The former St Mary’s Church has been converted into a modern museum and will also be a venue for select events and exhibitions. Designed to enrich the cultural life of the city and provide a new international standard attraction for visitors the museum has several functions: as the starting point for understanding Kilkenny’s medieval history, to display Kilkenny’s Civic Treasures and replicas of some of Ossory High Crosses and to provide a space for temporary exhibitions and cultural events.
The 13th century St Mary’s church and graveyard is the finest example of a medieval church in Ireland. As the starting point of the ‘Medieval Mile’ trail, it brings to life Kilkenny’s history as Ireland’s premier medieval city. Displays of Kilkenny’s civic treasures and replicas of some of the High Crosses of Ossory illustrate the local Gaelic monastic heritage and the ancient city’s historic role in Ireland.
Kilkenny’s 800-year story is told with a contemporary twist within the new museum. The customer experience contains a long colourful interactive table similar to a giant iPad, an elongated plasma TV screen and projected imagery onto a giant wall allowing visitors to get immersed in the rich history with the aid of modern technology.
Kilkenny Civic Trust is a registered charity set up by Kilkenny County Council in 1989 to acquire the premises in Kilkenny of the former Kilkenny Design Workshops. Since 1989 the Trust has been managing the property which consists of Butler House and Gardens, and the adjacent properties at the Castle Yard, which is home to the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland, Kilkenny Design Centre, and a number of small craft manufacturers.
In late 2016 Kilkenny Civic Trust appointed a new management team to implement a new strategic ambition: to achieve better use of the existing Trust assets, through careful management policies, and identifying new commercial opportunities, to increase visitors and footfall to Butler House and the Castle Yard, to play a strategic role in the development of Heritage Tourism in Kilkenny, to collaborate with the key tourism industry stakeholders (O.P.W., Failte Ireland, Local Authorities, and Tour Operators) to achieve increased economic activity and to oversee the management of the new Medieval Mile Museum, at St. Mary’s Church, off High Street, Kilkenny.
November to March
11am – 4.30pm
April to October
10am – 6pm
Welcome to the Medieval Mile Museum. This magnificent restoration of a 13th century parish church has given us the opportunity to tell the stories of Ireland’s Medieval capitol and the families that built it.
In 2001 I came to this city to work as an archaeologist and I have been enthralled by it ever since. Now, as Curator/Manager of the Medieval Mile Museum I am excited to welcome you to share in the tales we have to tell. The building itself, and the treasures it holds, allows our visitors understand those who came before us and created the magical city of Kilkenny.
– Grace Fegan