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.