City of Kilkenny, County Kilkenny, Ireland

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JJ Meehan
jjmeehan13@hotmail.com
WEB Site
The Meehan Family

Please let me know if you would like to help me blog about Ireland or have information on any of my ancestors or family.  You can contact me at
jjmeehan13@hotmail.com

Kilkenny is the home of my wife’s ancestors – Aides.  It is also located just to the west of County Carlow where my Doyle and Lynch Ancestors emigrated.  The Doyles came from Borris, County Carlow.

Kilkenny, inland county, southeastern Ireland, in Leinster Province, bordered by Laois on the north, by Carlow and Wexford on the east, by Waterford on the south, and by Tipperary on the west. The terrain is mainly flat with a few isolated hills. The chief river is the Nore; the Barrow and Suir rivers flow along the eastern and the southern boundaries.

The information on Kilkenny came from the Wikipedia at Wikipedia – Kilkenny or Kilkenny Kilkenny (from Irish: Cill Chainnigh meaning “Cell or church of Cainnech/Canice”) is described as a city and is the traditional county town of County Kilkenny in Ireland. It is situated on both banks of the meandering River Nore, at the centre of County Kilkenny in the province of Leinster in the south-east of Ireland. Kilkenny is described as Kilkenny City or the City of Kilkenny but is administered as a borough, with a twelve-person Borough Council and a Mayor. The borough has a population of 8,661, however the majority of the population live outside the borough boundary, the 2006 Irish Census gives the total population of the Borough & Environs as 22,179.

Kilkenny Castle, the signature symbol of the Mediaeval city

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Kilkenny is a popular tourist destination in Ireland. In 2009 the City of Kilkenny celebrated its 400th year since the granting of city status in 1609. Kilkenny’s heritage is evident in the city and environs including the historic buildings such as Kilkenny Castle, St. Canice’s Cathedral and round tower, Rothe House, Shee Alms House, Black Abbey, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Kilkenny Town Hall, St. Francis Abbey, Grace’s Castle, and St. John’s Priory. Kilkenny is regarded for its culture with craft and design workshops, the Watergate Theatre, public gardens and museums. Annual events include Kilkenny Arts Week, the Cat Laughs comedy festival and music at the Rhythm and Roots festival and the Source concert. It is a popular base to explore the surrounding towns, villages and countryside.

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Kilkenny began with an early sixth century ecclesiastical foundation. Following Norman invasion of Ireland, Kilkenny Castle and a series of walls were built to protect the burghers. William Marshall, Lord of Leinster, gave Kilkenny a charter as a town in 1207. By the late thirteenth century Kilkenny was under Norman-Irish control. The Statutes of Kilkenny passed at Kilkenny in 1367, aimed to curb the decline of the Hiberno-Norman Lordship of Ireland. In 1609 King James I of England granted Kilkenny a Royal Charter giving it the status of a city. Following the Rebellion of 1641, the Irish Catholic Confederation, also known as the “Confederation of Kilkenny”, and was based in Kilkenny and lasted until the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland in 1649. Kilkenny was a Norman merchant town in the Middle Ages. Kilkenny was a famous brewing centre from the late seventeenth century. In the late twentieth century Kilkenny is a tourist and creative centre.

The Heritage Council offices are located at Church Lane. The seat of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Ossory is at St. Mary’s Cathedral and the Church of Ireland Bishop of Cashel and Ossory is at St. Canice’s Cathedral. Nearby larger cities include Waterford 45 km (28 miles) south-southeast, Limerick 93 km (58 miles) west and Dublin 101 km (63 miles) northeast.

St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Cathedral

St. Mary’s is the Roman Catholic Cathedral for the Diocese of Ossory. It is situated on James’s Street, Kilkenny, County Kilkenny, Ireland. Kilkenny also has a second cathedral, Saint Canice’s which is Church of Ireland.

St. Mary's Cathedral - Kilkenny

Saint Mary’s was designed by William Deane Butler (c.1794-1857). He was chosen by Bishop William Kinsella (1793-1845) who instigated the building of St. Mary’s in February 1842. Work began in April 1843 and finished in 1857, it is worth noting that this included the period of the Irish famine. On Sunday the 4th October 1857, St. Mary’s had its grand opening, which consisted of a two and three quarter hour ceremony that began at 6.15am. The cost of the building is estimated to have been £25,000.

