A motte Castle was built here by Strongbow in Norman times (around 1171) not long after the Normans arrived in Ireland. This was destroyed by the Irish around 1174.
By the time the Normans were firmly in control at the turn of the 12th century the Castle was being rebuilt by William Marshal (circa 1207-1212). The Castle was built as a courtyard Castle with a trapezoid plan. The corners were marked with large round towers (three of which still survive - one is pictured above on the right).
In the 1400s the powerful Butler family, Earls of Ormonde, came into possession of Kilkenny Castle and during the ensuing centuries they altered the structure of the Castle greatly turning it gradually into the mansion we are left with today.
The Castle is open to the public during the summer months.
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