St Canice's Cathedral and Round Tower


1h 30min
St Canice’s Cathedral in the Irishtown area of Kilkenny is an impressive structure that dates back to 1285. Explore the cathedral and climb to the top of the magnificent 30 metre high round tower. St Canice’s Cathedral is a hidden gem on Kilkenny’s Medieval Mile. Kilkenny is even named after this magnificent Cathedral, which has been a site of Christian worship since the 6th century and was known as the last stronghold of the druids before that. Each stone of this 12th century gothic cathedral tells a story. With characters from knights to shoemakers memorialised in the largest collection of burial monuments in Ireland. Look into the faces of Countesses and witch hunters with St Canice’s breath taking effigies. Or see St Kieran’s chair, the bishop of Ossory’s throne since the 5th Century. Bask in the serenity of Ireland’s second largest Cathedral. Be illuminated by the magnificent stained-glass windows from artist’s like Harry Clarke. View legendary sculptor Oisín Kelly’s beautiful brass work which seals the 12th century baptismal font. Be part of St Canice’s 800 year old history.

Current opening times

Monday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM


  • Sightseeing
  • Heritage Sites
  • Solo Visitors
  • Mobile Ticket Accepted
  • Guided Tours
  • Paid Visit
  • Paper Ticket Accepted
  • Families
  • Friends
Access to the Cathedral & Round Tower. 
One of the only two round towers in the country that people may climb, the round tower at St Canice’s Cathedral provides a magnificent view of Kilkenny and the surrounding area on a clear day. The structure is 30m (100ft) high, tapering from 4.5 to 3.3m (15 to 11ft) in diameter. When the tower was originally built it would have had a conical top, adding a further 5m (18ft) to its height. The present day lack of this conical top allows for access to a safe viewing platform at the tower’s summit, which may be reached via a series of internal ladders comprising seven floors and 121 steps in total. Each year, many local archaeologists, architects and town planners – as well as thousands of visitors – climb the round tower not only to climb up through a unique heritage, but to view a beautiful city and stunning landscape.

Contact details

  • The Close
  • Coach Road
  • Kilkenny
  • Ireland