St Canice’s Cathedral

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Name St Canice’s Cathedral County Kilkenny Nearest Town Kilkenny Access Road N9 More Virtual Tours Click for more About Another one of the magnificent sites of Kilkenny City is St.
Canices Cathedral, also known as Kilkenny Cathedral.


It is dedicated to St Canice and is the Church of Ireland cathedral church of Kilkenny and the seat of the Anglican Bishop of Cashel and Ossary.

The present building dates from the 13th century and is the second longest cathedral in Ireland.

The cathedral stands on an ancient site which has been used for Christian worship since the 6th century.

At the time of the Reformation, the church in Ireland was reconstituted into an Anglican church, and thereafter Kilkenny had both Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic bishops.

As a result, a second cathedral, St.
Marys, was later built by the Roman Catholics.


Kilkenny was the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Ossary, and St Canice’s Cathedral stands on a site which has seen Christian worship since the 6th century.

The name of Kilkenny itself retains the anglicised version of the Irish Cill Chainnigh, which translates as “Church of Cainneach”, or Canice.

The earliest church on the site is presumed to have been made of wood, later to be replaced by a stone church.

A few yards from the present south transept stands an imposing 9th century round tower, thirty five metres high.

It may once have been both a watchtower and a refuge, and the summit gives a good view of Kilkenny and the countryside around.

The hill on which the cathedral stands is believed to be the centre of the first major settlement at Kilkenny, and the round tower suggests an early ecclesiastical foundation.

Much less is known about the early secular structures, but the area around the cathedral, called Irishtown, is the oldest part of the present city.

The cathedral is open from 9am to 8pm each day and is most certainly worth a visit for the stunning architecture and wonderful untouched medieval features including some fabulous stained glass windows.

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