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Located in the southeastern corner of Ireland, County Kilkenny is bordered by counties Tipperary, Waterford, Carlow, Wexford, and Laios. It is the 15th smallest county in the country, with the largest town within the borders being the namesake of the county, Kilkenny, which is reportedly most known for its medieval buildings and castles.[2][1] Other towns within the county include Ballyragget, Freshford, Castlecomer, and Inistioge. Dividing County Waterford from County Kilkenny is the River Suir, and the River Nore also runs through the area. Many of the animals that can be found within the geographical boundaries include hedgehogs, red foxes, and brown long-eared bats. [1]The reported best time to visit the area based on weather is from June through September. The hottest month of the year tends to be July, with an average high of 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Although rain falls throughout the year, the month with the most average rainfall is October, with 3 inches of rain annually in the month. [3] During their stay, tourists can visit various attractions within the area such as castles, burial mounds, and cathedrals. [5]

What Kilkenny is known for

County Kilkenny, located in southeastern Ireland, derives its name from the largest town within the area, Kilkenny. The name comes from Cill Chainnigh, which means Church of Canice in Irish. In the town of Kilkenny sits a church, St. Canice's Cathedral, which is generally understood to be where the name of the city originated. The population of the county, according to the 2016 census, is 99,232 people. Throughout the county are various sites of construction dating back to the Stone Age such as burial mounds found at Owning. Additionally, in various parts of the county are Anglo-Irish castles, Georgian urban buildings, and neo-Gothic cathedrals.[1]

In the namesake of the county, there are multiple attractions for tourists. One of the more popular attractions is Kilkenny Castle with its accompanying rose gardens and park. Originally built in the 13th century, the castle has gone through multiple renovations throughout the years and is now a “blend of architectural styles.” Another edifice to see for tourists, especially for those who enjoy architecture, is Saint Mary’s Cathedral. The neo-Gothic style building was designed by William Deane Butler and is 53 meters tall, being able to be seen from most places within the town of Kilkenny. Approximately 15 minutes outside of the town limits sits Dunmore Cave, a series of limestone caves that have developed over thousands of years. Within the caves is the Market Cross, which is a stalagmite that reaches over six meters into the air.[5]

Out of the 99,232 residents of the county, 38,722 report using, on some level, the Irish language. The county was one of the last reported in the province to continue to use the Irish language above English, along with County Louth. The main religious denomination of the area is known to be Catholic, however, there are sects of the Church of Ireland, Presbyterian, Methodist, and Jewish people living within the boundaries of the area.[1] Through the years, Kilkenny has adapted to the different demands and needs of its citizens by adapting the various types of industry and business found in the area.[6]


While County Kilkenny is located in the southeastern part of Ireland, the county does not border the ocean and instead is bordered by other counties, specifically Laios, Carlow, Tipperary, Waterford, and Wexford. Running through the county is the River Nore, while the River Suir borders the region. Like most of Ireland, the climate of Kilkenny tends to be mild, with many wooded areas and farmlands spread across the land. Grains and vegetables are grown on the land, and the raising of livestock such as sheep, cows, pigs, and poultry is also a common occurrence.[4]

The warm season for the county is from June through September, with an average high generally being above 63 degrees Fahrenheit. The hottest reported month in the area is July, with a daytime range of 53 degrees to 67 degrees Fahrenheit. The coolest month is generally January, as it also has the most days with rainfall annually. While rain can happen throughout the year, the wet season in the area tends to be from October through February, with greater than a 35% chance of rain almost every day.[3]

The flora and fauna that is present in County Kilkenny are similar to that which can be found throughout Ireland. Due to the southeastern location of the county, many species of birds can be seen in the area. Some of these birds include the European starling, mute swan, Eurasian blue tit, and the great cormorant. Hedgehogs, red foxes, and Sitka deer also live in the area, especially in the wooded areas that can be found in Kilkenny. Throughout Ireland are various types of plants and flowers that thrive in cooler climates such as the cornflower, red campion, and butterfly bush. [7]


The city of Kilkenny, the namesake of the county, was formerly the capital of the kingdom of Ossory.[2] In the 6th century, St. Canice Cathedral was errected. After the Norman invasion of Ireland, a castle was built near where present-day Kilkenny Castle stands, by the Lord of Leinster. The city was the sight of Ireland’s first recorded witch trial, taking place in 1324 by the Bishop of Ossory, Dame Alice de Kyteler and her maid. Her maid was burned at the stake and the Dame escaped and presumably fled the country.[8]

Present-day County Kilkenny produces various crops and livestock. The southwest part of the county is known for its production of apples, and the region as a whole farms' various types of vegetables and cereal grains. The wool trade is also a prominent part of the economy of Kilkenny, due in part to the livestock industry in the area. Livestock sold in the region consists mainly of dairying and beef production via cows, sheep, poultry, and pigs. Since the 13th century, ale and the brewing of barley have taken place in the county as well. Anciently, there were mining operations in the area, but presently those ventures have ceased.[4]