Carlow Historical and Archaeological Society are organising a one day bus tour of the Blackstairs Mountains region on Saturday 9th September. Places are limited and will be strictly allocated in order of booking so please book early. The tour will cost €20 which covers your bus travel for the day as well homecooked hot stew and bread in Osborne’s Storehouse Rathanna. Cars will not be able to follow.
To book please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone/text 087 9080277
Please dress for the outdoors including warm clothes as well as rain gear. Boots or walking shoes are also recommended, as part of the route will involve walking to archaeological features along rough trackways. Difficulty will range from easy-moderate, the steepest climbs being to the summit of Slievebawn from the Nine Stones and Shannon’s Lane from the Scullogue Gap. A packed lunch or flask is also recommended for the afternoon as the only stop for food will be around midday in Rathanna.
The bus will leave Askea Church carpark at 09:00am and the route will be as follows:
View across to Mount Leinster and the “Cailin Slipes” cursus feature where the story about how this monument was formed both archaeological and mythological will be recounted. Also includes extensive views across to the West.
Nine Stones/ Slievebawn
Next on our visit will be “The Nine Stones” stone row feature, a possible Bronze Age alignment. This site also includes extensive views to the north through the Coolasnaghta Amphitheatre. After this we will climb Slievebawn Mountain to visit the summit cairn on the top which most likely houses a Neolithic passage tomb.
Forest with View of Mount Leinster Lodge
From a small forest carpark, we will hear the Story of the “Duke of Leinster” and how a Tudor revival house came to be built according to the folklore of 100 years ago. This site also offers extensive views across a managed and reclaimed landed estate, the product of attempts to control the wild uplands in the 19th Century.
See the memorial to 1798 and hear the story of the movements of rebels at this time through the gap. Also hear of the importance of the gap in the medieval period and from traveller’s accounts in the 19th Century.
We will then walk up Shannon’s Lane and see the house bombed during WWII with tragic consequences, followed by a spectacular piece of Neolithic rock art located in a field boundary.
Road to St Mullins
On the road to St Mullins we will stop off at a vantage point that has a good view of the Cooliagh Gap or the Meeting Point to hear how people would gather on the last Sunday in July. Also hear the story of the discovery of an Iron Age deer trap on the summit of Blackstairs Mountain.
St Mullins Finish
St Mullins has been nominated for the Adopt a Monument Scheme for 2017. Here there is the 7thC monastic site founded by St Moling, a medieval mill race, Norman Motte and Bailey as well as the burial place of many important historical figures. Our trip will end with a tour of this fascinating site led by members of the Saint Mullins Amenity, Recreation and Tourism Group (SMART)
Back to Carlow!
Our ETA back in Askea church carpark is expected to be between 18:00-18:30