Kilkenny Castle, located in Kilkenny, Ireland is a landmark that is over eight hundred years old. Yet, it still stands today as a significant symbol of what was built in order to keep people out. It is quite a political change when we realize that long ago, the Pope in England allowed for the siege on a different country all in an attempt to control the religion of a separate nation.
Or is it all that different form the climate that we live in today? Aren’t many battles still being fought on the basis of what religion or churches that a specific society adheres to or believes in? In my opinion, I wouldn’t be surprised if methods like this were still being used in today’s society in an attempt to control what people do.
However, today we aren’t erecting castles to keep an army out of our backyards. This was why a fortress like Kilkenny was built. Back in the 12th century, Ireland was divided into multiple sections and each was ruled by a separate king. Once the King of Leinster fell from the Norman occupation, the race was on to prevent the English expansion in other areas of Ireland.
The castle site was ideal and located in a prominent area that would serve to defend Ireland quite well. Construction of the castle was completed just after the turn of the 1200’s. The original building was small and eventually expanded in later years.
For an interesting perspective on what occurred during the bombardment of Kilkenny Castle, as well as viewing other significant events of the castle’s history, please see this video below.
A very powerful family, the Butlers, took over the castle and ruled it for many centuries. This family had amassed a huge amount of influence over the surrounding areas in Ireland. Therefore, this residence became an ideal site for attack. The invaders believed that by attacking the castle and possibly taking over the site, that they would gain all of the power that the Butler family had earned. This would also accomplish their main goal which was to influence the devout direction of the Irish people.
Aspects of the castle were built primarily as a barracks for soldiers who were armed and ready to repel any hostile attacks. A moat was in effect as well as strategic places where a lone guard might wait to fend off intruders.
The Butler family turned out to be a blessing to this property. They were so faithful to their country and their people that the castle has held up through all these centuries. That family strength and fortitude is part of why the castle never fell into enemy hands.
After hundred of years, the castle began to fall into ill-repair where no one could even inhabit the interiors. The Butler family made a plea to offer the house up for restoration, which was thankfully completed in more recent years.
It seems the Butler’s wanted very much to keep this historical site treasured and valued. They did not have the heart ot watch it deteriorate after all that had been put into it over the many years.
For more information on Kilkenny Castle, such as visitor information and the like, please see this link here.