Talk about a hidden gem!
The Disney Graves at Clonmelsh Graveyard, Carlow
No sign post, nor information stand directs or informs visitors to one of Carlow’s most interesting and unique sites of historical importance.
Less than 10 kms from Carlow Town and not far from Milford Cross, on a side road off the L3050 is Clonmelsh Graveyard.
It is the last resting place of the ancestors of Walt Disney, the great pioneer of the American animation industry. Close by is the ancestral grave of the family of Pierce Butler, one of the architects and signatories of the American Constitution.
And less than 100 metres further on are the ruins of a famous ecclesiastical site where Saint Willibrord, patron saint of Luxembourg was educated.
All three are significant historical people and we should do more to promote the sites. Good to see that some locals, I presume, have started the work and sandblasted the headstones and cleared the sites.
Carlow has a seriously rich ecclesiastical history worth telling.
Dermot Mulligan in Carlow County Museum has written about Saint Willibrord and there is a Carlow Diocesan Pilgrimage to Echternach, Luxembourg in June.
I have included this site on one of my cycling routes which will be in my book Cycling South Leinster, Great Road Routes which will be published by Collins Press on May 29th.
Rath Melsigi site of an important monastic site in the seventh and eight centuries
Cross at Clonmelsh