Updated December 2002. If you have comments, please let us know. Thanks.
AGHADE: a beautiful viewing spot over the River Slaney, close to the village of Ardattin and an ideal location for sightseeing and swimming.
ARDATTIN: a picturesque country village, South of Tullow near the River Slaney. Located close-by is Ballin Temple House, birthplace of Pierce Butler, signatory of the American Constitution. The village wall near the handball court was built in the 1980s with stones from Ballin Temple House stables. The Cottage Collection, in the village boasts a unique display of domestic appliances, gramophones and radios, many dating back to the early 1900's. Open Sundays 14.00 -18.00 p.m. Other times by appointment. Tel: 0503-55639. The Coach House in the village opens every Wednesday and Sunday during the Summer months offering a wide variety of locally produced crafts.
The Ardattin Inn - Drop in for refreshments when in the area. Relax over a game of pool or darts.
BAGENALSTOWN: Bagenalstown, otherwise known as Muine Bheag, is sited on a pleasant reach of the River Barrow and derives its name from Walter Bagenal, who founded the town in the 18th century. Had Bagenal's vision for the town materialised we might today be looking at a mirror image of a town in northern France. His original plan was based on Versailles, which had its genesis in the palace of Louis XIV, with fine street scapes and classical buildings. Shortly after he had made an impressive start by building an imposing courthouse modelled on the Parthenon in Athens, his efforts became frustrated. However, the arrival of the railway in 1846 rejuvenated the town, and its fine neo-classical railway station is almost as impressive as the Courthouse. Nowadays, one of the finest views of the Courthouse may be had on the approach road from Leighlinbridge and includes the spire of St. Andrew's Catholic church and the fine tower of St. Mary's Church of Ireland church.
Today Bagenalstown is a pretty town with riverside walks, picnic tables and a picturesque lock. There is an outdoor pool on the approach road from Leighlinbridge. The McGrath complex offers excellent sporting facilities including cricket, hurling, soccer and football fields and a tennis court.
The Manor House, Market Sq. - enjoy a drink at the fire in pleasant surroundings.
BALLINKILLEN: 8 km south of Bagenalstown off the Bagenalstown - Borris road is the village of Ballinkillen, nestling under the shadow of Mount Leinster. In the village churchyard are the gravestones of the parents of the late Cardinal Moran & Theresa Malone - the 1798 heroine of the "Battle of Kilcumney". The village has a very fine Community Centre, with all the various indoor sports activities and a splendid G.A.A. sports field. "Excellent range of outdoor pursuits available in the local area .ncluding hill walking, pony trekking and fishing on the River Barrow.
BALLON: The Blackstairs and Wicklow mountains provide a dramatic backdrop to this picturesque village situated on the N80 Carlow - Wexford road. Ballon/Rathoe has a rich and interesting historical past from the earliest times to the present day. There is a strong archaeological presence in the area which includes a motte and bailey at Castlemore and Castlegrace, ringforts, cashels, standing stones and holy wells. The history of Ballon goes back to a Bronze Age settlement on Ballon Hill where today the visitor can enjoy a 3km walk. The village has two pubs which provide good night-time entertainment especially at weekends.
Scenes from the Ballon fair
BALLYKEALY HOUSE - The seat of the Lecky family from 1649, the present house, designed in the Tudor-Gothic style by Thomas Cobden, was built in the 1820s. The house and remaining 300-acre estate were sold by Rupert Beauchamp Lecky in 1953, ending three centuries of Lecky ownership. A plane built at Ballykealy about 1912 was one of the earliest in Ireland. In 1909 Wilbur Wright arrived in France with the plane the Wright brothers first got into the air at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903. It was Wilbur's arrival in Europe that influenced Lecky to start his project - he was later killed in action during the First World War. Ballykealy House was purchased as a novitiate by the Patrician Brothers in the early 1960s and after a change of ownership it opened as a hotel in 1988.
BALLYMOON CASTLE, Bagnelstown. Just 3.5 km east of Bagenalstown this ruined Castle dates to the 14th century. A large central courtyard with walls eight feet thick and twenty feet high. Square towers project from three sides while a formidable gate house is the feature of the fourth. While some historians suggest that the castle was never completed, most records indicate it was built by Roger Bigod about the year 1300. Access direct from the road via small timber foot bridge on private land. BALLYLOUGHAN CASTLE also on the site was occupied in late medieval times by the Kavanaghs.
