Medieval Mile Museum to open - and already the plaudits are flowing in for the Kilkenny museum

St Mary's heritage project highlighted in leading magazine

Brian Keyes

Reporter:

Brian Keyes

Medieval Mile Museum  to open - and already the plaudits are flowing in for the Kilkenny museum

The Kilkenny Room

Kilkenny’s Medieval Mile Museum is to open to the public on Tuesday, February 28 and already the plaudits are flying for the stunning new addition to Ireland's Medieval capital.

The former St Mary’s Church  just off High Street at St Mary’s Lane, Kilkenny has been converted into a modern museum and will also be a venue for select events and exhibitions.

The new museum features on the front page of Construction Magazine, with an accompanying five page article inside. Kilkenny County Council,  as client for this project  committed substantial funding to see it through to successful completion - at a cost of €6.5m.

Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council Cllr Matt Doran proudly acknowledges “the clear vision and significant capital investment of Kilkenny County Council, as well as the generous funding from Fáilte Ireland and Kilkenny Civic Trust Ltd.” The main contractors  are Duggan Brothers.

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.

Highlights of the visit include the ornate Rothe Chapel with exposed tombs belonging to the medieval merchant Rothe family and the Kilkenny Room with its unique collection of ancient papers and civic records dating back to the 1200s. The Kilkenny Room also houses the pure silver Civic Sword and Mace, dating back to 1609 and the historically significant “Liber primus Kilkenniensis,” from 1231 which stands as one of the most important records of medieval town life 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.

Cllr. Matt Doran Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council said "We are extremely proud of the calibre of the restoration project that provides visitors with a starting point for understanding Kilkenny’s rich medieval history". Cllr. Patrick O Neill Mayor of the Municipal District of Kilkenny City said "This international standard cultural centre will inspire visitors to explore other attractions along Ireland’s Medieval Mile in Kilkenny and to visit other sites of significance across our city and county." Ciaran Conroy CEO of Kilkenny Civic Trust stated "We are delighted to be afforded the opportunity to operate and manage this wonderful visitor attraction. It is an honour for Kilkenny Civic Trust to play its part in telling Kilkenny’s rich medieval story to the world."

The Medieval Mile Museum will open seven days a week April - October (10am - 6pm) and six days a week November - March (11am - 4.30pm)