Back in 1195, due to the need to control the fording-point at the river Nore in Ireland, a castle was built.
The name that was given to this castle was Kilkenny Castle, and its construction was completed after 18 years. It stood as a symbol of the Norman occupation and played a very important part in the defense of the town.
This castle had four massive circular towers and huge ditch surrounding it, some parts of the ditch can still be seen today. It was in 1967 that the people of Kilkenny got their castle back for just $61.
It was the 2nd Earl of Pembroke, bearing the nickname of Strongbow, that first constructed the castle according to the archaeological finds from wood. This type of the castle is known as motte-and-bailey.
It was after 20 years that the first stone castle at the site was built by William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke. The 3rd Earl of Ormonde, James Butler, was the person that in 1391 bought the castle and pronounced himself as the ruler of the area.
In the following centuries, the Butler dynasty was the one that governed the surrounding areas. In 1454, Lady Margaret Butler was born – the daughter of Tomas Butler the 7th Earl of Ormond .
She married Sir William Boleyn, and was the paternal grandmother of Anne Boleyn, who was the second wife of the famous king Henry VIII of England. Another interesting fact is that, in 1650, the northeast tower and the east wall were damaged by Oliver Cromwell during his siege of the castle.
The Butlers of Ormonde were a very powerful family, and lived in the castle until 1935. In 1967, the last member of the Butler family, Arthur Butler, sold the castle to the Castle Restoration Committee for only $61.
The Butler family came to own the castle by means of force. The owner Sir Gilbert De Bohun inherited the castle from his mother in 1270.
He held this castle by 1381, when his heir was in line to inherit it, but it was the crown that seized it and sold it the Butler family. In the 18th century, the castle’s condition was in decline, just like the fortune of the Butler family, but the castle saw some restoration right after Anne Wandesford married John Butler.
Later in the 19th century, the family wanted to bring the castle back to his original medieval glory, so they extended the south curtain wall and rebuilt the north wing. But the wealth soon started to drain and Arthur Butler the 6th Marquess and the 24th Earl of Ormonde had no other choice but to sell.
A party to celebrate the sale of the castle was attended by guests such as the famous co-founder of the Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger, and the English singer, songwriter, and actress, Marianne Faithfull.