The city, which occupies an area of nearly a square mile, is intersected from north to south by the river Nore, dividing it into two very unequal portions, of which the larger, containing the castle, is on its western bank; and near the northern extremity, on the same side of the river, is that portion of it called Irishtown, containing the cathedral, and separated from the former by the small river Breagh, which here falls into the Nore. The streets are very irregular, but the city has an air of venerable magnificence, from its castle, cathedral, and the numerous and imposing remains of its ancient religious edifices, and is seen to great advantage from the high eastern bank of the river, and from the rising ground on the road to Clonmel.

The houses in the principal streets are generally built of stone, and many of them are spacious and handsome, especially in that part of it properly called Kilkenny, in which the chief modern improvements have taken place; the total number of houses, in 1831, was 2800, since which time the number has increased. There are two elegant stone bridges over the Nore, erected after designs by Mr. G. Smith, to replace two which were destroyed in 1763 by a great flood; St. John's bridge consists of three arches, and Green's bridge connects Irishtown with the opposite bank. The environs are in many parts extremely pleasing, and there is a fine promenade called the Mall, extending nearly a mile along the bank of a canal commenced many years since, but never completed, and also along the banks of the Nore and the base of the castle, beautifully planted with ornamental trees of fine growth.

At a short distance from the city are infantry barracks for 15 officers and 558 non-commissioned officers and privates, a neat range of buildings of modern erection; there is also a temporary barrack for one squadron of horse. The library, established in 1811 by a proprietary, and supported by subscription, contains more than 4000 volumes, and has a newsroom attached to it; it is open to strangers introduced by a subscriber. The Mechanics' Friend Society, established in 1835, for diffusing information among the working classes, and supported by subscription, has a library of 700 volumes, and a room in which lectures on the arts and sciences are gratuitously delivered. The Horticultural Society holds two meetings in the year; and races are held in September on a course at a short distance from the town, and are generally well attended. The Kilkenny Hunt has been long established, and is considered as the most celebrated in Ireland. The savings' bank, established in 1816, under the patronage of the Earl of Ormonde, had, in 1835, deposits to the amount of £23,784, and 801 depositors.

Kilkenny, City of | Kilkenny History | Kilkenny Topography | Kilkenny Manufactures | Kilkenny Charter | See of Ossory | Kilkenny Parishes | Kilkenny Schools | Kilkenny Hospitals | Kilkenny Residences | Kilkenny Churches | Kilkenny, County of

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