Rothar Routes

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

Westminster Straight Ahead!

While cycling on the Barrow Track this evening between Goresbridge and Graiguenamanagh I paused at the bridge over the Mountain River as it flows into the Barrow, The Barrow borders the grounds of Borris House along here.

With the bike facing south I could not help but think of the incredible story of Art McMurrough Kavanagh of Borris House. Born limbless Art had the most exotic and exciting life – a horseman par excellence and a man who travelled extensively, often on horseback in places such as Egypt, the Middle East and Russia!

He was later an MP at Westminster and wait for it, sailed his yacht from New Ross and tieing up outside the Houses of Parliament!

Cycling South Leinster throws up some fascinating routes and encounters with our past; best enjoyed by bike!

 

Dunleckney Parish Churchyard

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.

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‘Cycling South Leinster, Great Road Routes’ Connecting us with the Past

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.

Aghowle Sign Post

Aghowle Church


Aghowle Church and Cross


Aghowle Altar

Walt Disney, Saint Willibrord, Pierce Butler and Clonmelsh!

The Disney Graves at Clonmelsh Graveyard, Carlow

Talk about a hidden gem!

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

 

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