Prehistoric axe at Talbot’s Tower

July 5, 2019

Around six thousand years ago small clearings were made by the earliest farming communities in the forested landscape of what is now Kilkenny City. One of the most important tools used by these Neolithic communities was the polished stone axe. A fragment of one such axe was found by James Cahill in the old ground level below the Town Wall at Talbot’s tower, New Street, during Kilkenny Archaeology’s excavations in 2010. What is really interesting about this particular stone axe is the stone that it is made from, porphyry. The only source of porphyry in Ireland is on Lambay island, off the coast of Dublin, 80 miles to the east of Kilkenny. Excavations by Gabriel Cooney on Lambay uncovered the remains of the quarry where the Talbot’s tower axe was almost certainly made. The excavation at Talbot’s Tower was funded by Kilkenny County Council and the Irish Walled Towns Network.