Fantastic Heritage Week at Kilkenny Castle - talks, presentations and tours

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As the city’s premier historic building and tourist attraction, Kilkenny Castle has a bumper Heritage Week lineup, with more than a dozen free events, presentations and promotions.

Kilkenny Castle has more than a dozen events for Heritage Week

With self-guided tours of the Castle Park Trail available all week, and free admission to the Castle itself all day on Sunday, August 26, locals and visitors alike can become familiar with the unique environment behind the walls, both outdoors and indoors.

Artists will have a special opportunity to sketch from portraits in the Picture Gallery each day until Friday, August 24 from 3pm to 5pm.

A fascinating session in the Parade Tower on Sunday at 2.45 pm is entitled ‘Secret Tricks of Master Painters’ — and all you need to learn and draw is your smart phone.

There are seven free formal presentations during the week, with titles as varied as ‘Elizabeth Bowen and the Big House,’’Petticoat Politics’, a study of the role of women in the development of the Castle and the management of its estates by Aoife Brennan (Tapestry Room, Thursday 4pm) and ‘From Parliament Street to Pennsylvania Avenue’, a look at the influence of Kilkenny and some of its early emigrants in the establishment of Washington and the new US Republic, by Denis Bergin (Parade Tower 3pm).

The Butler connection with the Castle is highlighted in Peter Kenny’s talk on ‘The Tale of Hubert Walter’, a profile of the often neglected 12th Century Archbishop of Canterbury and his legacy within the Butler family history (today, August 22, Tapestry Room).

On Sunday there is a formidable line up of scholarly talent in two lunchtime sessions in the Parade Tower: at noon, the art historian Jane Fenlon will speak on ‘The Ormondes in their 17th Century environment’ and this will be followed at 1pm by the conservator Siobhan Conyngham on the restoration of the Castle’s portrait of Lady Elizabeth Butler, who in her 25 years became a noted beauty, a society figure as Countess of Chesterfield and an ancestor of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.

For queries and further information on this sparkling schedule of events, the contact number for the Office of Public Works collections and information staff at the Castle is 056-7704105.

For the full programme of Heritage Week events taking place around the county in the days ahead, see

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