THE owners of Jerpoint Park, and custodians of the newly discovered Norman town in its environs at Newtown, Thomastown, will attend next Monday’s County Council meeting.
Joe and Maeve O’Connell, along with Ian Doyle of the Heritage Council will make a presentation on the hugely significant discovery.
The presentation will highlight the historical importance of ‘Kilkenny’s Pompeii’ and how Thomastown is now host to yet another national treasure.
The tourism potential of the site is significant and the support of the local community to date has been exceptional.
The Abbot of Glenstal Abbey, Mark Patrick Hederman, is also a strong supporter of the cause of St Nicholas and had hoped to attend the council meeting but is unable to do so on this occasion.
Abbot Hederman, of the Benedictine Order at Glenstal, is very much an advocate of the works of St Nicholas and the famed abbey houses an underground chapel devoted to the Saint.
The O’Connell’s also plan a special open day on Tuesday, December 6 to mark the occasion of the feast of St Nicholas.
Last week’s Kilkenny People exclusively revealled what lay just beneath the surface at Newtown, which is where the site of St Nicholas’ Church is.
Over thirty dwellings, a toll bridge, mill houses and streets have all been uncovered using LIDAR technology deployed by armed forces seeking out underground bunkers.
Jerpoint Park has been opened as a tourist attraction for a year now by the O’Connells who reside at Belmore House just next to the church and historial site.
The site of Newtown dates back to the 13th centurey and for over 100 years it thrived as an urban Norman settlement just half the size of Kilkenny City at that time. The demise of the nearby Jerpoint Abbey in the 14th century sealed the fate of the inhabitants of the town who left the town almost 700 years ago. Over the years the landscape has remained remarkably untouched - leading to a visual and imaginative feast for all history enthusiasts and tourists alike.
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