Wells Church situated close-by is the preserved ruin of a church dating back to 1262. The church was built from limestone rubble and granite ashlar and the present remains consist of the east and part of the south wall. It is surrounded by a beautifully well kept graveyard which dates back to the 1700's.
BALLYMURPHY: A gentle hillside village captured in a glen on mountain slopes which derives its name from the townland of Murphy". This is the first village encountered on the Co. Carlow side by the traveller passing through the Sgollogh Gap of the Blackstairs Mountains.
BLACK CASTLE, Leighlinbridge. The village of Leighlinbridge developed at this strategic crossing on the River Barrow, defended by the Black Castle, In 1180, the Norman, Hugh de Lacy built the first castle here to defend the crossing. All that remains today is half of a 14th century round tower and part of the bawn.
BORRIS HOUSE - residence of the Kavanagh family, lineal representatives of the McMurrough Kfivanaghs, ancient Kings of Leinster.
BROWNESHILL DOLMEN, Near Carlow
One very unmistakable monument dating back to pre-historic great Dolmen at Browneshill to the east of Carlow town. The me stone has excited the interest of many antiquarians and tourists the years. The Dolmen has a granite capstone weighing about 10 thought that religious rites, possibly even human sacrifice, wi there for four and a half thousand years (2500 B.C.) and is testarr that even our ancestors in the mists of pre-history regarded the where special. Signposted, direct access - 3km from Carlow Hacketstown road.
BORRIS: a beautiful, untouched town full of charm and heritage nestling in the fertile valley of the River Barrow, below the curve of the Blackstairs Mountains. Many shops have kept their traditional fronts and the local public houses have earned nationwide recognition for their friendly, old world atmosphere and traditional music. The MacMurrough Kavanagh dynasty, former Celtic Kings of Leinster, are central to this picturesque town of old stone buildings and the family still live at Borris House in the town centre. Built in Tudor style the house is open to groups by prior arrangement Tel: 0503-73105. The town prospered in the late 1800's as Arthur McMurrough Kavanagh, the landlord of the time, developed a sawmill and a thriving lace-making industry. He also instigated the building of the graceful 16-arch viaduct, situated at the lower end of the town, which carried the now defunct Great Southern and Western Railway Line between Bagenalstown and Wexford.
Borris is an excellent point from which to explore the Mount Leinster Drive and Blackstairs Mountains. Clashoannv Forest 5km south of Borris, offers lovely walks while the particularly fine viewing spot of Clashganny Lock and surrounding country side, may be enjoyed on the upper New Ross road.
Green Drake Inn, Main St. - Enjoy your favourite drink in warm and friendly surroundings in this picturesque Carlow village.
CARLOW: Carlow town stands at the confluence of the Barrow and Burrin rivers. Tradition has it that the junction of the two rivers once covered such a large tract of ground that a lake was formed, or some believe four lakes. Carlow means either City of the Lake or Four Lakes. This ancient town has a rich historic tradition. The remains of a Norman Castle, built by William de Marshall (1208 A.D. - 1212 A.D.), stands on the eastern bank of the river. This was once an important military fortress, strategically sited, on the south eastern corner of the Pale.
While the river remains an important focus for the town other influences include a bustling student population, a thriving arts and crafts community, a strong tradition of Irish language and music.
A Brief History of Carlow: The history of Carlow can almost be divided into three distinct and separate phases. These are the development of the MacMurrough Kavanagh family, the early Christian period which saw the flowering of such historic sites as St. Mullins and the county's involvement with the rebellion of 1798.
Pre-Christian inhabitants of the region left their mark in the form of tomb monuments or dolmens, the largest of which is at Browne's Hill with a capstone weighing roughly 100 tonnes. Dolmens such as these dotted throughout the county were used as communal burial grounds during the earlier Neolithic period and possibly also for religious rituals and were constructed around 3300 -2900 B.C.
The establishment of Christianity saw the development of a number of religious sites in County Carlow including the 7th century monastery at Old Leighlin and the religious settlements at St. Mullins and Glonmore.
