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The Tholsel is a a striking, 18th century building that dominates the view along High Street. Originally erected for the purposes of collecting taxes, it’s name derived from old English words meaning toll.
The Tholsel is a five bay arcade, two story building on the High Street, in the commercial heart of Kilkenny's medieval city. The first Tholsel was built around 1400, when Kilkenny became a walled city. The present structure is the third Tholsel, built in 1761, it was restored in 1949 and again more recently. The most exciting features of this building are the open five bay arcade at street level, and the octagonal roof turret with clock and weather vane.
Initially the Tholsel was designed for the purposes of collecting taxes. The name Tholsel is derived from the old English words Toll-Hall. In the Medieval times, it served as court house, custom-house, guildhall and a meeting place for merchants. Today it is used as Kilkenny City Town Hall, also used for art exhibitions, and street theatre companies performance.