Rothar Routes

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

Archive for ‘April, 2018’

Waterstown Crosses Rathvilly

With a quiet week on the football front, it was nice to get out and do a bit of wandering around the Rathvilly area. I was delighted to see two medieval crosses that I have never visited before at Waterstown, Rathvilly.


The site is marked as a graveyard on the Ordnance Survey Discovery Series no 61 map. It is easy find – head out of Rathvilly as far as the Moate. Turn left at the cross road and continue for 600 metres or so. There are two small granite posts on the left, that provide access to the field. (You may need to seek permission to enter). The crosses are located on top of a small mound which appears to be an old disused graveyard ( how can a graveyard be disused!)

I was delighted to see and photo the crosses; the large cross is about 2 metres high, it is a plain undecorated cross while the smaller cross has a clear crucifiction motif but the arms of the cross are broken. It’s a very atmospheric site with mature trees hiding the crosses from view.

It isn’t very far across the fields to St Patrick’s Well and closer to the Moate there’s an ogham stone located in the middle of a field which I also photographed. I think the inscription forecast ‘ Rathvilly for the 2018 Championship’! We will wait and see! Credit to landowners who are guardians of most of these sites and farm around them when I am sure it is an inconvenience to do so.

Protect and Value our Heritage!

It always astounds me to see the sheer volume of ancient heritage sites and monuments that dot the County. Often the most interesting ones are not sign posted and are off the beaten track.

Here is Kildreenagh Cross Head. It’s located near Newtown; I had difficulty finding it and only for a quick phone call to Sabrina Doyle of Nutritional Concepts and her hubby John I don’t think I would have traced it.

John knew it as ‘The Wart Well’. Presumably it was recognised for curing warts at some stage!

It is located in a hedgerow and you would not see it unless you were specifically looking for it. The Cross depicts Jesus in the centre. Apparently there was an ancient church here but it was demolished during land improvements and only the cross and a base and a rocky outcrop remain.

These old monuments and heritage sites are very important links with our past and we need to identify them, signpost them and protect them to ensure they survive for future generations to connect with our ancient history and ancestors.