Sites

Catholic Church of the Holy Rosary

April 29th, 2010 • By: admin All Sites, St. Patricks Trail

Catholic Church of the Holy Rosary

During the early years of the nineteenth century, Daniel Delany, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, saw education as a pathway to a fuller and better life for all. To progress his vision he founded the Brigidine Sisters in 1807 and the Patrician Brothers in 1808. He also founded the present Catholic Church of the Holy Rosary. The church was dedicated in 1805; the tower and steeple were added in 1833.The fine Bishop Daniel Delany Museum in the Brigidine Convent gives a history of these orders and displays artefacts associated with the bishop.
Did You Know…
During the 1960s Cork born Patrician Brother Colm O’ Connell was educated at the Patrician
Colleges of Mount Wolseley and Ballykealy. Since 1976 he has been based at their school at
Iten, Kenya from where he has trained more international and Olympic athletes than any other
school in the world.

Old Leighlin – Seanleithghlinn

April 29th, 2010 • By: admin All Sites, St. Laserian's Trail

St. Laserian's Cathedral

St. Laserian's Cathedral

The picturesque village of Old Leighlin is home to one of Ireland’s gems of late medieval architecture. 1. St. Laserian’s Cathedral, Carlow’s oldest working building, was built on the site of a monastery founded by St. Gobban c. 600. St.  Laserian (Lasrain or Mo-Laise) became abbot c. 620 and the settlement grew to eventually accommodate some 1,500  monks.

2. The holy well which can be found 100 metres west of the church is dedicated to St. Molaise and features an early ringed cross said to denote the place where St. Laserian conversed with St. Finbar of Cork. Laserian, who was originally from Ulster, is celebrated for the Synod held in Leighlin in 630 at which the Irish Church adopted the Roman method for arriving at the date of Easter.

In 1111 Leighlin was constituted a diocese and thereafter the church here assumed cathedral status. The present building was started by Bishop Donatus (1152-85) and continued under his successors. Much of the fabric dates from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The tower dates from the late fifteenth century, while the Lady Chapel was attached to the north side of the choirin the sixteenth century. The church consisted of the long chancel and nave of the present building with transepts to the north and south. No trace of the south transept survives and the north is present in an unroofed state.

The interior of St. Laserian's Cathedral

The interior of St. Laserian's Cathedral

St. Laserian’s Cathedral features architecture from every century since it was built. The stone interior of this beautifully preserved church is illuminated by large Gothicstyle windows and a magnificent stained glass window behind the altar. One of the glories of the cathedral is the intricate ribbed vault of the crossing tower. The beautifully carved sedilia reflect the cathedral status of this building. This is one of the few churches in Ireland that has four seats, rather than the usual three. It is suggested that the fourth seat was for the Bishop. Cathedrals normally provided a special chair for the bishop but Old Leighlin may have just provided a place on the sedilia.

Eleventh-century font in St. Laserian Cathedral

Eleventh-century font in St. Laserian Cathedral

There are two fonts in the church, both of which are older than the building. The earlier font consists of a  massive piece of Kilkenny marble, hollowed with rough hand tools. The other font known as the Gowran font  is more decorative.

There are some fine nineteenth century pieces in the cathedral. The Bishop’s throne is richly carved as is the timber lectern in the traditional form of an eagle. This lectern was made in memory of Thomas and Sophie Vigors. The Vigors family of Burgage, Leighlinbridge was closely associated with the church and there are thirty two memorials to the family throughout the building. The east window designed by Catherine O’Brien, is a beautiful memorial, depicting Saints Moling, Bridget, Fiach, Canice, Patrick, John, Paul and Laserian.

Pulpit in St. Laserian's Cathedral

Pulpit in St. Laserian's Cathedral

Sedilia depicting four seats

Sedilia depicting four seats

There are several interesting floor tombs and the O’Byrne altar tomb (1569) opposite the south door has unusual iconography.

 

DID YOU KNOW

The date on which Easter is celebrated has always been a cause of difficulty and disagreement throughout Christian history. The main Latin churches throughout Western Europe used the Roman system of prediction. In the seventh century the less accurate Celtic system was in use in Ireland. This caused unnecessary dissent and St. Laserian overcame the problem persuading the Irish Bishops gathered in the Synod of 630 to adopt the Roman system. This was no mean feat given the Irish church’s tradition of independence in thinking and practice but it greatly helped in unifying the church. This achievement was confirmed for the Western Church at the Synod of Withby in 664 A.D.

Exterior of St. Laserian's Cathedral

Exterior of St. Laserian's Cathedral

 
Open : end May – end September, Tuesday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 4.00 p.m. or by arrangement. T: 059-972 1570, Guide available on request.

