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History Of Kilkenny Borough Council

History Of Kilkenny Borough Council, Formerly Kilkenny Corporation

Kilkenny was constituted as a City by a Royal Charter of James 1 in 1609. The Sovereign and Council of Twelve have since been replaced by a Mayor, Alderman and Councillors.

The City has an area of 373.5 hectares (923 acres) and a population estimated at 8,500. The Borough and Environs has a population of 25,000 approx. The medieval character of the city has been maintained, particularly by the preservation of such historic buildings as Kilkenny Castle, St Canices Cathedral, Rothe House and Shee Alms House.

Kilkenny Charters

"Treasures of Kilkenny" by John Bradley and Tom Brett. This book on Kilkenny's Charters and historic artefacts was recently published with assistance from Kilkenny Civic Trust and Kilkenny Borough Council.


"In law a borough, Kilkenny's claim to be a city is based on a charter of 1609, which granted that status. However, Kilkenny's urban history is much older. The charter of 1609 was the culmination of four hundred years of other grants and privileges by which the townspeople gradually established their right to the rank of city. The record of that achievement is the series of charters and grants, which are still preserved in city hall.

With the sole exception of Dublin, Kilkenny possesses the oldest continuous set of civic records in Ireland. It is particularly fortunate in that it has preserved early records ranging from the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries. Indeed it is probably fair to say that these records are central to our understanding of what life was like in a medieval Irish town. On a broader scale the documents are an important reminder of the antiquity of urban life in Ireland and they indicate early links with urban developments in Britain and the continent. In this regard they act as a balance to the traditional picture of Irish life as a rural one and enable us to see that Irish history consists of many stories.

Far from being records of royal patronage or external domination, Kilkenny's civic documents are part of the story of the slow and interrupted development of democracy as the current political system of modern Europe."

Available from local Kilkenny Bookshops

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Kilkenny Borough Council, City Hall, High Street, Kilkenny.
Tel: +353 (0) 56 7794500 | Fax: +353 (0) 56 7794509 | Email: info@kilkennycity.ie
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