In the 14th century Art MacMurrough Kavanagh became King of Leinster and scourge of the English armies in Ireland. The MacMurrough Kavanaghs of Borris became straight away the most feared fighting force in the country and succeeded in having the Pale confined to Dublin until 1534. Lineal representatives of the MacMurrough Kavanagh family still live at Borris House in Borris town.
Later, penal laws, the banishment of the Gaelic Society, the dispersal of the power of the MacMurrough Kavanaghs and the confiscations and humiliations of the 18th century caused a build up which lead to the inevitable explosion of 1798. County Carlow along with County Wexford took the brunt of the fighting in the '98 rebellion. The bodies of 640 slaughtered croppies (so called because of their allegiance to the cause) were covered in an unhallowed mass grave on the site of an old disused sand pit. This monument "The Croppies Grave" is situated in Graiguecullen, Carlow.
A walking tour is the best way to enjoy and appreciate what Carlow has to offer. Some stops are suggested below.
(1) THE COURT HOUSE, designed in 1830 by William Vitruvius Morrison. A cannon from the Crimean War stands on the steps.
(2) ST. PATRICK'S COLLEGE, opened in 1793, claims to be the longest seminary in continuous use worldwide.
(3) CARLOW CATHEDRAL was completed in 1833, its Gothic design largely attributed to Thomas Cobden. The magnificent tower and lantern, reaching to nearly 46 metres, was inspired by the Cloth Hall at Bruges in Belgium.
(4) THE LIBERTY TREE commemorates the 1798 rebellion. It was designed by John Behan who has skillfully created a fine memorial and an ambience round which people gather to relax in the summer months.
(5) ST. MARY'S Church of Ireland - the present building dates from 1727. Thomas Cobden
designed the tower and spire which were added in 1834.
(6) CARLOW CASTLE, now a ruin, is thought to be the work of William de Marshall and dates from the early 13th century.
(7) GRAICUECULLEN BRIDGE is one of the oldest and lowest bridges on the River Barrow. Built in 1569 and widened in 1815 it offers fine views of the quayside environment of this inland town.
(8) ST. CLARE'S Roman Catholic Church, Craiguecullen, built in 1852 by John Derrick, was dismantled at its original site on the Athy road and re-erected on its present Killeshin road site. (9) THE HAYMARKET was the trading centre for Carlow. A number of markets dotted around the town - the Potato Market and Butter Market, for example, indicate the strong agricultural focus of the town.
(10) CIGAR DIVAN, 50 Dublin Street, is the older of two remaining cigar divans in Ireland. It has an attractive Victorian shopfront with elaborate iron panels and engraved glass advertisements. Its name dates from the time when Turkish cigarettes were fashionable.
(11) THE STATION, Station Road, in Jacobean style and designed as a terminus on the Dublin-Carlow line by Sir John MacNeill in the 19th century. The Jacobean style Station House, Carlow Town.
(12) THE CROPPIES GRAVE, Craiguecullen, site of the mass burial of 640 Carlow insurgents after the ill-fated 1798 Rebellion.
(13) THE TRIUMPHAL ARCH to Oak Park was designed by William Vitruvius Morrison, who also designed Oak Park House, now an agricultural research station.
CLONEGAL & THE WATCH, a couple of kilometers downstream from Ballin Temple and set in a valley between the Blackstairs and Wicklow Mountains. The twin villages straddle the counties of Carlow, Wexford and Wicklow, with about one third of its area and population in each county, and mark the meeting place of the rivers Slaney and Derry. The viewing area by the River Derry has an explanatory viewing map and painting of the surrounding area. 2000 saw the renovation of the Weavers Cottages, first built to the direction of Alexander Durdan of Huntington Castle in 1690. They were lived in by weavers when the trade was at its height and are now used for spinning demonstrations and evenings of story telling, music, song and dance.
The mountains, the valleys and the rivers, the fishing and shooting facilities have made these villages favourite stopping places for many years and indeed the area is sometimes referred to as the "Switzerland of Ireland" for its outstanding natural beauty.
Huntington (or Clonegal Castle) is known world wide and guided tours are conducted Tel: 054-77552.
