designed to enrich the cultural life of the city and provide a new international standard attraction for visitors the museum has several functions: as the starting point for understanding Kilkenny’s medieval history, to display Kilkenny’s Civic Treasures and replicas of some of Ossory High Crosses and to provide a space for temporary exhibitions and cultural events.
The 13th century St Mary’s church and graveyard is the finest example of a medieval church in Ireland. As the starting point of the ‘Medieval Mile’ trail, it brings to life Kilkenny’s history as Ireland’s premier medieval city. Displays of Kilkenny’s civic treasures and replicas of some of the High Crosses of Ossory illustrate the local Gaelic monastic heritage and the ancient city’s historic role in Ireland.
Kilkenny’s 800-year story is told with a contemporary twist within the new museum. The customer experience contains a long colourful interactive table similar to a giant iPad, an elongated plasma TV screen and projected imagery onto a giant wall allowing visitors to get immersed in the rich history with the aid of modern technology.
Visitors to the museum will soon come face to face with the physical remains of people who walked the streets of Kilkenny centuries ago, and will discover how forensic analysis has revealed many of their secrets in the brand new cutting-edge exhibition 3 Lives, 3 Deaths, One Life Unlived.
There are Guided and Self-Guided Tours available daily, and Medieval Mile Trail Walking Tours available Saturday – Tuesday. Self-Guided Tours come with a complimentary Audio-Guide.