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The Butler Trail Tour Route 3

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The Butler Trail Tour explores Butler family roots. As far back as 1185AD, in fact – the year Theobald Fitzwalter, Chief Butler to Prince John, was granted over 400,000 acres of land in Tipperary. A distance of 170km.(106 miles) approx.

The Butler Trail Tour is based around the Butler family and explores the area around Kilkenny City, Kells, Carrick-on-Suir, Clonmel, Cahir, Cashel. Distance: 170km. (106 miles) approx.

Butler roots run deep in the South East. As deep as 1185AD, in fact – the year Theobald Fitzwalter, Chief Butler to Prince John, was granted over 400,000 acres of land in Tipperary.

Setting out from Kilkenny City (via R697), where Kilkenny Castle served as the Butlers’ principal Irish residence for 600 years, this route stops at Kells Priory before proceeding south to Carrick-On-Suir.

Ormond Castle here was built by Black Tom Butler in the 1560s. Black Tom built a fine manor house as part of Ormond Castle in the 1560s in expectation of a visit from his cousin Elizabeth 1, daughter of Henry VIII and Ann Boleyn. Unfortunately Elizabeth never visited at all. Find out more about their-much- talked-about relationship on a tour of Ormond Castle, Ireland's only surviving unfortified Tudor Manor House

From Carrick (via N24), continue along the River Suir and Comeragh Mountains to Clonmel, a bustling shopping town where James Butler built a courthouse in 1675. The Main Guard’s glowing sandstone arches are just a taste of the restoration that awaits inside. James built the Main Guard in Clonmel in 1675 and King James II visited in 1689. Visit the Main Guard to learn more about James’ influence on Clonmel, his role in the English Court and his lasting legacy in Ireland

Cahir’s chief Butler legacy is an exquisitely-preserved castle on the River Suir. From here, a short river walk takes you to the Swiss Cottage. The castle has featured in many films and TV programmes,including Excalibur and The Tudors television series. Under Richard Butler, 1st Earl of Glengall (1775-1819), and his wife, Cahir became a fashionable place for gentry. In the early 1800s he built the delightful Swiss Cottage, a cottage orné designed by John Nash and the finest eco building of its time. Cahir House, now a hotel, was the town house of the Butlers from the 1770s.

After Cahir (via R660), carry on towards Cashel, where heritage gems range from the Rock of Cashel to the Bolton Library and Brú Ború Cultural Centre . Before continuing towards Kilkenny City via (R692) make one final stop at the Medieval Wall Town of Fethard.

Places of interest to explore on route:
Kells Priory - Ormond Castle - The Main Guard
Cahir Castle - Swiss Cottage - Mitchelstown Cave - Glen of Aherlow - Rock of Cashel - Brú Ború Cultural Centre -
Medieval Wall Town of Fethard.