Clonegal also marks the end of the Wicklow Way, a 130km way-marked walking trail, which starts in Marley Park, Rathfarnham. Visitors will enjoy Osborne's historic pub where a certificate for completion of the route may be obtained.
The word heritage means a lot to the people of the parish as within its confines are several indications of the length of time civilisation has been in the area. The two leading indicators are the Cranavane Well which dates back long before Christian times and the ancient dolmen or tomb of Labbansighe (Bed of the Fairies) - a communal burial place dating from the middle of the Bronze Age c. 1100 B.C. St. Fiaacs Church of Ireland church in the village is built on what is one of the oldest used cemeteries in Europe.
CARRIGDUFF: a beautiful landscaped village situated on the N80 Carlow - Wexford road on the outskirts of Bunclody. It is c gateway to the Blackstairs Mountains, with a scenic route b\ the tree-lined hills of the Clody river valley, bringing one to the start of the Mount Leinster Drive. There are a wide variety ol walks in the area, from woodlands and country lanes to the slopes and summit of Mount Leinster itself. The fine outdool heated swimming pool and toddlers pool in the centre o1 Carrigduff is a hive of activity during July and August, with beverages and snacks available. Meanwhile, the adjoining tennis court and new playground are in use all year round.
CASTLETOWN CASTLE - Bunciody Road, Carlow - A small 19th Tudor/Gothic house incorporating a truncated tower-house which was greatly altered by William Roberston in 1835. Now a fine neo-gothic castle with beautifully cut ashlar granite featuring the usual ornate Robertson hallmarks. The original castle had several owners including the Kavanaghs, Bagenals, George Carew and the Earl of Kildare. Its owner for a short period in the I 780's was the wayward Thomas "Buck" Whaley, who squandered a fortune of £60,000 and estates in three counties before he died, almost penniless, in 1800, aged 34. Castletown has been owned by the Monahan family since 1932. Tours of the house by arrangement and courses in painting are also availabie, 0503 40283.
CLOCH-A-FOIL, Aghade South of Tullow in Ardristan lies a large holed stone of great a may have once been part of a megalithic tomb. For people believe that sick infants if passed through the six inch hole would return to health.
CLONMORE: Cluain Mor Meadhoc in Irish, which means "Mogue'g large meadow" is situated in the scenic north-east comer of Co, Carlow and is called after St. Mogue who founded a religious community here and built a monastery about the year 530 A.D. Clonmore is noted as being one of the earliest ecclesiastical parishes in Ireland along with Ardfert, Killaloe and Clonmacnoise and is described as one of the most hallowed places connected with early Christian times.
The area is noted for its historical interest and photogenic landscape. One of its most famous items includes the triple bullaun stone, a large natural stone in situ with three hollows scooped out and used for pounding ingredients in pre-historic times. There is also an unfigured High Cross, some early gravestones in the churchyard and the remains of a 12th century castle. P.J. McCall, the famous balladeer was bom here and composed hundreds of ballads of historic interest including Boolavogue. Guided tours of the area are available from Mr. Eddie McDonald 0508-71244. Clonmore is situated 3 1/2 miles south of Hacketstown and 9 miles east of Tullow town.
CLONMORE CASTLE, Clonmore. Twelfth century fortress of roughly coursed granite rubble with extensive remodelling and additions.Nearby is an ancient holy well now much altered.
DUCKETTS GROVE - near Carlow town. The ruins of Carlow's finest gothic mansion, destroyed by fire in 1933. The home of the Duckett family from the middle of the 17th century until 1915, when William Duckett's widow Georgina moved to live in Dubiin. Her estate at the time of her death in 1937 was valued at £100,000 out of which she left her only daughter alive a single shilling. A month long court case contesting the will gave Olive weekly income of £7 for life. The court case marked an ignominious end to the reign of one of County Carlow's richest .scendancy families, who first purchased land in Carlow in 1695. An imposing gate lodge still remains and the outbuildings .round the mansion ruins are in use as a iding stables.
