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Castlecomer

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County Kilkenny : Castlecomer
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Castlecomer[1] (Irish: Caisleán an Chomair)is the largest town in north County Kilkenny. It has a population of just over 1,500. Caslecomer is twinned with Penvenan, France

History[edit]

There was a wooden castle on the site of Castlecomer until about 1200. This was replaced by a stone building by Earl Marshall. In 1219, his manor was granted to Sibella, the great-granddaughter of the Norman leader Strongbow. The rest of the land was owned by the local Brennan chiefs.

The land belonged to the Brennan family until 1637, when it was given to the Earl of Strafford during the plantations. He gave it to Sir Christopher Wandesford, his cousin. He argued that the Brennans' didn't have a legal right to the land, but they didn't agree. So he had to build a new castle to protect his land. He decided to build a town near the castle. Caisleán an Chumair means The castle at the confluence of the rivers. It was Ireland's first town in stone and mortar

In 1798, there was a rebellion in Enniscorthy. The family lend military aid and helped stop the rebellion. But in the end, Castlecomer was also destroyed. Afterwards, it was rebuild with the help of Lady Ann Ormonde (nee Wandesford). She restored St. Mary's church and built many of the present day buildings.

The Wandesford family started a coal mine there, which was open for over 300 years, until the 1960's.

Get in[edit]

Castlecomer is about 16km north of Kilkenny city.

By Bus[edit]

  • Buggy's Coaches, +353 (0)(56)4441264, [2]. A Castlecomer company that runs a bus service to Kilkenny and Carlow  edit
  • Bus Eireann, [3]. The national bus company serve Castlecomer. Buses stop on the main Kilkenny-Athy road.  edit

Get around[edit]

Castlecomer is a small picturesque town built around a unique lime tree lined Georgian square. There is a humback bridge at one end. Everywhere is within walking distance.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Church of the Immaculate Conception. This Gothic style church is the parish church of Castlecomer. Mass is said daily. It was built between 1844-1852, during the Irish famine.  edit
  • St Marys Church, Dublin Rd., Castlecomer. There are records of a ancient church on this site as far back as 1374. The present church was built on the site at the same time as Castlecomer by Sir Christopher Wandesford. It was destroyed in the 1798 rebellion, and later rebuilt.  edit
  • Castlecomer Discovery Park, The Estate Yard, Castlecomer, +353 (0)(56)4441264, [4]. This park has 80 acres of forest, and 6km of walking trails. There's a visitors centre and museum too.  edit
  • The Footprints in Coal Experience. Learn about the history of coal, how it was formed millions of years ago, and how it was mined in Castlecomer for over 300 years. The tour lasts about 45 minutes.  edit
  • Woodlands. There are over 6km of woodlands to discover on the banks of the River Deen, which were once part of the old Wandesforde Estate. The paths are clearly marked and there are wooden sculptures along the way.  edit
  • Childrens' Playground. Open all year for under 14 year olds.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Fishing, Castlecomer Discovery Park, [5]. There are two rainbow trout angling lakes in the park. These date back to the time of the Wandesford family. Fly fishing and bait fishing are allowed. You can catch two fish at a time. €15 for 4 hours. Can rent rods on site.  edit
  • Play a Round of Golf, Dromgoole, Castlecomer, 056 4441139, [6]. Castlecomer Golf Club is an 18 hole course, just outside the town.  edit
  • Welly Race, [7]. Every year on New Years Day, people gather to race in Wellies for charity. People also wear fancy dress and there is a parade.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Brennan's (Cloneys), Dublin Road, Castlecomer, 056-4442400.  edit
  • Buggy's Bar, The Square, Castlecomer, 056-4441303.  edit
  • The Coalmine Inn, The Square, Castlecomer, 056-4441455.  edit
  • Deenside Inn, 9 Kilkenny Street, Castlecomer, 056-4441625.  edit
  • Dillon's Pub, 66 Barrack Street, Castlecomer, 056-4441483.  edit
  • Gilbourne's Pub, 2 Kilkenny Street, Castlecomer, 056-4441308.  edit
  • James J Bollard's, Barrack Street, Castlecomer, 056-4441265.  edit
  • Johnny Barry, 89 Kilkenny Street, Castlecomer (89 Kilkenny Street, Castlecomer), 056-4441173.  edit
  • Milridge Inns Ltd., The Square, Castlecomer, 056-4441331.  edit
  • The Vaults Bar & Lounge, 89 Kilkenny Street, Castlecomer, 056-4440965.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Avonlon House Hotel, The Square, Castlecomer, 056 4441302 or 056 4441961 (), [8].  edit
  • Byrnesgrove Farmhouse B&B, Byrnesgrove, Ballyragget (4km from Castlecomer on R694 (Ballyragget Rd.)), 056-8833043, [9]. Double €35.  edit
  • Damerstown Farmhouse B&B, Damerstown, Castlecomer (Outside Castlecomer on the Kilkenny Road.), 056-4441337 (), [10]. A 200 year old Georgian house and gardens on a farm.  edit
  • Wandesforde House, Dublin Road, Castlecomer (4km from Castlecomer towards Athy), 056 4442441. A B&B just outside the town €40.  edit

Contact[edit]

Castlecomer is a very safe town. Emergency services can be reached by dialing 999 or 112.

  • Castlecomer Garda Station, Kilkenny Road, Castlecomer, 056 4441222.  edit
  • Castlecomer District Hospital, 056 4441246.  edit

Get out[edit]

  • Kilkenny - The capital of County Kilkenny is only 16km away. It's famous for it medieval history.
  • Dunmore Caves, Dunmore, Co. Kilkenny (6km from Castlecomer, off the N78), 056 7767726 (, fax: 056 7767262), [11]. 9:30-17:00 (15:00 Nov-Feb, 18:00 Mid Jun-Mid Sept). The show cave is incredibly well developed and is a wonder to walk around. €2.90 Adult, €1.30 Child  edit



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