St. Mary's Church and Graveyard
St. Mary's was amongst the largest and most prestigious parish churches in medieval Ireland. It was built, probably in the late twelfth century, as a chapel for the then newly constructed Kilkenny castle. For nearly eight hundred years the church has been a hub for the town reflecting the fortunes and spirituality of the townspeople. It is located in St. Mary's Lane, directly behind the City Hall. The graveyard has one of the largest and most cohesive mediaeval and renaissance style tombs in Ireland.
St. Mary's Church & Graveyard - A New Lease of Life
"In Their Own Words" - An Oral History of St. Mary's
Below is a series of interviews with people closely associated with St. Mary's by oral historian Regina Fitzpatrick, co-ordinated by the Kilkenny Heritage Office and funded by Kilkenny Borough Council. The interviews are part of the on-going programme of conservation and development works being undertaken by the Local Authority in St. Mary's. They give us a sense of the social history of St. Mary's and life in Kilkenny City in the 1960's and 1970's "in their own words".
Interview with George Sherwood: The Renovation of St. Mary's Church and Parish Hall in the 1950's and 1960's
This account is based on three interviews carried out with George Sherwood between October 2012 and January 2013. A former parishioner of the Church of Ireland parish of St Mary's, George was volunteer project manager of the work to renovate St Mary's Church into a parish hall in the 1950s and 1960s. In these interviews he focuses on the initial plans for renovation, the fundraising project to finance it and the official opening day of St. Mary's Hall.
George Sherwood 2012
Interview with George Sherwood PDF.pdf (size 867.1 KB)
Interview with Eileen Bibby: Caretaking St. Mary's and Raising a Family in its Grounds
Eileen Bibby has lived at 1 St Mary's Place since 1946. Her home was previously an almshouse on the site of St. Mary's Church. In this interview, Eileen talks about her life at 1 St Mary's Place and her involvement in St Mary's Hall. Eileen was the caretaker of St Mary's Parish Hall for most of its existence.
This recording is part of a series of interviews with people closely associated with St. Mary's, undertaken by Oral Historian Regina Fitzpatrick, co-ordinated by the Kilkenny Heritage Office and funded by Kilkenny Borough Council. The interviews are part of the on-going programme of conservation and development works being undertaken by the Local Authority in St. Mary's. They give us a sense of the social history of St. Mary's and life in Kilkenny City in the 1960's and 1970's "in their own words".
Eileen Bibby 2012
Interview with Eileen Bibby PDF.pdf (size 750.4 KB)
Interview with David Bibby & Eileen Bibby: Growing Up in St. Mary's Place; Life in Kilkenny City in 1960's and '70's.
David Bibby is the son of Eileen and Billy Bibby. He grew up in 1 St Mary's Place, a historic almshouse on the site of St Mary's Church in Kilkenny City. In this interview, David reflects on growing up at 1 St. Mary's Place. Joined by his mother, Eileen, he talks about family life, his childhood and the daily involvement of the Bibby family with St Mary's Hall. He also describes the physical condition of the St Mary's site through the years and the many events and activities that took place in St Mary's Hall when he was growing up. He gives an account of working life and social life in Kilkenny City in the 1960s and 1970s and also describes of some of the streets in Kilkenny City including the shops, businesses and families that occupied them. He talks about his own pastimes which included badminton, bell-ringing in St Canice's Cathedral and rally driving.
David Bibby 2012
Interview with David Bibby PDF.pdf (size 628.4 KB)
Download interview (Mp3) Voice recordings of Eileen and David Bibby
Bibby Family & Friends in 1 St. Mary's Place