Killerig (Co. Carlow / North)
Killerig was once a stronghold of the Knights Hospitallers of Jerusalem, and later owned by a branch of the Eustace family. (Photo by Sarah777)
On the 16th of February 1395, “in a field called Ballygorey near Killerig, a short lived peace treaty between the chieftains of Leinster represented by Art MacMurrough and King Richard II represented by Thomas Mowbray, Earl of Nottingham, Earl Marshal of England was signed. The letters of submission were translated and read in Irish by Brother Edmund Wall, Master of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem in Killerig“.
Killerig is the location of a golf resort hotel & lodges, highly rated by enthusiasts and their families. There are some lovely views of the Wicklow Mountains to the east and the Killeshin Hills to the west.
Killerig is between Carlow Town and Rathvilly on ByRoute 5.
Tullow (Co. Carlow / Northeast)
Tullow (An Tulach – “the Mound”; formerly Tulach Ó bhFéidim / O’Feilmeada) (pop. 2800) on the River Slaney is a small farming centre and growing dormitory satellite of DUBLIN. Nowadays it has a substantial Polish community.
Tullow Civic Centre & Library (2005) (Photo – www.irishconcrete.ie)
Tullow is sometimes called “the Granite Town” because of its magnificent stone approach roads as well as its granite public buildings.
A castle built c.1181 by Hugh de Lacy was owned by Theobald Walter, ancestor of the Butler family, junior members of which occasionally held the title Viscount of Tullowphelim. The castle was defended bravely by Colonel Butler against Cromwellian forces in 1650, but after a long siege was taken by Hewson and Reynolds. The garrison were mercilessly put to death. No portion of the building remains; it is said that the building was taken down in the reign of Queen Anne and the materials used to build a barracks on the site of the present Courthouse.
Part of the castle site is occupied by St Columba’s church (CoI) with its splendid arched gateway; dating from 1831, this church replaced a 1730 building which had been erected over the foundations of a structure built c.1530. The interior of the church features several interesting memorials and beautiful stained glass windows.
Tullow Bridge over the River Slaney was mentioned by Dinely in 1680. A new bridge was erected in 1747. The present structure is thought to date from 177o; it was rebuilt in 1842, and has since then been repaired and strengthened several times.
In the centre of the town is a statue of Father John Murphy, the 1798 Rebellion leader executed with James Gallagher in the market square on 2nd July that year. The priest was stripped, flogged and decapitated; his mutilated body was burnt in a tar barrel opposite the Roman Catholic church, while his head was impaled on a spike as a warning to others against taking up arms against the Crown
Tullow’s small museum, housed in the former Methodist chapel (1862), has interesting exhibits about the village during the 1798 Rebellion and other periods.
The church of the Holy Rosary (RC) traces its origins to 1805, when it was built as the cruciform church of the Nativity / Virgin Mary; the tower and steeple were added in 1833, and the edifice was rededicated by Cardinal Cullen in 1875. It has since been altered several times.
Tullow Courthouse was built in 1825.
Mount Wolseley was the ancestral home of Dublin-born Frederick York Wolseley, inventor of the long famous make of motorcar.
Originally named Mount Arran, the estate was purchased in 1725 from Sir Charles Butler, Viscount Tullough & Earl of Arran, (1671 – 1758) by a retired army officer, William Wolseley from Staffordshire , whose succesors included two MPs for Carlow. The last member of the famly to live on the premises was Sir Clement James Wolseley, whose brother Sir John Richard Wolseley sold the property to the Patrician Order in 1925.
(In all, five successive holders of the family Baronetcy died without issue, and the title was most recently inherited by a cobbler from Cheshire who lived in Canada).
The first Georgian mansion, burned in the riots following the executions that ended the 1798 Rebellion, was finally replaced in 1864. Tradition has it that groups of trees in the parkland surrounding the house were planted to depict the positions taken up by the Duke of Wellington’s troops at the 1815 Battle of Waterloo.
Mount Wolseley is now a luxury Hotel, Spa & Country Club, with a golf course, self-catering luxury holiday lodges, etc.
Tobinstown Garden is set on a half acre around a Georgian farmhouse with herbaceous borders, lawns, shrubs and a summerhouse commanding beautiful views of the Wicklow Mountains.
Hardymount Gardens owe their success to the enthusiasm and hard work of Sheila Reeves-Smyth.
Hardymount, now a private residence, was originally a roadhouse built in 1730, with Regency bow ends added a century later.
It is reached by a sweeping driveway amid lawns with mature beech and oak trees and featuring one of the largest and finest Spanish chestnuts in the country.
A wonderful walled garden behind the house contains many unusual plants and flowers, a pond with lilies and fish, espaliered apple trees, a pergola draped with wisteria and an interesting vegetable garden. A quiet Summer House in a sheltered corner provides rest and relaxation.
Each little area feels private and secluded, but the overall picture does not look contrived or “designed”. This is a classic country garden.
The Castlemore district was for many centuries controlled by a branch of the Eustace family.
Tullow is close to Kilquiggan (Co. Wicklow) on ByRoute 5.