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Castlecomer (Irish: Caisleán an Chomair)is the largest town in north County Kilkenny. It has a population of just over 1,500. Caslecomer is twinned with Penvenan, France.


There was a wooden castle on the site of Castlecomer until about 1200. This was replaced by a stone building by Earl Marshall. In 1219, his manor was granted to Sibella, the great-granddaughter of the Norman leader Strongbow. The rest of the land was owned by the local Brennan chiefs.

The land belonged to the Brennan family until 1637, when it was given to the Earl of Strafford during the plantations. He gave it to Sir Christopher Wandesford, his cousin. He argued that the Brennans' didn't have a legal right to the land, but they didn't agree. So he had to build a new castle to protect his land. He decided to build a town near the castle. Caisleán an Chumair means The castle at the confluence of the rivers. It was Ireland's first town in stone and mortar

In 1798, there was a rebellion in Enniscorthy. The family lend military aid and helped stop the rebellion. But in the end, Castlecomer was also destroyed. Afterwards, it was rebuilt with the help of Lady Ann Ormonde (nee Wandesford). She restored St. Mary's church and built many of the present day buildings.

The Wandesford family started a coal mine there, which was open for over 300 years, until the 1960s.

Get in[edit]

Castlecomer is about 16km north of Kilkenny city.

By bus[edit]

Get around[edit]

Castlecomer is a small picturesque town built around a unique lime tree lined Georgian square. There is a humpback bridge at one end. Everywhere is within walking distance.


  • Church of the Immaculate Conception. This Gothic style church is the parish church of Castlecomer. Mass is said daily. It was built between 1844-1852, during the Irish famine.
  • St Marys Church, Dublin Rd. There are records of an ancient church on this site as far back as 1374. The present church was built on the site at the same time as Castlecomer by Sir Christopher Wandesford. It was destroyed in the 1798 rebellion, and later rebuilt.
  • Castlecomer Discovery Park, The Estate Yard, Castlecomer, +353 56 776-5008. This park has 80 acres of forest, and 6km of walking trails. There's a visitors centre and museum too.
  • The Footprints in Coal Experience. Learn about the history of coal, how it was formed millions of years ago, and how it was mined in Castlecomer for over 300 years. The tour lasts about 45 minutes.
  • Woodlands. There are over 6km of woodlands to discover on the banks of the River Deen, which were once part of the old Wandesforde Estate. The paths are clearly marked and there are wooden sculptures along the way.
  • Childrens' Playground. Open all year for under 14 year olds.


  • Play a Round of Golf, Dromgoole, +353 56 444-1139. Castlecomer Golf Club is an 18 hole course, just outside the town.
  • Welly Race. Every year on New Years Day, people gather to race in Wellies for charity. People also wear fancy dress and there is a parade.






Castlecomer is a very safe town. Emergency services can be reached by dialing 999 or 112.

Go next[edit]

  • Kilkenny - The capital of County Kilkenny is only 16km away. It's famous for it medieval history.
  • Dunmore Caves, Dunmore (6km from Castlecomer, off the N78), +353 56 776-7726, fax: +353 56 776-7262, . 09:30-17:00 (15:00 Nov-Feb, 18:00 Mid Jun-Mid Sept). The show cave is incredibly well developed and is a wonder to walk around. €2.90 Adult, €1.30 Child

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