DUNLECKNEY MANOR, Bagenatstown. The seat of the Bagenals for nearly three centuries, the family first acquired land in Carlow in 1585. The original family seat was built in the early 1600's, part of which is incorporated in the present Tudor-Gothic mansion, designed about 1820 by Daniel Robertson. One of the most famous -some would say infamous - of the Bagenals, was Beauchamp (1735 - 1802) a politician, landlord, duellist and libertine, whose fun loving lifestyle forced him to sell most of his 30,000-acre estate to defray an ever-increasing burden of debt. Open August/September T: 0503-21932.
HACKETSTOWN: is situated in the foothills of the Wicklow Mountains and the area has a wide variety of walks. Eagle Hill, south of the town, has delightful views from its summit and most of the county can be seen spread out below. Surrounded by woodland and farmland, the village is a gateway to the higher Wicklow mountains to the east and the beaches of Wexford to the south.
Cullen's, The Hill - An old establishment with a warm welcome particularly for sports followers. Situated beside the '98 memorial at the site of the battle of Hacketstown.
HAROLDSTOWN DOLMEN, Tobinstown, Carlow. A well preserved example of a portal dolmen, a form of burial chamber built over 5,000 years ago, consisting of twc capstones supported by ten vertical stones, two of which acted as the tomb. Near Tullow off the R727 - access direct, on private land.
HUNTINGTON CASTLE - Clonegal. Formerly an 0' Kavanagh stronghold the castle was destroyed in the early 17th century and rebuilt in 1625 by the Esmondes with further additions in later years. Features include an ancient yew tree walk, a lime tree walk, the Temple of Isis and a museum of modern art.
Home of the Durdin-Robertson family continuously occupied since the origin tower house was built in 1645 by the first Lord Esmonde. The present caste faced house is the result of additions and alterations of many periods, its nucleus being the tower house. Guide tours feature visits of the Temple of Isis conducted by Miss Olivia Robertson, the well known artist and writer. Another attraction in the grounds of Huntington is the Ulrich Ruckriem Sculpture Tel: 054 77552
KILDAVIN: is a small picturesque village, just off the main road between Carlow and Wexford (N80). The meaning of Kildavin is thought to refer to an early church (Cill) or an ancient wood (Coill) and there is a burial ground nearby on the banks of the River Slaney. The South Leinster long distance walking trail starts here at the Church of Ireland church, built in 1812 at a cost of £850.00. Stage 1 leads the walker from Kildavin to Borris, covering a distance of 20 km. St. Lazerian's Roman Catholic church in the village dates from 1830. The grandmother of Cardinal Spellman of New York emigrated from the Kildavin area in 1850.
KILLESHIN: an important medieval monastery was the centre of learning and culture since early Christian times. The beautifully carved 5th century Hiberno-Romanesque doorway on the 12th century church is one of the finest in the country. The water reservoir for Carlow town is situated here and from the summit wonderful views of the surrounding countryside may be seen. The Dancing Boards at Rossmore attracts huge crowds every Sunday during the Summer season who enjoy the free traditional music and dancing. Tea, coffee and scones available.
LEIGHLINBRIDGE: Is an attractive Barrow-side town and the river is spanned here by a fine stone bridge, reputedly one of the oldest functioning bridges in Europe with the Black Castle on its eastern side. One of the earliest Norman castles in Ireland, all that remains of the original Castle is the west half of the tower approximately 50 feet high, and part of the bawn wall. The original "Black Castle" was erected by Hugh de Lacy in 1181, while the present castle is reported to have been built by Sir Edward Bellingham in 1547. Below the castle lies the ruin of the first Carmelite priory in Ireland which was built by the Norman, Carew in 1270.
Leighlinbridge is noted for the number of famous sons it has produced, including Captain Myles Keogh, the scientist John Tyndall, the former archbishop of Sydney Patrick Francis Moran and the Right Hon. Brian Mulroney, Prime Minister of Canada from 1984 - 1992 whose family hailed from Leighlinbridge. Leighlinbridge has been the recipient of many environmental awards in recent times including county winner in the National Tidy Towns Competition, first in the Barrow Awards, overall national winner in Ireland's Green Town 2000 and the village has been recently selected to represent Ireland in the prestigious European "Entente Florale" competition in 2001.
