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The Barrow Way Walking Routes

Why not go and enjoy this scenic route into the heart of rural Ireland by canoe, bike or on foot. Connect with friends and family as you escape to unique natural environments.

Explore The Barrow Way Website

A comprehensive website with map and walking route details it also features activities and attractions and much more.

Towpath Trails Online Booklet

For more information on the Barrow Way other walking routes have a look at the Towpath Trails Booklet online. It gives information on The Royal Canal, The Grand Canal and The Barrow Line. A beautifully illustrated book which gives you the km/ miles for each trail so you can choose one that suits you best.

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The Royal Canal Greenway Walking Routes

The Royal Canal Greenway

The Royal Canal Greenway is a walking route which starts from Maynooth and stretches as far as Enfield and beyond. It is a route along the canal and so is easy to access. There is lots to do along the route and plenty of nearby attractions.

Discover the Royal Canal Greenway, a 130km scenic walking and cycling route.

Click on the link below to bring you to the intokildare website for a printable map and more information

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Kildare Drama Festival Full Programme

Full Details of Plays at the Kildare Drama Festival 2018

Important Please note that because of adverse weather conditions that the Launch of Kildare Drama Festival will now take place on Monday the 5th March with Some Girl’s. for updates please check our face book page

Wednesday 28th Feb – Kilworth Drama Group
The Beauty Queen of Leenane by Martin McDonagh

This play tells of the relationship between mother and daughter living in an isolated part of Ireland. The Mother Mag is manipulative, and exploits her daughter Maureen to a point where she has become bitter and neurotic. Maureen has a chance of normalcy when she runs into Pato a local stable fella who becomes enamoured with her. Mag steps in and subverts their growing relationship driving Maureen to insanity thus making her an image of her mother.

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Thursday 1st Mar – Ballycogley Players
The Night Alive by Conor McPherson

Set in Dublin, The Night Alive tells the story of Tommy, a middle aged separated man,  just about getting by, he is renting a rundown room in his Uncle Maurice’s house and rolling from one Get Rich quick scheme to another with his pal Doc.

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Friday 2nd Mar – Ballyduff Drama Group
Albertine in Five Times by Michael Tremblay

Of all the characters he has created, Albertine seems to have a particular hold on internationally celebrated playwright Michael Tremblay. In Albertine in Five Times, translated by Linda Gaboriau, we see her at five different ages from the 1940’s to 1980’s and try to figure out if there was a point when she might have chosen a different fate.

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Saturday 3rd Mar – Starts at 7:30pm
Schools night of drama

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Monday 5th Mar – Curtain Call Productions
Some Girls by Neil La Bute

“Guy”, an up-and-coming writer, is about to get married. Before his wedding, he decides to visit his ex-girlfriends, all of whom he mistreated. We follow “Guy” on his odyssey through the landscape of his messy breakups.

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Tuesday 6th Mar – Holycross/Ballycahill
Bold Girls by Rona Munro

Bold Girls is a stirring play about the lives of three women, Marie, Nora and Cassie, living in war-torn Belfast. Although their man have been killed or imprisoned for their political activities, everyday life must go on, with a mixture of heartache and fun. However, the appearance of a disturbing young girl, and Cassie’s revelations suddenly threaten Marie’s carefully structured widowhood. Suddenly, all will change.

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Wednesday 7th Mar – Kilrush D.G. Co. Wexford
The Weir by Conor McPherson

In a bar in rural Ireland, the landlord and three regulars attempt to spook a young woman who has recently arrived from Dublin. But as the conversation progresses, it is Valerie who ends up scaring the men.

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Thursday 8th Mar – Kilmuckridge Drama Group
The Seafarer by Conor McPherson

The Seafarer is a 2006 play by Conor McPherson. It is set on Christmas Eve in Baldoyle, in the coastal suburb town of Dublin. The play centres on James “Sharkey” Harkin an alcoholic who has recently returned to live with his blind ageing brother Richard.

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Friday 9th Mar – Brideview Drama Group
Stolen Child by Bairbre NíChaoimh & Yvonne Quinn

A humorous yet moving drama: Stolen Child tells the story of a woman adopted at birth who enlists the help of a colourful private detective to search for her mother and who uncovers the secrets of her family history.

