Nationally known today for sport, Gowran has a hurling Gaelic field and a large horse racing course. Gowran was, for a time, the seat of Kings of Ossory. In 12th century the townland came into the hands of the Norman knight Fitzwalter, the ancestor of the Butlers, Earls of Ormond.
The origins of Kilkenny City go back much earlier than the prosperous commercial city established by powerful Anglo-Normans families in the thirteenth century. The site of Kilkenny castle, one of the most impressive in Europe, with the protecting moat of the Nore river at its steep base, is reminiscent of the great river Bastion of the Rhine. Its defensive advantage has been exploited from the earliest time. Beside the castle there is a park where children can have lots of fun!
Freshford was the site of a very early Christian church founded by Saint Lachtain in 622 and which was later replaced by a monastic church in 1100. The church of Ireland Parish church now incorporates the very fine and unusual Romanesque porch and doorway of this later church decorated with friezes and a figured panel.
Dunmore caves are located in a limestone outcrop on the Castlecomer plateau, seven miles from Kilkenny City.
St. Canice's Cathedral, founded by Hugh de Rous late in the twelfth century, replaced the early monastic settlement here of St. Canice, of which only the Round Tower remains.
Mooncoin has beautiful scenery. It has great views of the river Suir. There is a well-known song "The Rose of Mooncoin". It has great sports such as hurling, soccer, gaelic, camogie and badminton.
Thomastown is situated in beautiful countryside at the head of the Nore Valley. Thomastown was once a walled town but now there are only remains left of the monuments.
The tower and doorway of the Carmelite Priory, founded by the Earl of Ormonde in 1356, are incorporated into Knocktopher House. Matthew Fitzgriffin, of Leinster, built a castle at Knocktopher about 1200 and it later became one of the principal seats of the Butler family.
The important monastic site of Killamery was where St. Gabhan Fionn founded a monastery in the sixth century. Not much remains, but a particularly fine eighth century high cross was found and an early gravestone and a holy well. The cross of Killamery is one of a celebrated series of Irish figured crosses.
Piltown became nationally famous in recent years for Kildalton Agricultural College. A 1744 mansion by Francis Bindon, it was the seat of the Earls of Bessborough. The Garda Barracks was built by Lord Bessborough.
Impressive Grannagh Castle, two miles from Waterford City, was originally built by the le Poers but was granted to the Earls of Ormonde in 1375. Many spectacular battles took place at this castle.
A village sited in the valley formed by the little Blackwater river, Clonhassey waterfall nearby. Three miles from the village is Tory Hill, where excellent views of South Kilkenny and Waterford may be had. Leac an Scail, (Flagstone of the Warriors) a magnificent Portal Dolmen is at Kilmogue, five miles away.
Slieverue, on the main Waterford to New Ross road, houses the ruins of Kilmurray Castle built by the Fitzgeralds. The Catholic Parish Church is a fine Gothic revival building.
One mile from Slieverue village, in Nicholastown, are the pillarstones known locally as "The Three Friars". In the nearby townland of Attateemore, the great Irish scholar John O'Donovan (1806 - 1866) was born. A fine memorial plaque commemorates his memory at Slieverue.
One of the most
pictureesque villages on the
Lowry Magher's Home
Lowry Magher was a famous Kilkenny hurler. His home is now a Museum of GAA memorabilia.
Ignatius Rice: Home
of Founder of the Christian Brothers: