A Local Tour from the Glen of Imaal

OSI

Starting from Castleruddery cross roads the tour takes you through back roads to Baltinglass, Castledermot, Moone, Timolin, Ballynure, towards Dunlavin via more backroads leading you once again to Castleruddery.  There are many stimulating points of interest along this route.

Wall box at Castleruddery

The wallbox is long out of commission at Castleruddery.   J Butler c 2022

Ballyhubbock Bridge. J Butler c 2022

At Castleruddery crossroads is the Glen Lounge which Michael Dwyer would have known as Plants Pub in 1798.   Diagonally across from this is an Edward VII post box.  But the door on this box is a replacement installed by Saorstat Eireann after 1921.   Then leaving Castleruddery the road descends to the river where on the right side is a Norman Motte.  Ballyhubbock Bridge is then crossed and the road rises steeply to cut across the side of Spinan’s Hill following the old coach road.  Crossing over Spinan’s cross roads the way

Downings Bridge pedestrian refuge.  J Butler c 2022

descends to Downings Bridge with it’s pedestrian refuge before reaching the gate of Kilranelagh House.  A right turn here leads down to Tuckmill cross roads with it’s derelict Corn Mill.  Turn left on to the N81 towards Baltinglass but before Eldon Bridge turn left up to Sruhaun, passing Baltinglass cemetery.

 

Baltinglass Abbey 1793

In the town the ruined Cistercian Abbey has a number of interesting features, including the triple sedilia, arcade columns, a decorated tomb slab and the Aldboro Mausoleum.  From Baltinglass the road to Castledermot is followed passing through Graney.

 

 

Pilsworth’s 17th. century house burnt down 1798.  J Butler c 2022

Here on the right, the 17th century ruined house of the Pilsworth family catches the eye at once.  Nearby there is a derelict corn mill and by the river there is a well made pedestrian foot bridge.

Then on to Castledermot with its Franciscan Friary where the cadaver tomb cover is of interest.

 

High Cross, St. James’ Graveyard, Castledermot.  J Butler c 2022

Across the road by Church Lane at St. James graveyard are 2 fine granite high crosses wonderfully carved depicting scenes from the Old and New Testaments, a round tower, a hogback grave marker and a swearing stone.

Swearing Stone Castledermot.  J Butler c 2022

Moone High Cross.  J Butler c 2022

From Castledermot take the road towards Kilcullen which leads close to Moone.  Continue into Moone to the site of St. Columba’s monastery where there is an unusually slender 5 meter tall granite High Cross with beautifully carved figures on all sides.  Nearby at Timolin is St.Mullins Church and, if open, the 13th century effigy of an armoured knight may be seen in the porch.

Back on the Kilcullen road, having passed Crookstown Service Station, the road to Colbinstown/Dunlavin is taken.  The 1st right turn is taken leading up to Ballynure Church and graveyard.  The O’Mahony plot is of interest as 2 of the graves have Bulgarian stone crosses mounted on them.  After Ballynure turn left and head straight towards Dunlavin and Rathsallagh.

The O’Mahony Plot, Ballynure.  J Butler c 2022

J. Butler c 2022

At Cross Keys junction just before Dunlavin turn right and then take the next left turn.  Continue on until an unmarked lane on the left is reached opposite farm outbuildings.  Tornant Graveyard is approx 200 metres down the lane.  Many of the victims of the 1798 massacre at Dunlavin Green are buried here.  St. Nicholas’ Well, pattern day late June, is down the field below the graveyard and has been much frequented by generations of locals as a place of pilgrimage.  The view from the adjacent Tornant Mound is extensive, looking out over Co. Kildare and far beyond.

 

Back on the road continue along, turning left at the next junction.  At the following junction turn right down the R412 passing Tyntepark cross roads to reach the N81 at Carriggower Bridge.   Ballylion Lower townsland is across the road, from where the Ogham Stone in Donard originated.   Proceed south down the N81 to Whitestown cross roads and then up the hill on the left to pass Castleruddery Stone Circle on the right and so home.

Castleruddery Stone Circle.  Thomas Ryan c 2020

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