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St. Mary’s is made from cut-limestone which was sourced locally. The cathedral has a cruciform plan and its style is described as ‘Early English Gothic’. The design is believed to have been based on Gloucester Cathedral in Gloucester, England. It is situated on the highest point in Kilkenny City and is a significant local landmark.

St. Canice’s Cathedral (Church of Ireland)

St Canice’s Cathedral (also known as Kilkenny Cathedral), is a cathedral of the Church of Ireland in Kilkenny city, Ireland. It is in the ecclesiastical province of Dublin.  The present building dates from the 13th century and is the second longest cathedral in Ireland. Beside the cathedral stands a 100 ft 9th century round tower. St. Canice’s tower an excellent example of a well-preserved early Christian (9th century) Round Tower. It is dedicated to St Canice.

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The cathedral stands on an ancient site which has been used for Christian worship since the 6th century. In the 1120s the see of Ossory was moved from Aghaboe to Kilkenny. Following the English Reformation, a new body was established by decree of the Irish Parliament to became the State Church in the Kingdom of Ireland. The Church of Ireland, as it was named, assumed possession of most Church property (and so retained a great repository of religious architecture and other items, though some were later destroyed). The substantial majority of the population remained faithful to the Latin liturgy of Roman Catholicism, despite the political and economic advantages of membership in the state church. Since St Canice’s Cathedral was taken over in this way, Roman Catholic adherants were consequently obliged to worship elsewhere. St Mary’s, was later built for the Roman Catholic diocese.

The cathedral contains some 16th century monuments. The architectural style of the cathedral is Early Gothic and it is built of limestone. It is richly endowed with many stained glass windows including the East window which is a replica of the original 13th century window. The cathedral contains some of the finest 16th century monuments in Ireland.

History

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The history of Kilkenny (from Irish: Cill Chainnigh meaning “Cell or church of Cainnech/Canice”) began with an early sixth century ecclesiastical foundation, this relates to a church built in honour of St. Canice, now St. Canice’s Cathedral and was a major monastic centre from at least the eighth century. The Annals of the Four Masters recorded the first reference Cill Chainnigh in 1085. Prehistoric activity has been recorded suggesting intermitten settlemant activity in the area in the Mesolithic and Bronze Age. Information on the history of Kilkenny can be found from newspapers, photographs, letters, drawings, manuscripts and archaeology. Kilkenny is documented in manuscripts from the 13th century onwards and one of the most important of these is Liber Primus Kilkenniensis.

The Kings of Ossary had residence around Cill Chainnigh. The seat of diocese of Kingdom of Osraige was moved from Aghaboe to Cill Chainnigh. Following Norman invasion of Ireland, Richard Strongbow, as Lord of Lenister, established a castle near modern day Kilkenny Castle. William Marshall began the development of the town of Kilkenny and a series of walls to protect the burghers. By the late thirteenth century Kilkenny was under Norman-Irish control. The original ecclesiastical centre at St. Canice’s Cathedral became known as Irishtown and the Anglo-Norman borough inside the wall came to be known as Hightown.

Hiberno-Norman Kilkenny presence in Kilkenny was deeply shaken by the Black Death, which arrived in Kilkenny in 1348. The Statutes of Kilkenny passed at Kilkenny in 1367, aimed to curb the decline of the Hiberno-Norman Lordship of Ireland. In 1609 King James I of England granted Kilkenny a Royal Charter giving it the status of a city. Following the Rebellion of 1641, the Irish Catholic Confederation, also known as the “Confederation of Kilkenny”, and was based in Kilkenny and lasted until the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland in 1649. James II of England spent most of the winter months from November 1689 until January 1690 at Kilkenny, residing in the castle

The Kilkenny Design Workshops were opened in 1965 and in 1967 the Marquess of Ormonde presented Kilkenny Castle to the people of Kilkenny. Today, the city has a lively cultural scene, with annual events including the Kilkenny Arts Week Festival in the last two weeks of August, and the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival at the beginning of June. The City has been referred to as the Marble City. People from Kilkenny are often referred to as Cats. The seat of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Ossory is at St. Mary’s Cathedral and the Church of Ireland Bishop of Cashel and Ossory is at St. Canice’s Cathedral.

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You can see all of our blogs on our WEB Site for IRELAND at http://themeehanfamily.com/blogs/ireland.htm.

If you are interested in helping me with blogs on Ireland please contact me at jjmeehan13@hotmail.com.

The following is an Irish Blessing:

IRISH BLESSING

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