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Towns and Villages along the way - KILLURE

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Killure or “ church of the yew’’ is a small village on the fourth stage of the Beara Breifne / Hymany  Ways from Portumna to Balygar to meet the next stage of the journey northwards to meet with the Suck Valley Way.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that St. Ciaran once  considered  building his seven churches here, instead of Clonmacnoise.

Had it not been for the chance encounter by workmen of a red haired lady while building the second  church which caused them to flee the site and changed the course of monastic history in Ireland forever.

However, their eminent departure might have more to do with the fact that St. Ciaran got a more lucrative deal in Clonmacnoise.

The surrounds of the unfinished church was used as an infant  burial ground with stones from the church used as markers for their graves including a holy water font, worn smooth by worshippers through the ages.

The three storeyed building, known locally as Killure castle, is a Tower House  dating from the 15th. to 17th. century

A standing stone, which folklore says may have sacrificial origons, may date back to the Bronze Age can be seen at Cappagh Bridge. It is a squat granite boulder, roughly D shaped in plan with a notable chiselled groove across the top. An “ axehead ‘’ was found nearby.

The Esker Riada and its exposed face  is a series of ridges stretching from Dublin to Galway across the midlands. These geological features were created at the end of the last ice-age when silt, sand and gravel were deposited by rivers of glacial melt- water under the ice. “Eiscir’’is a mound or an elevation and this was the highway used by travellers going from east to west through the midland bogs of Ireland.

We are fortunate that this part of the glacier has survived as many have been lost due to gravel extraction, forestry and being levelled by farmers for tillage and grazing.

The eskers have developed an abundance of their own species of rich flora and wild flowers.

Cloonigny Castle, now in ruins, with its moated site, was occupied by “Shane De Moy’’ (O Kelly) in 1574.

It is surrounded by a well preserved moated site. It is defined by two banks with an intervening fosse. The inner bank is well preserved and there is a mound defined by a scarp and an external  fosse. Close by is a ringfort containing a souterain.  

Killure bog due to the ecological importance of its plants and animals Killure Bog was declared a Natural Heritage Area in 2003.

It consists of raised bog and cut over bog and part of it is afforested.

Raised bogs are valuable wetland habitats and are becoming increasingly rare in Ireland.  These bogs once formed extensive wetlands over much of the central  lowlands of Ireland. Over milennia, they were intrinsically linked with Irish culture, but for the most part, they were considered wastelands, to be converted to more productive purposes on a large scale such as the production of fuel and horticultural peat.

There are sports grounds  in nearby Ahascragh where both hurling and soccer are played.

A particular attraction in the area is the participation by enthusiasts in vintage rallies.

 

Points of Interest : Killure to Aughrim

1 Killure bog due to the ecological importance of its plants and animals Killure Bog was declared a Natural Heritage Area in 2003.

It consists of raised bog and cut over bog and part of it is afforested.

Raised bogs are valuable wetland habitats and are becoming increasingly rare in Ireland

2 Cloonigny Castle, now in ruins, with its moated site, was occupied by “Shane De Moy’’ (O Kelly) in 1574.

. Close by is a ringfort containing a souterain.  

Esker Riada and its exposed face  is a series of ridges stretching from Dublin to Galway across the midlands. These geological features were created at the end of the last ice-age when silt, sand and gravel were deposited by rivers of glacial melt- water under the ice. “Eiscir’’is a mound or an elevation and this was the highway used by travellers going from east to west through the midland bogs of Ireland.

The eskers have developed an abundance of their own species of rich flora and wild flowers.

3 A standing stone which may date back to the Bronze Age can be seen at Cappagh Bridge. It is a squat granite boulder, roughly D shaped in plan with a notable groove accroos the top. An “ axehead ‘’ was found nearby

Description of trail : Killure to Aughrim

The walker should allow 3.5  hours for this 13 km stretch.

In the first part of his journey to Aughrim the walker goes on tracks and on either side he encourters some raised bog or cut- away bog until he arrives at some rich pasture land  and he can see in the distance the Esker Riada, once the path of traveller and pilgrim alike.

Once again the  walker travels by the banks of the Kilmalaw river and through rough pasture land followed by a quiet country road and some more pasture land until he follows a quiet contry road, past the Wade Estate and over the Motorway bridge into Aughrim.

Points of interest: Killure to Clonbrock

 1Clonbrock and the Dillon family was  amongst the first of the Anglo- Norman families to settle in Connaught in 1580 on a 3,000 acre farm and by 1870 the Clonbrock estate in Ahascragh, Co. Galway amounted to 28,000 acres of land.

During Famine times, the Dillons were described as one of the most considerate in the country.

The estate papers were bought by the National Library in 1977 and the mansion was accidently burned in 1983.

2 Photographic studio owned by Luke Gerald Dillon, 4th. Baron of Clonbrock and his wife Augusta who were keen photographers and built a studio and dark room at Clonbrock. They left a lasting legacy containing a collection of portraits of three generations of the Dillon family of  Clonbrock. The collection was acquired by the National Library of Ireland in 1977 and contains a collection of all aspects of life on the estate as well as photographs of the house itself, the servants, tenants and estate workers and community events involving the family.   

3 Thomas Coen was born in 1779 near Clonbrock House. He was the very first name on the register of the newly built Maynooth College built for the education of Catholic priests in Ireland. He later became Catholic Bishop of Clonfert and became embroiled in controversy when John Wesley Methodist and the Evangelical Movement targeted Catholic children, setting up a school at Killure, in order to bring about their conversion to Protestantism.

Description of trail:

Killure to Clonbrock

 This a relatively short hike of about 2 .5 hours. In inclement weather the first  500m of this section  can be quite heavy going due mainly to the soil structure and lack of drainage. After a long stretch of boreen, the walker arrives on a quiet  country road meeting the Secondary road  where care must be taken and the wide grass margins used. Turning right, the last part of this leg passes through some farmland and forest paths until it arrives on what was once the avenue into Clonbrock Estate, a local big house, that was accidentally burnt down in the 1980’s. The walker has a choice of continuing on or travelling about 4 km to Ahascragh village.

Points of interest: Clonbrock to Killure

 

11Clonbrockand the Dillon family was  amongst the first of the Anglo- Norman families to settle in Connaught in 1580 on a 3,000 acre farm and by 1870 the Clonbrock estate in Ahascragh, Co. Galway amounted to 28,000 acres of land.

 

During Famine times, the Dillons were described as one of the most considerate in the country.

 

The estate papers were bought by the National Library in 1977 and the mansion was accidently burned in 1983.

 

2 Photographic studioowned by Luke Gerald Dillon, 4th. Baron of Clonbrock and his wife Augusta who were keen photographers and built a studio and dark room at Clonbrock. They left a lasting legacy containing a collection of portraits of three generations of the Dillon family of  Clonbrock. The collection was acquired by the National Library of Ireland in 1977 and contains a collection of all aspects of life on the estate as well as photographs of the house itself, the servants, tenants and estate workers and community events involving the family.   

 

3 Thomas Coenwas born in 1779 near Clonbrock House. He was the very first name on the register of the newly built Maynooth College constructed for the education of Catholic priests in Ireland. He later became Catholic Bishop of Clonfert and became embroiled in controversy when John Wesley Methodist and the Evangelical Movement targeted Catholic children, setting up a school at Killure, in order to bring about their conversion to Protestantism.

 

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