Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

Butler House, Kilkenny

Butler House 1
Butler House , County Kilkenny
Irish landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

There can be few better places to visit on an early June weekend than the gardens at the Butler House in the Centre of KIlkenny city, the Roses are in Bloom and the pond in the middle of the garden offers a cool and relaxing place to visit.

I just love taking in a book or just walking around and taking time to view all the flowers and hidden wooded areas.

The history of Butler house is described below and flowed by some of the many images I have taken here.

The History of Butler House

Butler House is the Dower House of Kilkenny Castle and has always been associated with the Butler Family, Dukes & Earls of Ormonde who resided at Kilkenny Castle for 500 years.

18th Century

The house was home to Lady Eleanor Butler who lived here after the death of her husband Walter in 1783. Lady Eleanor Butler was the mother of John, the 17th Earl of Ormonde and her daughter, also Eleanor, was one of the famous “ladies of Langollen”.

19th Century

James, Earl of Ormonde resided in the house while the Castle was under reconstruction in 1831.

A soup kitchen was run from here during the cholera epidemic of 1832.

The Royal historical and Archaeological Association of Ireland held their meetings in Butler House in 1870.

20th Century

Kilkenny Design, the state design agency, restored Butler House in 1972.

The decor and furnishings reflect a certain 1970s Art Deco style, which because of the muted colours and natural fabrics used, proved sympathetic to the original features of the house. In 1989, the Kilkenny Civic Trust acquired both Butler House and the Castle Stables. The house was then opened to the public as a guesthouse and conference centre.

In 2000, The Kilkenny Civic Trust had the gardens at Butler House landscaped, in order to return them to their original splendour. The gardens have since become an attraction for the many visitors to Kilkenny.

Butler house Gallery

Butler House 3

Butler House 2

Butler House 8

Butler House 7

Butler House 6

Butler House 5

16 responses

  1. I could live there πŸ™‚ So beautiful!

    June 2, 2014 at 2:21 pm

  2. I like those façades covered with plants; beautiful.

    June 2, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    • Hello Harrie πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      Its Virginia creeper, I will get some images in the Autumn as It goes a deep red πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      June 2, 2014 at 4:37 pm

  3. Lovely photos and most interesting post, Thanks!

    June 2, 2014 at 3:29 pm

  4. Wish I’d known this when I visited Kilkenny. Will certainly pay a visit when I next come.

    June 2, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    • Hello Simon πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      Great , very pleased to share this place , I guess Holidays are always a little like this , you find a place after you get home.

      I plan to start to post a lot about the county and city over the summer so maybe this will help even more for your next visit πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      June 3, 2014 at 11:05 am

  5. Verdant beauty!

    June 3, 2014 at 12:16 am

    • Hello Anne πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      Thank you , very pleased you enjoyed πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      June 3, 2014 at 11:02 am

  6. M-R

    I like indeed your photos, Nigel; but I can’t say the same for the whole overlordship aspect of this post. The English gentry … how it proliferated in its various colonies and fiefdoms.

    June 3, 2014 at 12:55 am

    • Thank you Margaret πŸ™‚

      Well and while you will not get any disagreement from me on your general point !

      I don’t feel my post has anything directly to do with this area, These places are no longer in the hands of such people and you will no longer find them walking around these spaces.

      The Butler house was restored in the 1970’s by Irish people living in the Irish republic in the same way that Kilkenny castle itself was.

      I both admire and love the space created here and very much enjoy the current work and care that goes into keeping and creating it today.

      Your point is a very difficult one to handle as it is in the UK itself , Many of the UK’s big houses and estates are no longer owned by the original families and are in the hands of the British state in the form of the National trust.

      It is also easy to forget that the UK had its own civil war back in the 1600’s resulting in it becoming a republic with the loss of many tens of thousands of lives. Many such locations as this were burnt to the ground and the king himself executed.

      Along with this the Butler Family themselves would have considered themselves Anglo Irish and as such Irish land owners trading with the UK for much of there existence, it is families like this who in the end helped enable the Irish state to be created.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butler_dynasty actually shows that the Butler family were originally 12th century French Norman in origin, They held Titles from The UK but were French. Ireland has been invaded by may nations the Normans and Vikings and even Spanish being just some.

      The past has many more colors than we think !!!

      Anyway and however , I don’t feel my post directly related to any of this , I was reflecting upon A space that has been created and worked on in modern times and that I feel is wonderful to visit and a blessing to modern Ireland and Kilkenny.

      I hope that’s not to strong an answer but I could not just say Yes !!!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      However , I am very happy you gave me a chance to say what I have …….

      June 3, 2014 at 3:36 am

      • M-R

        And I take it all on board without problem. I was over-influenced by the origins, and now allowing for their having long been lost in history !
        πŸ™‚

        June 3, 2014 at 3:49 am

    • πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      June 3, 2014 at 3:52 am

  7. What a wonderful place, Nigel. How fortunate to have this, and other historical properties, maintained and cared for so that we can learn and benefit from not only their beauty, but their interesting and rich history.

    Just fascinating!!

    πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    June 4, 2014 at 7:32 pm

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