Our walking tour brought us from there to the statue of St. Canice (from where Kilkenny- Cill Chainnigh... Church of Canice... gets its name). We could see that the limestone statue looked like black marble in the places where people rubbed it. It was very interesting to learn that the nickname of Kilkenny 'Marble City' is not marble at all... but polished limestone! The walk continued a little further down the street to the Old Courthouse which was owed by the Grace family. It was here that small crimes such as stealing a cabbage for your starving family could land you in the jail below the courthouse or being sentenced to Australia. A jail sentence of more than three months was a life sentence, as conditions were so poor that most prisoners died from diseases there. Across the road was the home of friends of the Graces, John Rothe. This house is preserved exactly as it was in the 15th century, and where our 6th class take their local history tour each year.
The last of the walking tour took us to the exterior of St. Mary's Cathedral and The Black Abbey. It was fascinating to learn of the history behind these ecclesiastical buildings. While the tour with our guide Ronan ended here, we continued on to St. Canice's Cathedral. We were brought around by the guide and as our photos below show, we saw a model of Norman Kilkenny City, complete with city walls. We visited the nave, transcepts and chancel. We observed the tombs of many wealthy people and the religious icons. We learnt of the devastation caused by Oliver Cromwell to the Cathedral.
We completed a worksheet on St. Canice's Cathedral and walked around the grounds of the Cathedral. From here we had lunch and returned to Kieran Street to begin our filming of 'The Lady in the Window' FÍS film. We had a great day on our local history trip and learnt of the rich history of Kilkenny which has survived and thrived in modern times.