Kilkenny. This is the castle, 13cent & later This view from across the River Nore shows two of the original corner towers and to the rear the section housing the Great Hall which was rebuilt in the Nineteenth Century. The site is open to visitors and well worth a visit. The original Anglo-Norman stone castle was built for William Marshal, 4th Earl of Pembroke (c.1146-1219) during the first decade of the thirteenth century. It later became later became the principal Irish residence of the Butler family for almost 600 years. Their ownership began when James (c.1360-1405), 3rd Earl of Ormond, purchased the castle in c.1391, and lasted until 1967 when Arthur, 6th Marquess of Ormonde (1893-1971), presented it to the people of Kilkenny in return for a token payment of £50. The buildings have been in the care of the Office of Public Works since 1969.