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Irish: Áth na nUrlainn
County Kilkenny
The Mason's Apron.jpg
The Mason's Apron, Urlingford
Grid reference: S282633
Location: 52°43’13"N, 7°34’57"W
Population: 973  (2011)
Post town: Urlingford
Postcode: E41
Local Government
Council: Kilkenny

Urlingford is a town and parish in north-west County Kilkenny, adjacent to the border with the South Riding of County Tipperary. Its name is from the Irish Áth na nUrlainn, meaning 'Ford of the slaughter'.[1]

The town lies on the R639 road, with the M8 motorway running just to the west. Both Urlingford and nearby Johnstown are accessed via M8 junction four. Urlingford is a bus hub, with major operator JJ Kavanagh and Sons based there.[2] Situated 78 miles from Dublin and 80 miles from Cork, Urlingford has long been a resting-point for travellers half way between the Republic of Ireland's two largest cities.

The Irish name Áth na nUrlainn means "ford of the slaughter" and has been anglicised as Aghnenurlin, Aghnenoorlin, Awnanoorlin and similar.[1]

The parish of Urlingford is part of the barony of Galmoy.[3]


In 1526, Piers Butler, 8th Earl of Ormond, gave possession of the lands of Urlingford to John Tobin and Nicolas Mothing (chaplins).[4] The earlier settlement was focused around the castle, church and graveyard.[5]

The town had an organised planned growth with traditional plot patterns.[5] It was built over a cut-over bog, an extension to the Templetuohy Bog,[5] much of which has been reclaimed.[6] Urlingford is a linear town around the focused primary axis, the Main Street.[5] In 1837 it was the centre of a manufacture of coarse stuffs, flannels, and worsteds, and carries on an extensive retail trade with the surrounding districts.[7]

The town was recorded on Griffith's Valuation in 1864.[8]


Aerial view of Urlingford

A tributary of the River Nore, the River Goul, enters the town from the south-east.[5] The river passes under Main Street and towards the bridge at Urlingford Castle (and mill).[5]


There is a library in Urlingford[9] which is based in the old courthouse.[10] Urlingford Castle and mill are located in Urlingford.[5]

Emeralds GAA is a junior Gaelic Athletic Association club, founded in 1972.



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