Conquest and Foundation

11th and 12th centuries St. Canice's Round Tower. Cill Chainnigh the centre of power in Kingdom of Osraighe. The original monastic settlement founded by St. Canice was in Aghaboe in present Laois. An early settlement predated that at Seir-Kieran in County Offaly.

1111 Old church of St. Canice adopted as Cathedral of diocese of Ossory

1169 Robert FitzStephen and Meiler FitzHenry land at Bannow Bay to help Diarmaid Mac Murchadha recover the kingdom of Leinster. After capturing Wexford, they make their first raid into Osraighe. This Celtic Kingdom consisted of most of Kilkenny and parts of Laois and Offaly. The Normans rapidly conquer most low-lying areas of Kilkenny driving the native McGillaPaticks into North Kilkenny and Laois. Their name was later anglicised to the Norman sounding Fitzpatrick.

1172 Strongbow builds a wooden motte and bailey castle at Kilkenny. The Normans typically built these castles consisting on earthen ramparts and timber walls in the early stages of conquest. There role was both to hold and defend new territories and also intimidate the locals. Castles of this typre appeared all over eastern Ireland in the wake of the initial Norman conquest. They were often replaced as in Kilkenny by more permanent stone structures later.

1189 William Marshall marries Strongbow's daughter Isabel and becomes Lord of Leinster

1205 (approximately) St. Mary's Church founded.

1207 William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke, gives Kilkenny its first charter as a town.

1211 St. John's Priory built by William Marshall

1225 Black Abbey founded by William Marshall the younger

1231 St. Francis Abbey founded by Richard Marshall

1231 Kilkenny elects its first Sovereign (the equivalent of Mayor)

Quote : Memorandum that on the Friday immediately following the feast of St. Michael the Archangel A.D. 1231 it was ordained and established by assent of the community of Kilkenny that at every feast of St. Michael the Archangel the said community should be assembled to elect their sovereign and the twelve who are best and can govern and counsel their sovereign to the profit of the said community...


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