County Kilkenny has a rich archaeological heritage; this wealth is reflected in the approximately 3,400 recorded monuments in Kilkenny; including earthworks (e.g ringforts), megalithic sites, fulachta fiadh, early Christian ecclesiastical sites, churches, graveyards, medieval buildings, castles, industrial archaeology, historic landscapes and underwater sites.
The Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht have produced a list of National Monuments in State Care in County Kilkenny. To learn more about the archaeological sites see www.archaeology.ie , view the Record of Monuments and Places (RMP) for County Kilkenny in the Council’s Planning Department or click on the following links to view the County Kilkenny RMP manual or County Kilkenny RMP Maps: Sheet 1-16, Sheet 17-33, and Sheet 34-47 . (Please note that many of these sites are on private lands and may not be accessible, without permission from the landowner). See the Visit Kilkenny website to see some of the archaeological sites in Kilkenny which are open to the public.
A database of some of the published excavation reports for Co. Kilkenny from 1970 to 2010 is available to view at www.excavations.ie.
Data on underwater archaeological sites (marine, coastal and inland waterways), are available from the Underwater Archaeology Unit, in the National Monuments Service and the Ports and Harbours Archive.
A number of County Kilkenny’s significant heritage sites have Conservation Plans to guide their management and conservation.
For additional information on protected archaeology in Kilkenny City please refer to the following publications, which are available to view at the Planning Department of Kilkenny County Council:
- The Urban Archaeological Survey County Kilkenny – Volume I, Office of Public Works
- The Urban Archaeological Survey County Kilkenny – Volume II, Office of Public Works
For details of the following publication please see the Royal Irish Academy website:
- Irish Historic Towns Atlas Kilkenny – Royal Irish Academy by John Bradley
The Kilkenny Archaeological Project
Kilkenny City has one of the richest and most important archaeological records for any Irish urban centre. The Kilkenny INSTAR Project has collated the data from over 200 archaeological excavations in Kilkenny City from 1968-2006; see The Kilkenny Archaeology Project (KKAP) Report for the Irish National Strategic Archaeological Research Programme.
The NRA (now Transport Infrastructure Ireland) has published brochures about the archaeological discoveries made on national road schemes throughout the country; click on the links below for brochures relating to M8/ N8 and N9/N10 roads.
- M8/ N8 Cullahill-Cashel Road Scheme, Counties Tipperary and Kilkenny
- N9/ N10 Kilcullen to Waterford Scheme: Waterford to Knocktopher, County Kilkenny
- Cois tSiúire—Nine Thousand Years of Human Activity in the Lower Suir Valley presents the results from over 60 archaeological NRA excavations on the route of the N25 Waterford City Bypass, and is available through bookshops or directly from Wordwell Books.
- Kilkenny – Highlights of a Medieval City and Kells Priory – a Defended Monastery in County Kilkenny are available for purchase from Archaeology Ireland.
- Kilkenny Irish Historic Towns Atlas No. 10 – booklet is available by directly contacting History Ireland; the full publication may be purchased from the Royal Irish Academy.
The Local Studies Section of Kilkenny County Library Service is also a source of information about archaeology specifically related to Kilkenny City and County.