Venues in Kilkenny
Kilkenny is a county that boasts a rich architectural heritage. We are fortunate in Music in Kilkenny to have developed partnerships with several exceptional venues.
St Canice's Cathedral
St Canice’s Cathedral is one of Ireland’s finest mediaeval Cathedrals. The current building was completed in 1285, but ecclesiastical activity there dates back to the sixth century. Our largest venue, the Cathedral is no stranger to concerts, being a major venue for the annual Kilkenny Arts Festival. The cathedral boasts a fine Bevington organ from 1853, recently restored and augmented by Trevor Crowe. The cathedral anchors one end of Kilkenny’s Mediaeval Mile.
The Parade Tower
At the Mile’s other end sits Kilkenny Castle, on a promontory overlooking the river Nore. Founded by William Marshall in the 13th century, it became the primary seat of the powerful Butler family, Dukes and Marquesses of Ormonde, until 1967. The castle is now maintained by the OPW and is rightly one of Ireland’s premier tourist attractions. The Parade Tower is one of the original towers of the stone edifice, sitting at its southmost point, and now acts as a conference and concert venue being well suited for chamber music and small ensembles.
The Chapter House
St Mary’s Cathedral is a very fine Gothic revival building, opening for worship in 1857. Its tower forms one of Kilkenny’s most recognisable landmarks, being visible from most approaches to the city. Recently renovated, its Chapter House is now available for use as a venue for concerts.
Convent of Mercy
17 km southwest of Kilkenny city lies the town of Callan. The Convent of Mercy opened in 1881, following the invitation to Callan of the Sisters of Mercy by the Catholic bishop of Ossory. The convent’s chapel, a fine gothic revival building was completed in 1906.
The Concert Hall is located in Marshes St. It first opened its doors as a concert venue in 1910. It spent some time in the mid 20th century operating as a cinema, before falling into disuse for a time, but has recently been restored to its original purpose. It boasts a very fine acoustic for music.
The Heritage Council
St Canice’s Cathedral Close, represents one of Ireland’s best preserved Cathedral Closes. The Heritage Council building was originally the Bishop of Ossory’s Palace, the original building being founded by the (in)famous Bishop Ledrede in 1348, reusing stone from three churches fallen into disuse on account of the Black Death. The building passed into the care of the Heritage Council in 2006 and now serves as its headquarters. The venue is accessed by Church Lane which winds about the cathedral’s perimeter.