Kilkenny Castle

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On a recent trip to Ireland we spent a day in Kilkenny to visit the castle next to the River Nore. We parked in a residential street around the corner and a short walk from the castle and Design Centre. Entrance to the castle was €18 for three seniors (4 euros each) and one adult (6 euros). We watched the introductory film then went on the self-guided tour of the castle which has been restored to depict its state in the Victorian time. The motto of the Butler family is ‘Comme le Trouve’ and can be found on the family crest above the castle gate. The Butlers owned the castle for most of its 800 years, from around 1391 to 1935. Unlike at Russborough House (see other review) we were not able to take photographs inside the castle but we did find another staff member singing while he worked. My favourite part of the castle was the Moorish staircase which has flora and fauna carved into the detail of the arches. The tea room at the castle was not open so we headed across the road for lunch at the old stables which is now the Design Centre. Fortified for some more exercise we struck out for a walk after lunch around the castle gardens. We found an unusual statue commemorating missing people: hands joined together in an open circle depicting the hands of relatives of those missing. It looked a bit disturbing but perhaps it is intended to be. Our walk ended in the rose garden behind the castle before we went for a walk down High Street and got caught in a bit of a shower – the only rain we got caught in on our trip. No matter, a Pandora shop was calling us to buy a lucky charm to remember our travels.

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