Rothar Routes

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

Standing Stones of County Carlow

In a week where significant new archaeological finds have been made in Newgrange i thought it appropriate to post this.

The words of Clannad’s hauntingly beautiful ‘Newgrange’ always come to mind when I pass the many examples of Standing Stones, (also known as Gallauns or Menhirs), that dot our little County: ‘The druids lived here once they said, forgotten is the race that no one knows…’. What these stones represent is lost in time.

A legacy of the Celts, they remain a mystery to us today – were they markers of some sort, burial or ritual sites?

100 Rathglass Ogham Stone

I have numbered the photos to identify them according to their listing in the brilliant ‘Archaeological Inventory of County Carlow. Two of these cary ogham inscriptions; ogham being an early form of writing consisting of lines and notches carved into stone and represent the oldest form of writing in Ireland.

They are an important part of our heritage and we are indebted to the landowners who have protected them and maintain that link with an ancient and mysterious celtic past.

100 Rathglass Standing Stones. A pair of standing stones

515 Patrickswell Ogham Stone

105 Williamstown Gallaun Standing Stone

104 Tombeagh Standing Stone

101 Tankardstown Standing Stone

98 Rathgeran Standing Stone

97 Leighlinbridge Standing Stone

87 Craans Ardattin Standing Stone

81 B Ballyellin & Tomdarragh Standing Stone. I spotted this in a garden – not sure it is authentic!

81 Ballyellin & Tomdarragh Standing Stone

79 Ardristan Standing Stone

78 Aghade Holed Stone 2018-04-15

78 Aghade Cloch a Phoill

 

 

Brandon Hill

Towering over the River Barrow and the town of Graiguenamangh, Brandon Hill offers spectacular views of the Barrow Valley, the Blackstairs and as far south as the Saltee Islands and west to Sliabh na mBan. Often as i cycled alongside the river I had the notion to climb Brandon for the view down into St Mullins. Lat night I went one better and cycled most of the way to the top and pushed the bike over the last few hundred metres. It was worth it! Here is a little clip of the cycle.

‘The most beautiful riverside walk in these islands’

“The most beautiful riverside walk in these islands” according to the writer and broadcaster, the late Dick Warner. Yesterday it was at its magnificent best. The traffic along the route and on the water was the busiest I’ve ever seen. Waterways Ireland have appealed the decision to refuse planning for a hard core cycle path along the river; it having been rejected by Local Authorities on environmental grounds.

I met a very large group of walkers from Dublin and Meath yesterday and chatting to them as I passed they were unanimous that walking on grass is so much better than a hard surface. They all hope the status quo remains.

Here is another very practical reason why converting the Barrow Way to a shared cycle path is a non runner. You can see on the video below just how difficult and dangerous it will be to accommodate mass cycling and walkers on a shared path.

 

The

Cycling and Wild Swimming!

The great excitement on the football fields came to a halt on Saturday evening so it was nice to unwind on Sunday along The Barrow Way.

When the sun shines in the south east there is no where like it!

Here’s a video of our cycle along The Barrow and in Clashganny Woods followed by a spot of what is fashionably called wild swimming nowadays! Look out for the goat too!

How Can I Protect You In This Crazy World?

Basking in May sunshine, The Barrow Way can be seen in all it’s glory; this is no Theme Park, it’s nature at it’s finest. Appreciated by all who use it for it’s beauty and tranquility, it is a real national treasure. We are not endowed with vast areas of wilderness so this sliver of green along the Banks of The Barrow must be retained. It is Carlow’s number one natural attraction and must be protected.

Get out and enjoy it; there are so many sections to ramble along on a summers evening or on a lazy weekend beside a lazy river…..

Christy Dignam’s lyrics say it best…. ‘How Can I Protect You In This Crazy World’?

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Couldn’t resist going down south again this afternoon. Here is Clashganny to St Mullins but at 20 x speed!

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