The castle, originally built by Strongbow, and rebuilt by William Le Mareschal, occupies a commanding situation on an eminence overlooking the river Nore: it was enclosed with a wall 40 feet high, and defended by bastions, curtains, and towers of great strength, with a keep on the summit; and contained, in addition to accommodation for a large garrison, a splendid suite of apartments, the baronial residence of the Earls of Ormonde. It was for the greater part rebuilt by the second Duke of Ormonde, but not completed, and occupies at present two sides of a quadrangle, containing three of the round towers of the ancient castle: several of the rooms are hung with tapestry from the manufacture introduced by the Ormonde family, and it contains a fine collection of paintings, among which are numerous portraits of the time of Charles II. It is now being partly rebuilt on a splendid scale by the present Marquess, after a design by Mr. Robertson, of Kilkenny, and when completed will occupy three sides of a quadrangle, preserving the ancient towers, with the character of which the additional buildings will carefully harmonise. It commands extensive and interesting views, and will be one of the most magnificent baronial residences in the country.

The other seats in the immediate vicinity of the city are Kilcreen, formerly the seat of Sir W. de Montmorency, Bart., and now the residence of Clayton Bayly, Esq.; Castle Blunden (formerly Clonmoran), of Sir J. Blunden, Bart., Bonnetstown, of P. Collis, Esq.; Rose Hill, of W. Robertson, Esq.; Orchardton, of the Dowager Countess of Carrick; Danville, of Christopher James, Esq.; Kilfeara, of H. Ryan, Esq.; The Cottage, of J. Green, Esq.; Sion, of M. Warren, Esq.; Hebron, of Major Jones; River View, of R. Collis, Esq.; and Johnswell, of A. P. Thomas, Esq.

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