Behind stately Dunleckney House lies the ruins of Dunleckney Parich Church and Graveyard.
I was passing this way today and finally got to visit this fascinating holy ground. With associations stretching back to Strongbow and the Knights Templar the ruins and graveyard are very atmospheric and historic and you could spend the day reading the ancient tombstones – the oldest dated 1692! The graves of the Bagenal and Newton families are located in a separate plot with both Catholic and Protestant graves scattered in this wooded graveyard.
Motorists tend to see roads as connections between Towns and Cities. I see them differently; I use them to avoid built up areas and use them to connect with our beautiful wilderness areas, our historic sites, our mountains, rivers and places of pilgrimage. The road less travelled is usually the best road to see and feel the real Ireland. My book, Cycling South Leinster will be published by Collins Press later this month. I will be extending an invitation to the launch to all who know me and read this blog!
Here are a few photos taken this evening around Aghowle on the East Carlow route; one of my favourite places.
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.