St John’s Priory Kilkenny City

St John’s Priory

St John’s Priory was established by the Augustinians on their arrival in Kilkenny in the thirteenth century, and became a flourishing centre of worship, scholarship and culture facing the medieval city on the other bank of the Nore.

Influenced by the famous Sainte Chapelle in Paris, the Priory church was famed for the number and size of its stained glass windows, and often called the “Lantern of Ireland”.  As with so many other religious buildings, it was seized during Henry VIII’s suppression of the monasteries, and over the centuries this historic landmark felt into decay until the Lady Chapel was restored in the early 19th century as a Church of Ireland parish church.  The rest of the structure remains today an atmospheric medieval ruin.

The Priory is a wonderfully intimate venue for the Festival’s lunchtime concert series, hosting in 2014 a complete cycle of Beethoven’s string quartets in ten concerts by the Heath Quartet – few who attended those concerts will forget the experience.


This venue is wheelchair accessible. Please inform Box Office staff at time of booking.


There is pay and display parking on Maudlin St. and Michael St., which is free after 7pm. There is also a car park at the library to the rear of the venue, which is also pay and display and free after 7pm.