MAYOR THOMAS POWER PROVIDED MUCH OF THE FINANCE
Unfortunately the canal on the River Nore was never finished. The start of the canal is marked on Rocque’s map of Kilkenny, published in 1758. The whole project was abandoned in 1761 and no barges ever made the journey from Inistioge. The land used to construct the canal was eventually turned into a public walk and park for the citizens of Kilkenny.
Edmond Smithwick marked his year as Mayor (1844) by providing at his own cost, a decorative iron gateway and palisading at the city entrance to the walk. The gates no longer exist, but substantial cast-iron plaques recording the gift, which adorned the gate piers, are now preserved in Rothe House.
The next Mayor, Doctor Robert Cane, paid for the erection of the Lodge House which still exists. It was both decorative and functional, being the residence of a council employee who would look after the Walk and patrol it as necessary. The attractive cottage no longer residential. On the front of the lodge facing Canal Square is a plaque which reads as follows: “This slab is inscribed by Alderman O’Donnell, Mayor 1885, to the memory of Alderman Robert Cane who during his second year of Mayoralty in 1849 devoted his salary to the erection of this lodge”.
There is another plaque built into the Castle wall. It commemorates improvements effected in 1861 during the Mayoralty of Thomas Power, whose extensive establishment in High Street was the City’s leading ironmonger’s.
As well as providing a pleasant promenade close to the city, the Walk was a venue for entertainment provided by local bands, and particularly those of Regiments stationed in the city at different times. The base of a bandstand, can be seen beyond the new car park at the foot of the lane between Dukes Meadows and the Castle grounds.