It is s an attractive Barrow-side town with a venerable old bridge, reputed to be one of the oldest functioning bridges in Europe. The Black Castle, which dominates the river crossing, is an Anglo-Norman fortress, built in 1180 by Hugh de Lacy. Leighlinbridge is noted for the number of famous sons it has produced, including Captain Myles Keogh, killed at the Battle of the Little Big Horn when, in 1876, U.S. Cavalry troops under General Custer suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of the Sioux. Other famous sons include the scientist John Tyndall, the former Archbishop of Sydney, Patrick Francis Moran and the Right Hon. Brian Mulroney, Prime Minister of Canada from 1984 - 1992.
MILFORD: A pleasant stop on the River Barrow which was once the centre of a thriving milling industry. The mill at Milford was established in the 1790's and is one of the most extensive and celebrated in Ireland, Electricity was generated from here in 1891, providing Carlow with the distinction of being the first inland town in Ireland and Britain to receive electric power. Three bridges and a wooded area contribute to an idyllic setting.
MYSHALL: At the foot of Mount Leinster the village of Myshall has as a backdrop the famed Blackstairs Mountains. There is a lovely drive with stunning scenery from Myshall up to Mount Leinster and the Nine Stones vantage point. One of Carlow's hidden gems, the Adelaide Memorial Church is located in the village. Built as a miniature of Salisbury Cathedral, this architectural gem was completed in 1912 by John Duguid of Dover, around the graves of his wife Adelaide and his daughter Constance who was killed in a riding accident near the village. In this "exquisite church of rare beauty" many objects of interest and art are to be seen in marble, mosaic, woodcarving, stained glass and ironwork. The design of the marble floor in the Chancel was taken from St. Mark's in Venice while the stained marble steps came from Galway and the red granite pillars from Aberdeen. Mr. Duguid's portrait, with his wife's and other members of his family may be seen in the vestry. The key is held locally by Mrs. Bridie Daley (white bungalow opposite church grounds (0503-57671).
One of Myshall's most famous sons was Peter Fenelon Collier, the founder of Collier's magazine, an illustrated general weekly. He arrived in the United States penniless at the age of 16. Starting with a borrowed $35, he was the first man to sell books on the instalment plan. He eventually built a publishing empire worth $12 million.
Robert's Bar and Lounge - Situated of the main Carlow-Wexford road, centrally located to excellent hill-walking, cycling and hang-gliding.
NEWTOWN: St. Patrick's Church in the village was built in the 1850's and is considered one of the most beautiful churches in the diocese. The church features eight stained glass windows made by the famous dark family of Dublin in the early part of the last century and beautiful plaster work ceilings.
Smyth's of Newtown - a unique music lounge with piano bar, all welcome.
NURNEY: A small village with an interesting pub, a church and ancient stone cross. Nearby at Clonmelsh cemetery Walt Disney's ancestors are buried.
RATHGALL STONE FORT, Tullow. An extensive hillside fortification with 8th century outer wall and medieval inner walls. Evidence from excavations carried out suggests that hillforts were constructed from the late Bronze Age period and continued to be used into post medieval times. Situated 5 km on the Shillelagh road - access direct.
RATHNAGEERAGH CASTLE, Myshall. The remains of this castle consist of a square gatehouse.
RATHOE: Rathoe in the northern part of the parish, is situated between Tullow and Ballon, a small friendly village made famous by Bard Van Vousden who wrote the song The Roads around Rathoe. St. Patrick's Church is an excellent example of 19th century craftmanship with beautiful stained glass windows.
ROYAL OAK: situated close to Bagenalstown, was original ly an inn at the junction of two roads. The traveller goinj south could take the left fork to Goresbridge Graignamanagh and to County Wexford or the right fork t( Kilkenny and Munster.
SHANKHILL CASTLE - Paulstown. Beautiful parkland on the Carlow/Kilkenny border the interior preserves many 18th century characters and features including 2 Georgian staircase. Gothic friese in the dining room and a Victorian drawing room. Visitors are invited to walk in the grounds and gardens, and there are guided tours of the house.