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Click here to return to the Kildare Drama Festival homepage

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Leixlip Castle

To find out more about Leixlip Castle call, +353 1 6246873.


Leixlip Castle was built soon after 1172 by Adam de Hereford, a follower of Strongbow, the Norman invader of Ireland. It has passed through many hands and has been in the ownership of Mr. Desmond Guinness and his family since 1958.

The Castle contains many items of antique furniture, tapestries, paintings and drawings and some unusual items. These include a large 18th century dolls’ house originally came Newbridge House, a military bath (which is in current use), a cabinet made in Killarney circa 1880 which is inlaid with views of ruined abbeys and round towers, Irish wolfhounds and with harps and shamrocks in the decoration. Also of interest are drawings of the six Mitford sisters by William Acton. A Print Room has been made in the Library and a corridor upstairs has also been decorated with prints.

The garden has a conservatory and a temple and white iron gates at the far end of the lawn lead to the walled vegetable garden.

Opening Days 2021

Leixlip Castle will be open starting 14th June 2021. Please be advised that people should book and appointment and wear a mask the whole time. They only take 6 people at a time.

Open Time From 9am – 1pm

Admission : €8 Adults

€4 Students, Children, OAPs

Please contact Leixlip Castle for appointments .

Landline : 01 624 44 30 Email : leixlipcastle@gmail.com

In line with the Government policy, the venue is taking a similar approach in terms of properties opening to the public in 2021, therefore:

Properties located in a region to which restrictions in line with Level 1 of the Living with COVID Plan are in operation, should be open but may restrict the number of visitors at one time to a group of 10.

Properties located in a region to which restrictions in line with Level 2 of the Living with COVID Plan, should open but may restrict the numbers of visitors to a group of 6.

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The Curragh


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The name Curragh comes from the Irish word “currach” which translates as “plain”, a place of the running horse.  The Curragh is Ireland’s largest, finest, and possibly only, example of a surviving ancient lowland unenclosed grassland. The 5,000 acres stretch from Kildare Town to Newbridge. The Curragh is surrounded on all sites by good, fertile lands however, it itself supports nutrient poor acid grasslands, severely deficient in lime and phosphorous.

The Curragh is unique in terms of it’s natural and cultural heritage.  This distinctive landscape houses the main training center for the Irish Army, a military museum, the premier racecourse for Ireland, Pollardstown Fen, Ireland’s oldest golf club, and many ancient barrows and raths.

Many famous Irish characters, including St. Brigid, the patroness of Ireland, Fionn MacCumhail and in more recent times, Dan Donnelly, the boxer are synonymous with this special place. The Curragh is also the birthplace of motor racing as it is where the first ever formal road race in Britain & Ireland was held with the Gordon Bennett Rally, 1903.

Click here to learn more about The Story of The Curragh
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Things to see and do at The Curragh

Accommodation

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How to get to The Curragh

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The Curragh is also very accessible from Kildare Town or Newbridge.


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Taghadoe Round Tower, Maynooth


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One of Maynooths oldest surviving monuments, Taghadoe Round Tower was part of an old monastic settlement and dates back to the 6th Century.

Its primary purpose was defence against local pillagers and Viking invasions but it was also used as a mark of the existence of a religious settlement. Among the ruins stands an early monastic church. The round tower itself has been renovated to some extent, however its roof was never replaced. A door stands 12ft above ground level where during times of invasion or plundering, when the warning was raised, the monks would gather all their sacred possessions and climb into the tower and pull the ladder up. This meant that there was only one entrance to defend which would have been relatively out of reach of the enemy.

The tower was used for about 1000 years but was left in ruins by the 17th Century.

The Taghadoe Round Tower is featured on the Kildare Monastic Trail available from  guidigo-logo

How to get there

It lies east of the R407, 8km southwest of Maynooth. Access to the site is free & parking is extremely limited.

OSI Discovery Series Map 50: N 9234 3456.

