Rothar Routes

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

Archive for ‘February 22nd, 2015’

Saint Mullins revisited

The ruins of the Ecclesiastical city of St Mullins as night closes in

The ruins of the Ecclesiastical city of St Mullins as night closes in

The ancient monastic settlement of St Mullins is truly the jewel in the crown of County Carlow.

Stunning natural beauty combined with it’s rich history does indeed mark it as a special place.

Stretching back to the legend of Fionn Mac Cumhaill and the Fianna and of course to the founding of the famed monastic site by St Mullins the area is of national significance and not appreciated enough by us Carlovians!

I called in today for a short visit just as light was fading; my words can never do it justice and it’s hard to truly capture the magic of the place with a few photos but here’s a few that record some of that important history!

The Cross of Moling

The Cross of Moling

 

Base of the Round Tower at St Mullins

Base of the Round Tower at St Mullins

 

 

Detail from the reverse side of the Cross of Moling

Detail from the reverse side of the Cross of Moling

 

St Mullins Monastic site

St Mullins Monastic site

Ballinalour Standing Stone

Ballinalour Standing Stone

Rambling around the Rower

I rambled down south this afternoon to visit a spot I last visited with my good Mary many many years ago!

The song Eileen Aroon was written about a local lady ¬†Aileen Kavanagh who I’ve been told lived here, though others place her in nearby Poulmounty Castle (which is probably correct!).

The ballad was written by her lover Carol O Daly who on the eve of her marriage to another, appeared among the guests disguised as a harper and sang to the accompaniment of his harp this song, so sad and full of meaning, that Aileen recognised him beneath his disguise and that night fled with away with him.

It's reputed Eileen Aroon, of the ballad fame, fled from here with her lover Carol O Daly.

It’s reputed Eileen Aroon, of the ballad fame, fled from here with her lover Carol O Daly.

I will have to visit the ruins of Poulmounty Castle next time I’m down!

Located in the same field is the ancient Coolhill Castle which guards the River Barrow from it’s lofty perch about the Barrow Gorge.

Coolhill Castle

Coolhill Castle

Sadly is barely visible because of the tress growing up around it. Something should be done to open the vista up as it is surely one of the finest river scenes in the country.

It was owned by a Norman family called De La Rupe, who were ‘felons and robbers as well Irish enemies as English rebels’. They owned this wooded land between the Barrow and the Nore.

They earned their reputation thanks to the heavy tolls they extorted from passing over traffic.

The top of Coolhill Castle and the Blackstairs

The top of Coolhill Castle and the Blackstairs

%d bloggers like this: