Hi Everyone. I hope I find you all well. I’m happy to report that we’re enjoying a dry and sunny spell in Ireland this week which looks likely to last through the weekend. I hope the sun is shining wherever you are as we hit the road for the last in my series of must-see Irish historical sites. We end our journey in the province of Leinster. Once again, there’s a wealth of places to choose from. Here’s 5 of my favorites.
Irish Historical Sites. 5 to see in Leinster
1. Glendalough, County Wicklow
First stop County Wicklow and the tranquility and beauty of Glendalough. This magical place is a monastic site which was founded in the 6th century by St. Kevin. The anglicized name comes from the Irish “Gleann dá Loch” meaning ‘Valley of the Two Lakes”. Nestled in the heart of “The Garden of Ireland”, the surviving remains of the church and remarkably well preserved round tower date back to somewhere between the 10th and 12th centuries.
2. Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin
Next up we take a trip to the capital to visit one of Ireland’s oldest buildings and certainly the oldest in Dublin. It boasts the oldest crypt in Ireland, dating back to the 12th century. The first cathedral on this site appeared in 1028 on elevated ground above the Viking settlement at Wood Quay. In the 19th century major renovation were undertaken, restoring the cathedral to its former Gothic glory. Today it is a major tourist attraction with guided tours of the cathedral and crypt, The Dublina exhibition is a fascinating journey through Dublin’s medieval history.
3. Tintern Abbey, County Wexford
Next on our tour of Leitrim we head to Tintern Abbey in County Wexford. It date back more than 800 years and was founded by Earl of Pembroke, William Marshall. It takes it’s name from Tintern Abbey in Wales of which William was the patron. The first monks to live here came from the abbey in Wales. After the reformation when monasteries where dissolved, the abbey was owned by Sir James Croft and then Anthony Colclough. Lucey Marie Biddulph Colclough was the last member of the Colclough family to live there before donating the property to the Irish state.
4. Birr Castle, County Offaly
We stop by County Offaly now for a trip to the unforgettable Birr Castle. The first castle on this site as far back as 1170. It is currently the residence of the 7th Earl of Rosse. The impressive gardens are open to the public and feature 300-year-old box hedges which are the tallest in the world. It also boasts the oldest wrought iron bridge in Ireland as well as a mammoth telescope which has been beautifully restored.
5. Newgrange, County Meath
Well we simply have to end our tour of Leitrim’s must see historical sites with a visit to the unmissable Newgrange. Ireland’s world famous Stone Age monument predates the Pyramids and Stonehenge by some 500 years. The passage and chamber align with the rising sun every Winter Solstice on 21 December. A sight to behold if you’re lucky enough to get a ticket! Without doubt, the jewel in the crown of the World Heritage Site, Brú na Bóinne.
Once again thanks so much for your company and for all the lovely comments sharing your Irish travel stories. It’s always so great to hear from you!
Take care of yourselves and each other,
Slán go fóill!