ST. MULLINS: The picturesque village of St. Mullins if South Carlow is situated on the River Barrow, nestling between the Blackstairs Mountains on one side anc Brandon Hill on the other. The locality acquired its name from St. Moling, a 7th century cleric who built a monasten here with the help of "Gobban Saor", the legendary Irish builder. The complex includes a medieval church ruin, th( base of a round tower and the former Church of Irelanc church, built in 1811. The church was acquired by St. Mullins Muintir na Tire for use as a heritage centre in 1986. Al aspects of local history including publications, churcr records, maps, old photographs and small artefacts are or display here. There is a ninth century granite High Cross depicting the Crucifixion and Celtic spiral pattern while St Moling's Mill and Well are a short distance away. A mos' interesting and informative tour of the settlement is available by contacting 051 -424913.
St. Mullins is also the starting/finishing point of the Barrow Way or visitors who prefer a shorter walk may enjoy the 6krr Sli na Slainte route which commences outside the graveyard, passes through Bahana Wood and returns via Templenabo to the village. It was here that the building of the lock system on the River Barrow began in 1750.
OLD LEIGHLIN: St. Lazerian's Cathedral was built in the 13th century on the site of a church founded by St. Gobban in 632 A.D. This early church was one of the foremost monastic houses in Leinster at one time with over 1,500 monks in residence. An important 7th century church synod took place here which determined the date of Easter for the entire Christian world. Guided tours are available during the Summer months and at other times by request. Contact: Rev. Ken Sherwood 0503-21411
RATHVILLY: derives its name from one of a series of raths, auilt on the eastern side of the River Barrow, designed to srotect their parent centre, Dinn Righ, near Leighlinbridge. Today Rathvilly is a picturesque village in North Carlow, with sarish boundaries bordering counties Kildare and Wicklow. It has the distinction of winning the All-Ireland Tidy Towns '\ward on three separate occasions and this is reflected in :he overall character of the village. In the centre of the vil-age is a monument to Kevin Barry, a local boy who joined :he fight for Irish freedom. The moat of Rathvilly, in the ownland of Knockroe, was the residence of the King of -einster who reigned from 443 AD to 483 AD.
TINNAHINCH: is a very popular boating centre on the banks of the River Barrow and is linked with its sister town of Graiguenamanagh by a beautiful bridge, constructed in 1767 when a canal system was being built to improve navigation. Tinnahinch Castle was built around 1615 by James Butler who later lost his lands because of his involvement in the Confederate War of 1641. It was built to control a crossing where a wooden bridge once spanned the Barrow. The castle was burnt around the year 1700 and has lain that way ever since.
TINRYLAND The early history of Tinryland dates back to the Neolithic period 3,700 - 3,400 B.C. with the discovery of the ancient burial ground near the village. In St. Joseph's church in the village is a beautiful 18th century stained glass window dedicated to the memory of Myles Keogh, killed at the Battle of the Little Big Horn in the USA. A heritage trailfinder map which stands in the village helps visitors locate the many areas of historical interest in Tinryland which can be explored using the beautiful country roads throughout the area. Tinryland has the unique distinction of being one of the tirst Parishes in Ireland to have had rural electrification in 1946. The village won a National Tidy Towns award in 2000 and a Floral Pride Award from Carlow County Council in the same year. Further information on the area may be had from 0503-43430
TULLOW: Tullow is located in the Slaney Valley in the midst of rich, fertile agricultural land, 50 miles from Dublin on the N81 and 50 miles from Rosslare. It is known locally as 'The Granite Town' because of its magnificent granite stone approach roads as well as its granite public buildings.
John de Hereford, later King John 1st of England, was the first keeper of Tullow Castle. He gave the castle, manor and town to his butler, Theobald Walter, the founder of the Butler family. The castle was destroyed by Cromwellan forces.
Tullow is also the ancestral home of the famous Wolseley family. Frederick York Wolseley gave his name to the Wolseley car. He also designed the first reliable mechanical sheep shears.
Father John Murphy, one of the leaders of the 1798 Rebellion, and his companion, James Gallagher, were executed in the Market Square, Tullow, on July 2nd.
Tullow reflects an enduring historical culture with many items of antiquity including an ancient holed stone "Cloch a Phoill" [Ardristan), a pre-historic ring fort (Rathgall) and a prehistoric burial place (Bawnoge).
VILLARD (Near Borris): ruins of a monastery dedicated to St. Fiachra are to be found here who died in 670 A.D. at vieaux, France. There is a romanesque doorway and a 10th century high cross.