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Archiver > CoTipperary > 2002-01 > 1010810450

From: "Ed Madden" <>
Subject: Carrick-On-Suir - Shell Guide
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2002 20:40:50 -0800

CARRICK-ON-SUIR, Co. Tipperary, formerly Carrickmacgriffin, is a beautifully sited market town on the Suir, 15 m. NW of Waterford, 24 m. NE. of Dungarvan, 13 m. E. of Clonmel, and 16 m. S. of Callan. The town is a convenient centre for exploring the beautiful Suir valley, as well as Slievenamon (see under Fethard) and the Comeragh Mountains (Fauscourn, 2,597 ft; Coumshingaun, a lake-filled corrie high up on the mountain is well known to rock-climbers) some 8 m. SW.

Although the manor of Carrickmacgriffin belonged to the Anglo-Norman le Brets in the 13th cent., the town was really the creation of the Butlers, Earls of Carrick and Ormond, who acquired the property in the 14th cent. By the river, at the E. end of Castle St, are the unusually interesting remains of the latest castle (Nat. Mon.). The first Butler Castle here was erected in 1309, on the site, we are told, of a Poor Clares convent; but the oldest part of the existing buildings - two towers, etc., on the S. side - was built by Emonn mac Risderd Butler, a famous warrior and a noted patron of Irish letters. (Leabhar na Carraige, alias the Book of the O Mulconrys, now British Museum Add. MS. 30512, was written for him in this castle c. 1450 by William Mac an Legha; see Pottlerath under Callan; also Piltown; and Hoare Abbey, Cashel.) It has been claimed that Anne Boleyn, mother of Elizabeth I of England, was born in the castle; she was a grand-daughter of Thomas, 7th Earl of Ormon!
d (d. 1555). To Emonn mac Risderd's castle the 10th Earl of Ormond (Black Tom, d.1614) added the good Elizabethan manor house which forms the N. side of the castle court; the Long Gallery, recently repaired and partly restored, is the sole surviving Irish example of its period. A splendid view towards the S. may be had from the castle parapet.

The parish church of St Nicholas of Myra, William St, is a Romanesque essay (1880) by George C. Ashlin, a pupil of Pugin's. On the S. side of the river is the suburb of Carrickbeg (Abbeyside). St Molleran's parish church (1827) incorporates the tower and part of the N. wall of the church of St Michael's Franciscan friary, founded 1336/47 by James, 1st Earl of Ormond; John Clyn, the annalist, was the first Guardian; in 1447 the friary was re-founded by Emonn mac Risderd. When the parishioners were constructing the present edifice Catholic Emancipation had not yet been won, and the Protestant rector threatened to seize the building. On the advice of O Connell his threats were ignored.

3 1/2 m. N. is Newtown (Newtown Lerman, Newtown Lingawn). All Saints' parish church (1885) is another Romanesque essay by Ashlin.Not far from Scogh bridge are remains (Nat. Mon.) of a medieval church which incorporates 12th cent. fragments; the carvings include a rude sandstone figure (a bust). 1 m. N., in Ahenny, is the ancient monastic site, Kilclispeen (St Crispin's Church). The remains here include two splendid 8th (?) cent. High Crosses (Nat. Mons.) and the base of a third. The crosses are decorated with carved bosses, interlaces, spirals, frets, and other abstract motifs. The bases have figured panels. The panels of the S. cross are very weathered; they include figurations of horsemen and of Daniel in the Lions' Den. Those on the N. Cross are in better condition. The subjects include: W. face: seven ecclesiastics; N. face: two monks on horseback followed by two others in a two horse chariot; E. face: miscellaneous animals and a palm tree under which stands a human figu!
re; S. face: procession of monks with a horse carrying a headless corpse. The missing cross, "the most beautiful of the three", is said to have been stolen (c. 1800) and lost in a shipwreck off Passage East. - 1 1/4 m. NE. of Newtown, at the foot of Knockandrowla in Castletown, is the ancient monastic site, Kilkieran. The remains (Nat. Mons.) include three stone crosses - two of them High Crosses of Kilclispeen type - and fragments of at least one other carved cross. The W. Cross is covered on all faces with interlaces, frets, spirals, etc. On the E. face of the base is a procession of horsemen. The E. Cross is not decorated. In 1858 these two crosses, then prostrate and broken, were "restored in an admirable manner by a blind mechanic". The tall, slender, N. Cross bears some faint traces of superficial ornament. The derelict Osborne mausoleum stands on or near the site of the ancient church. A portion of a 9th (?) cent. carved cross which served as lintel of the doorway has!
recently been cemented to a jamb fragment to form a pillar. E. of the churchyard are Tobar Chill Chiardin and a bullaun. - Knockandrowla, alias Baunfree Hill, alias Kilmacoliver Hill (814 ft), commands far flung prospects. NW. of the summit, in the Church Field, is Lawe's Churchyard, formerly Rath Chiarain. Here, in a small, circular enclosure are remains of a chambered cairn. - 3 m. S. of Kilkieran is Whitechurch (see under Piltown). - 2 1/2 m. NW. of Newtown, in Rathclarish, is a great univallate ringfort.