Latitude: 53° 21′ 12″ N / Longitude: 6° 36′ 47″ W

 


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Oughterard


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Oughterard Round Tower and Cemetery

The site, in the community of Ardclough, is a National Monument; it includes a castle dating from 1636 and a church from c. 1189.  The Round Tower is set on an elevated site in a beautifully well-maintained graveyard with a ruined late medieval barrel vault chapel (c. 1400’s).  Set into the side of the ridge with beautiful views of the Wicklow Mountains, Oughterard was the site of an important Anglo-Norman manor but there are no references to the castle here until 1636. The tower stands at 9.5 meters tall.

The parish church was granted to St. Thomas’ Abbey in Dublin before 1189 and stayed in their possession for the next 400 years. In 1540 it was said to be in need of repair and in 1576 it was being leased to Sir Henry Ratcliff. In 1596 it was granted to Richard Hardings. This church on site houses vaults belonging to Arthur Guinness, who is now buried here.

The Oughterard Round Tower is featured on the Kildare Monastic Trail available from  guidigo-logo

How to get there

It lies east of the N7, 4km southeast of Sallins. Access to the site is free.

OSI Discovery Series Map 50: N 9566 2624.

Latitude: 53° 16′ 41″ N / Longitude: 6° 33′ 57″ W

Find out more about Oughterard here


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The Abbeys of Clane

Clane was at the centre of ecclesiastical operations in Kildare due to it’s strategic location on the River Liffey and close to Dublin.

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St. Ailbhe’s Monastery

The beginning of the history of Clane dates from about 520 AD, when St Ailbhe, Bishop of Ferns founded Clane Abbey which predates St. Patrick’s. This is one of Ireland’s oldest monastic sites. It remained an important ecclesiastical site until the 13th Century when the Franciscan Friary was built in the town. The abbeys basic medieval structure was restored in the 1970’s by Clane Community Council and the grounds of the abbey landscaped into a Garden of Remembrance. 

Find out more about St. Ailbhe here

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The Clane Friary

Founded in 1258 by Gerald Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald (Lord Offaly) as a friary for the Franciscian Order. The ruins of this abbey stand close to the river Liffey, just off the main street in Clane.  A damaged effigy of a knight on the site is said to be that of Lord Offaly himself. The friary was suppressed in 1536 by Henry VIII although the friars stayed on until the it was completely destroyed in c. 1550. There are information boards and plaques on the site to help interpret it for visitors to Clane as only the remains of the Friary Church are visible today.

Find out more about Clane Franciscian Friary here

 

Clane is featured on the Kildare Monastic Trail available from  guidigo-logo

How to get there

Clane lies southeast of the N4, find out how to get there on our Clane town page.

Access to both sites is free.

 

 

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Moone High Cross


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Moone High Cross

The Moone High Cross is the second tallest high cross in Ireland and it is said to be one of the best examples in the country.  It is divided into three parts, the upper, middle and base. In 1893 the middle part was discovered and reunited with the remaining parts which were originally found in the ruins of the medieval church in 1835.  Today, the complete cross stands at 17.5 feet (5.3 meters).

There are different scenes depicted on the cross; Daniel in the lions pit, the three children in the fiery furnace and the miracle of the loaves and fishes amongst them. The monastery is believed to have been founded by St. Palladius in the 5th century, dedicated to St. Columcille in the 6th and the cross, constructed from granite, is reputed to date from the 8th century.

The Moone High Cross is featured on the Kildare Monastic Trail available from  guidigo-logo

How to get there

Take N9 South for Carlow & follow signs for Moone.
Drive through Moone Village turning right at the sign for the High Cross.
(Please note, this site can be difficult to find – feel free to ask for directions once in Moone)

OSI Discovery OS. Map: 55 S 789 927.

Find out more about Moone High Cross here


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Castledermot Monastic Site & Friary


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Castledermot Monastic Site

The monastic site of Castledermot was founded by St. Diarmuid in c.812, although there is evidence to suggest that hermitages may have existed here since the 6th century.

