takes its name from the Irish Caisleán an Chumair, which
means 'Castle at the fork or confluence of rivers.' In Castlecomers
case there are three rivers The Brocagh, The Deen and the Clohogue.
The Normans built a Motte and Balie in 1171. About 1200 the origional
wooden castle was replaced by a stone one by William Marshall.
When Strongbow invaded Ireland
he married Eva MacMurrough daughter of deposed king Dermot MacMurrough,
the union of Strongbow (Richard Fitzgilbert de Clare) and Eva produced
a daughter Isabella de Clare, after Strongbow's death Isabella inherited
the Kingdom of Leinster, She married William Marshall.
In 1637 the plantation of Ireland
was well under way, in that year The Earl of Stafford the Kings
Deputy in Ireland granted 30,000 acres of Kilkenny to his cousin
Sir Christopher Wandesforde. Wandesforde took possession of his
property and quickly realized the land contained considerable deposits
of coal. The said Christiphor is credited with laying out the town
which is said to have been the first in Ireland built of stone and
Castlecomer grew up as an estate
town, in the 18th and 19th centuries is was an important centre
of the Irish coal mining industry. Coal was first mined in the town
in the early 1600's. The Wandesforde family who came to the area
from Yorkshire (England) At various times
the mines were leased by the Wandesforde's to others.
In 1917 a Private Company was
formed the bulk of the shares being held by the Wandesforde family.
The last Managing Director was Capt.R.H.Prior-Wandesforde