Rothar Routes

Cycle routes & pilgrim journeys in Ireland and Europe …..

Archive for ‘November, 2014’

James Rice: A 15th century Irish pilgrim to Santiago de Compostella

Great read. Fascinating undertaking on those times.

Pilgrimage In Medieval Ireland

The names  and stories of the vast majority of  medieval pilgrims  have gone unrecorded in the Irish historical sources but thankfully there  are some  exceptions to this rule.   During the 15th century, two  pilgrimages of a Waterford  man  called James Rice to the shrine of St James at Santiago de Compostella were recorded in  contemporary sources.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA St James Cathedral Santiago de Compostella

Who was James Rice?

James Rice was born into a wealthy Anglo-Irish merchant family in the port town of Waterford in 15th century.  The exact date of his birth is known but  the name chosen by his parents suggests they had a devotion to St James whose cult from the 12th century onwards enjoyed great popularity across Europe.

We know also that James’s father Peter Rice  held the office of Mayor of Waterford on two occasions the first in 1426-27 and the second in 1427.  Following in the…

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Valley of the Rock Art!

Kilcarrig is better known these days for it’s Quarry – but little is known of this whopper of a  cup mark surrounded by a curve of quartz in this granite boulder that is found close by.

One side of the road at Kilcarrig is limestone, the opposite granite and after 3 night’s searching and just giving up, I stepped into a gap in the hedge and there it was.

I was fascinated by this stone because of a stunning photo of it by Ken Williams (@shadowsandstone) a couple of years ago.

Going south from Kilcarrig down to St Mullins and across towards Mount Leinster is Carlow’s ‘Newgrange’ – a couple fine cycle routes to follow and lots of sites to discover.


Kilcarrig Rock Art

Kilcarrig Rock Art


Kilcarrig Rock Art

Kilcarrig Rock Art


Kilcarrig Rock Art with quartz vein


Rock Art of County Carlow

Rathgeran Rock Art

Rathgeran Rock Art

I love this example of rock art from Rathgeran.

One of many fine examples of Rock Art in the South of the County and well worth looking for. Not too easy to locate without local knowledge but worth the reward of scouring the hillsides!

How were they created?


They have stood the test of time and they should be signposted for people to visit.

Knockmore Hill

Knockmore Hill

And apparently rock art is still being discovered as it lies in ditches or has been moved in recent years when farmers drained and developed land.

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