St. James’ Church of Ireland Church now stands on the site of the original monastery. The construction of a 20m high round tower and the presence of two ornate 10th century high crosses indicate the site’s wealth and importance. A Romanesque stone church also formed part of the monastery. However, today only a well carved doorway survives. The community’s wealth attracted some unwanted attention, and Viking raids are recorded in the Annals for the years c.841 and 867. The hogsback stone burial in the graveyard is another indication of contact with the Vikings.

After the Anglo-Norman invasion of 1169, Walter de Riddlesford was granted the barony of Kilkea. Tristledermot, as it was then known, was established as a medieval borough beside the existing monastery. De Riddlesford constructed a castle in the town. This was then rebuilt in 1485 by the Earl of Kildare. It was at this time that the name of the settlement was changed to Castledermot. The castle was destroyed by Cromwellian forces in 1650 and no remains of the building have yet been found.

Tristledermot quickly became a place of administrative importance, particularly in the 14th century. From the early days of the Anglo-Norman colony, Great Councils were held where King’s officers met with the chief magnates of the land. These gradually evolved into parliamentary sessions. The first documentary reference to an Irish parliament was a meeting at Tristledermot in 1264. A structure known as the Parliament Building was located on the market square until the 18th century.

Although the settlement was on the main route from Dublin to Kilkenny, it was also a frontier town, close to native Irish territories. In 1275, the townspeople were given a royal ‘murage grant.’ This allowed them to collect tolls from people entering Tristledermot and pay for the construction and maintenance of town walls. The wall was completed around 1302 and gave Castledermot its distinctive lozenge shape. Access to the town was via three gates; Dublingate to the north, the Carlowgate to the west and the Tullowgate to the south. Despite the construction of protective walls, the town was sacked in 1316 by Edward the Bruce, in 1405 and 1427 by the McMurroughs, and was eventually taken over for a period by the Kavanaghs. By the late 15th century the town was at least nominally back in the hands of the English crown. In reality though, it was the Earl of Kildare that controlled the town. Castledermot as it was by then known was again sacked in 1530 by crown forces aiming to take it from Silken Thomas (son of the ninth Earl of Kildare).

Trade was always an important activity in the town with the first royal grant for a fair given in 1199. In 1393 Tristledermot was even granted permission for a mint to produce its own coins. Archaeological excavations have provided proof that the townspeople were involved in specialised craft activities including butchery, horn-working, blacksmithing and pottery making. There was even a locally made form of medieval pottery known as ‘Castledermot-ware’.

There were two religious houses in the town. The Priory and Hospital of St John the Baptist was founded by Walter de Riddlesford and his wife in 1210, just outside Dublingate. All that remains of this is a square tower. At the southern end of the town was the Franciscan Friary, of which the impressive church ruins remain. It was founded in c.1247. Inside is a rare cadaver grave stone dating to about 1520. Both of these houses were dissolved in 1541.

With the loss of both its administrative and religious functions the town became more dependent on its market function. By the mid-19th Castledermot was described as having ‘neither trade nor manufacture; the place is wholly dependent on agriculture, and on the traffic resulting from its situation on a public thoroughfare.’

This information is courtesy of www.irishwalledtownsnetwork.ie, for more contact;

Castledermot Local History Group
castledermothist@gmail.com

Find out more about Castledermot here


 

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Upcoming Events

  1. Visual Art : Quarantine Project

    September 1 @ 10:00 am - October 20 @ 2:00 pm
  2. LONGINES IRISH CHAMPIONS – Weekend

    September 25 @ 1:00 pm - September 26 @ 5:00 pm
  3. PADDY POWER IRISH CESAREWITCH , STAFFORDSTOWN STUD STAKES 2021

    October 10 @ 1:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Upcoming Events

Contact Info

Kildare Town Heritage Centre, Market Square, Kildare Town, Co. Kildare, Ireland.

Tel: 00353 45 530 672
Email: info@kildareheritage.com

Opening Hours

Monday 10.00am - 4.45pm

Tuesday 9.30 am - 4.45pm

Wednesday 9.30 am - 4.45pm

Thursday 10.00 am - 4.45 pm

Friday 9.30 am - 4.45 pm

Saturday 10.00 am - 4.45 pm

Sunday Closed

Please note we close for cleaning and lunch from 1.00pm until 2.00pm each day