Kilkenny County Council planning to demolish Medieval house integral to St. Canice’s Cathedral.

27th September 2013
Press Release

The good news of the discovery of the remains of the Medieval house is ruined by the fact that Kilkenny County Council are planning to demolish it.

This Medieval Manse house is clearly an integral part of the St. Canice’s Cathedral complex. It ticks all of the legal boxes to qualify as a National Monument due to its historical, archaeological, architectural and cultural nature. An Taisce calls on the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to declare it as such without delay.

Unfortunately, the Manse house is in the way of the Central Access Scheme, which was designed by the County Council to do just that: to facilitate access for traffic into the heart of the Medieval city of Kilkenny.

Dr. Mark Clinton, Monuments & Antiquities, An Taisce the National Trust for Ireland stated “Is it not a little perverse that in order to introduce more cars and tourists into Medieval Kilkenny the Council are planning to demolish part of the very fabric of the Medieval city that these tourists are coming to see in the first place?”

The people of Kilkenny are clearly not impressed. Last Saturday (the 21st of Sept.) over 1,000 citizens (statistic-‘Kilkenny Reporter’) marched through the city in protest against the Central Access Scheme. Indeed the scheme makes no sense culturally, environmentally or economically. It should now be shelved. There’s an urgently needed ring road to be completed. It needs financing. Surely public money needs to be spent wisely.

ENDS

For further information, please call:

Cóilín O Driscéoil, Kilkenny Archaeology, +353 86 8392148

Charles Stanley-Smith, Communications, An Taisce +353 87 2411995

Email: publicaffairs@antaisce.org

An Taisce The National Trust for Ireland

www.antaisce.ie

Images

  • Map showing Manse

  • Medieval shouldered chimneys from the Vicar Street building and from Kilkenny's much vaunted Rothe House

Background

  • Kilkenny got its name from the church-site of St. Canice (Cill Chainnigh).

  • The outline of the Early Medieval enclosure around the original 7th century church can be seen in the street pattern around the Cathedral hill (just like in Armagh).

  • The Cathedral was built in the mid to late 13th century. The adjacent Round Tower is a little earlier (early 12th century).

  • A number of ancillary buildings would have been built around the Cathedral to house the clergy and other church officials.

  • Manse houses were built to house the clergy from out-lying parishes who served as members of the Canons of the Cathedral. These buildings were thus integral parts of the Cathedral complex.

  • One of these Medieval manse houses was the residence of the cleric from the parish of Tascoffin.

  • In spite of statements from Kilkenny County Council that the buildings on Vicar Street were of ‘no heritage value’ the remains of this house have just been discovered.

  • The north gable of the mid 16th-mid 17th century building, 5m in height, was hidden in the fabric of a later building on Vicar Street.

  • The shouldered chimney flue is identical to that of Rothe House – one of Kilkenny’s prime tourist attractions.

  • There is now a very reasonable expectation that substantial remains of the lower elements of the entire building will be uncovered. Thus a fine new tourist attraction would be created along Kilkenny’s ‘Medieval Mile’ (which extends from the castle to the cathedral).