4 Famous Filming Locations in Kilkenny

The Final Draft > Famous filming locations in Kilkenny

Famous filming locations in Kilkenny

Famous filming locations in Kilkenny

Known for its medieval history and marbled pathways, Kilkenny is an enchanting destination for visitors near and far. But it’s also been host to film crews over the years who have put the county on the silver screen. From lavish period pieces to modern dramas, these films all have one thing in common. Here are some of Kilkenny’s most iconic appearances on the big screen.

Barry Lyndon (1975)

This tale of an Irish rogue’s mission to rise in the ranks of elite society was Stanley Kubrick’s next project, following A Clockwork Orange (1971). Released to critical acclaim, much of the positive reviews centre on the film’s lush and lavish production, representing the grandeur of its setting. There’s no denying it’s a gorgeous production, and for that, it owes a debt to Ireland, one of its primary filming locations. In addition to notable locations such as Powerscourt House in Wicklow and Dublin Castle, the film features Kells Priory among other outdoor locations in Kilkenny. Filming in Ireland, however, was cut short when, one-third of the way through the film, Kubrick was allegedly warned he was on an IRA hit list and had 24 hours to leave the country.

Circle of Friends (1995)

Directed by Pat O’Connor, this Meave Binchy adaptation is the coming-of-age story of three Irish women set in the 1950s. The village of Inistioge is showcased to its full glory in the Hollywood production starring a young Minnie Driver. Along with the scenic landscapes and breathtaking views over the River Nore, Kilkenny Castle and Ballyduff House were among the shooting locations used for the film. Though it’s now over twenty years old, the film continues to be a heartwarming tale of love, friendship, and home.

Breakfast on Pluto (2005)

Most movie lovers will know Breakfast on Pluto as Cillian Murphy’s breakout role as Patrick ‘Kitten’ Braden, a young transgender woman who leaves her small town in search of her biological mother. However, locally, it’s still remembered for bringing filmmaking magic to a small town in Kilkenny. The town of Callan, ten miles from Kilkenny city, was transported back to the 1950s for the film. Director Neil Jordan picked out the parish specifically for its dated look, and the streets were soon filled with painters and set designers who completed the 1950s feel. After some discussion and controversy, the local parish church was even used in the adaptation of the Patrick McCabe novel, which also starred Liam Neeson and Brendan Gleeson.

Wolfwalkers (2020)

Three-time Academy Award-nominated studio Cartoon Saloon, based in Kilkenny, brought us back in time to the seventeenth century for the setting of their beautifully made animation, Wolfwalkers. A story about lineage, community, and family, it centres on Robyn, an English girl, whose father (voiced by Sean Bean) is charged with clearing a forest in Kilkenny of wolves. But along the way, Robyn meets a wolf that can transform into a human girl. Much like the previous work from the renowned studio, the film draws on Irish folklore, myth, and ancestry, with an animated historical Kilkenny setting the perfect backdrop for such an inspiring tale.

Smithwicks Blonde Ale Smithwicks Red Ale Smithwick's Pale Ale Website red background for Smithwicks Experience Tour Website white background for Smithwicks Experience Tour Website red background for Smithwicks Experience Tour Visitors learning how to make Smithwicks beers at Smithwicks Experience Tour in Kilkenny Moving Portraits at Smithwicks Experience Tour in Kilkenny Moving Portraits at Smithwicks Experience Tour in Kilkenny