Welcome to
County Kilkenny.


County Kilkenny from Samuel Lewis' Topographical Directory of Ireland 1837

Kilkenny is sometimes referred to as the the county of "The Three Sisters," referring to the rivers Barrow, Nore, and Suir, which flow toward Waterford Harbour. Much of the centre and north of Kilkenny is drained by the Nore, which then joins the Barrow. The Suir forms the southern boundary. The county is situated in the province of Leinster Kilkenny City is the only large town in the county.

It is the main centre of services and manufacturing. The lowest parts of Kilkenny lie on limestone. They are mainly in the centre of the county and along its southern and northwestern edges..

The Castlecomer plateau in the northeast rises above the surrounding countryside and consists of sandstone and shale. Kilkenny is bounded by Laois to the north, Carlow and Wexford to the east, Waterford to the south, and Tipperary to the west. Kilkenny measures 70 kilometers from north to south, and 40 kilometers from east to west, and has a total land area of 2,062 sq. km (796 sq. miles)

Agriculture was once the major industry, farms average about 30 hectares (74 Acres) which is more than in any other Irish county. Beef and Dairy farming are the two main types of farming, arable crops such as Barley, potatoes, sugar beet, and wheat are grown on most of the county with the exception of the Castlecomer plateau, which is more suited to pastoral farming particularly sheep. Some of the upland areas are given over to forestry.

Read about farming in County Kilkenny in 1837

One fifth of Kilkenny's population is employed in manufacturing, much of of which is located in and around Kilkenny City. Food processing is a major employer, brewing and light engineering are also significant employers. The processing of dairy products is the principal food industry, with the largest plant at Ballyragget. Approximately 70 per cent of the population live in rural areas. About half of the working population of County Kilkenny are employed in the service industries. Of which retail and wholesale distribution are the main categories, other services include catering, education, health, public administration, and transport. Kilkenny was once known for polished dark limestone known as black marble, which was quarried in the County.

Five members of parliament represent Kilkenny and Carlow together in Dail Eireann. The county council City is responsible for local government administration. The city also has a borough corporation. Two national primary roads (N9 and N10) and a railway cross the County from north to south. They link Dublin and Waterford. There is a major port in the south near Waterford.

Many famous people are connected with Kilkenny. They include the great Irish military leader of the 1640's Owen Roe O'Neill. The writers George Berkeley was born in the county, and George Farquhar and Jonathan Swift both of whom were educated there

Shee Alms House
Rose Inn Street
Co Kilkenny
Tel +353 (0)56 775 1500
Fax +353 (0)56 7763955
E Mail
Web Site

Kilkenny once formed much of the Gaelic kingdom of Ossory, one of its kings, Donal MacGillapatrick, founded the Cistercian abbey of Jerpoint near Thomastown in the 1100's
In 1366 the Statutes of Kilkenny, were passed these were an unsuccessful attempt to prevent the integration of the Anglo-Normans and the Irish. In 1642, the city was the seat of the Confederation of Kilkenny, an alliance of old Irish and Anglo-Irish Catholic families.

Read about Co Kilkenny up to 1837


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with a list of places to see,
and Tourist office contact details.
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Google Map of County Kilkenny.