Standing dramatically on a strategic height commanding a crossing over the River Nore, and dominating the “High Town” of Kilkenny, Kilkenny Castle boasts a history dating back over eight centuries. Originally an Anglo-Norman castle built for William Marchal (c.1146-1219), fourth Earl of Pembroke, Kilkenny Castle later became the Irish residence of the Butler family for almost six hundred years. Many additions and alterations were made over the centuries making Kilkenny Castle today a complex structure of various architectural styles. Highlights of the castle include the Entrance Hall with its eighteenth-century marble table; the Dining Room redecorated in the 1860s with hand blocked wallpaper; the Withdrawing Room hung with hand painted Chinese wallpaper; the grand staircase designed by R. Furniss and Son; the Drawing Room and Library decorated in gold and garnet red; and the Picture Gallery Wing decorated in a quasi-medieval style by John Hungerford Pollen (1820-1902).
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