1 1/2 m. NE., at Tinvane House, is a fragment of a stone cross from Kilcreggane, Co. Waterford; it bears the Leonard arms. 3 1/2 m. NE. is Castletown House (see White- church under Piltown). 2 1/2 m.. E. is Tibberaghny (see under Piltown). 2 1/2 m. SE., in Rath, Co. Waterford, is a prehistoric chamber tomb. 1 3/4 m. S., in Ballyquin, is the ancient church-site of Kilquan; some 150 yds N. are two chamber tombs, one a portal dolmen.

3 1/2 m.. SE. are the fragmentary remains of Mothel "Abbey" (Nat. Mon.), a priory of Canons Regular of St Augustine which succeeded an early monastery founded by St Broccan (Brogan). In a farmyard S. of the "abbey" is Cloch na Coimirce (Stone of Protection), an early cross-pillar. 3 m.. SE., in Whitestown East, is a prehistoric chamber tomb. - 1 1/2 m. SSW., in Clonea, are the ruins of a small nave-and-chancel church with plain Romanesque chancel arch and S. window and an inserted S. door. The Gothic Revival church (1860) is by J. J. McCarthy, "the Irish Pugin"; the bronze crucifix over the high altar is said to have been dug up near the ruins of Rathgormuck church. 5 m. SW., in Rathgormuck, are the remnants of a medieval church with small, castle-like tower; to the N. are the remains of Rathgormuck castle. At Millvale is a small chamber tomb.

6 1/2 m. NW., on the slope of Slievenamon, is Kilcash. The remains of a small church with battered, Romanesque S. doorway mark the site of an ancient monastic foundation which had associations with St Colman ua hEirc. In the Middle Ages the church passed into the possession of the Knights Hospitaller. In the churchyard is the tomb of Archbishop Christopher Butler (1673-1757; see Garrytickin House under Callan); at the time of the 1848 Rising the mitre and other leaden ornaments were stolen to make bullets. A rudely carved font from the church may be seen at the modern Catholic church. To the E. of the ancient church are the ruins of Kilcash castle, where Lord Castlehaven, noted Confederate Catholic commander in the 1641-52 war, wrote his Memoirs. The haunting, early-18th cent. song, Cill Chais (English rendering by "Frank O'Connor"), mourns the death of Margaret Butler, Viscountess Iveagh ("Lady Veagh"). Her first husband the attained Jacobite, Brian Maginnis (Mac Guinness),!
having died in the Austrian service, she married Colonel Thomas Butler of Kilcash Castle, a nominal Protestant who connived at her sheltering of Catholic bishops and priests. She was buried in Archbishop Butler's tomb in the nearby churchyard. 5 1/2 m. Sw. is Kilsheelan (see Clonmel).

The Shell Guide to Ireland, by Lord Killanain and Michael V. Duignan, Ebury Press, London. Was first published in 1962 and the second edition was revised in 1969.

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