Towns of Kilkenny
Gowran —County Kilkenny
Gowran, the seat of the kings of Ossory, is now a village with a fine racecourse - a natural transition, one might argue, given that horse racing is the 'Sports of Kings'. As early as the 13th century the lands were acquired by the Anglo-Norman Theobald Fitzwalter, ancestor of the Butlers. Gowran Castle was besieged by Cromwellian forces in 1650. Following capitulation, the castle was burnt and its entire garrison, with the exception of one officer, shot. The old Gowran collegiate church dating from 1260 has been incorporated in the 19th century St Mary's protestant Church which stands in the heart of the village.