The Banqueting House

To the south-east of the castle a 'water house' was built outside the line of the original castle wall and beside the Bowling Green. This small building contained a summer banqueting chamber, and in terms of design, is probably one of the earliest and most correctly Classical buildings erected in Ireland. It was circular in shape with a peristyle or continuous colonnade. The interior had a black and white paved floor, with a painted ceiling decorated with angels. A fountain stood in the centre of the floor and this was described as 'a Jet d'Eau or throw of water' by Thomas Dineley (d.1695), an English antiquarian who was visiting Kilkenny in 1680. From this small building, water was pumped up to the castle by means of 'an Engine of curious artifice' driven by a horse that was housed in the basement storey.

The Castle's Banqueting House 1698, by F. Place