Named after 14th-century Welsh mercenary Thomas de Cantwell, who became a local lord, Thomastown retains some fragments of its medieval town walls. Down by the bridge over the River Nore (built in 1792) you can find Mullin's Castle, one survivor of no fewer than 14 towers that once stood along the town perimeter.
Tiny Inistioge (in-ish-teeg) is a delight, with its tranquil village square, riverside park, and 18th-century, 10-arch stone bridge spanning the River Nore (fishing permits available from O'Donnell's pub on the square). The Nore Valley Walk heads north along the riverbank to Thomastown, or try the Nature Walk signposted south from the square.
Kells & Around
Kells (not to be confused with Kells in County Meath) is a mere hamlet with a fine stone bridge on a tributary of the Nore. However, in Kells Priory, the village has one of Ireland's most evocative and romantic monastic sites. The village is 13km south of Kilkenny city on the R697.