Northern County Kilkenny lacks instant appeal, the main focus of interest being Dunmore Cave, 10km north of the city off the N78. Formed in a limestone outcrop of the Castlecomer plateau, Dunmore’s series of chambers feature numerous beautiful calcite creations – curtains and crystals, stalactites and stalagmites; the most remarkable of the last stands some four and a half metres high. The cave is referenced in the Annals of the Four Masters, which recounts that the Vikings massacred a thousand people here in 928, a tale partially substantiated in 1967 when excavations uncovered the skeletons of more than forty women and children, and a Viking coin.

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