Admission: Free

Parking: Yes

Choir: Part of a church commonly occupied by singers, situated between the nave and the chancel.

 Chancel: The eastern part of a church, usually where the main altar is situated.

 Nave: The main aisle of a church, occupied by the congregation.

Gothic: Style of architecture, originating in the middle ages, characterised by pointed arches. When used in more recent times, it is described as neo-Gothic or Gothic revival.

Crossing: The intersection of transepts and nave.

Sedilia: Seats for clergy on the south side of the chancel, often located in niches.

St. Laserian’s Cathedral

April 29th, 2010 • By: admin All Sites, St. Laserian's Trail

St. Laserian’s Cathedral

St. Laserian’s Trail covers the mid-Carlow area, featuring a number of sites of national significance including the medieval  Cathedral at Old Leighlin as well as the impressive Adelaide Memorial Church at Myshall. Enjoy discovering these ancient  sites, tucked away in green valleys or up high on open countryside surrounded by an expanse of sky. Perhaps a moment of  quiet contemplation will provide insights into the secrets and mysteries contained within.

St. Laserian, sometimes called Molaise, was the founder of the See of Leighlin and its first bishop. He was born about the year  566. He studied in Rome and was sent to preach the word of God in Ireland. In fulfillment of this mission, Laserian visited  many parts of Ireland including Leighlin.

St. Laserian’s Cathedral features architecture from every century since it was built.The stone interior of this beautifully preserved church is illuminated by large Gothic style windows and a magnificent stained glass window behind the altar. One of the glories of the cathedral is the intricate ribbed vault of the crossing tower. The beautifully carved sedilia reflect the cathedral status of this building. This is one of the few churches in Ireland that has four seats, rather than the usual three. It is suggested that the fourth seat was for the Bishop. Cathedrals normally provided a special chair for the bishop but Old Leighlin may have just provided a place on the sedilia.
There are two fonts in the church, both of which are older than the building. The earlier font consists of a massive piece of Kilkenny marble, hollowed with rough hand tools. The other font known as the Gowran font is more decorative.
There are some fine nineteenth-century pieces in the cathedral. The Bishop’s throne is richly
carved as is the timber lectern in the traditional form of an eagle. This lectern was made in memory of Thomas and Sophie Vigors.

The Vigors family of Burgage, Leighlinbridge were closely associated with the church and there are thirty two memorials to the family throughout the building. The east window designed by Catherine O’Brien, is a beautiful memorial, depicting Saints Moling, Bridget, Fiach, Canice, Patrick, John, Paul and Laserian.

Did You Know…

The date on which Easter is celebrated has always been a cause of difficulty and disagreement throughout Christian history. The main Latin churches throughout Western Europe used the Roman system of prediction. In the seven th century the less accurate Celtic system was in use in Ireland.

This caused unnecessary dissent and St. Laserian overcame the problem persuading the Irish Bishops gathered in the Synod of 630 to adopt the Roman system.

This was no mean feat given the Irish  church’s tradition of independence in thinking and practice but it greatly helped in unifying the church. This achievement was confirmed for the Western Church at the Synod of Whitby in 664 A.D

The holy well

April 29th, 2010 • By: admin All Sites, St. Laserian's Trail

2. The holy well

The holy well which can be found 100 metres west of the church is dedicated to St. Molaise and features an early ringed cross said to denote the place where St. Laserian conversed with St. Finbar of Cork. Laserian, who was originally from Ulster, is celebrated for the Synod held in Leighlin in 630 at which the Irish Church adopted the Roman method for arriving at the date of Easter.

In 1111 Leighlin was constituted a diocese and thereafter the church here assumed cathedral status. The present building was started by Bishop Donatus (1152-85) and continued under his successors. Much of the fabric dates from the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The tower dates from the late fifteenth century, while the Lady Chapel was attached to the north side of the choir in the sixteenth century.

Leighlinbridge – Leithghlinn an Droichid

April 29th, 2010 • By: admin All Sites, St. Laserian's Trail
Black Castle, Leighlinbridge

Black Castle, Leighlinbridge

The attractive village of 3. Leighlinbridge lies along the banks of the River Barrow with beautiful riverside walks and a tradition of gardening that comes alive each year for the national Tidy Towns Competition and the Carlow Garden Festival.     

It was in this peaceful and scenic location that the first Irish Carmelite monastery was established. The Carmelite order was introduced into Ireland in the later-thirteenth century and the first monastery of this order was the one in Leighlinbridge. The Priory of St.  Mary was founded c.1271 by a member of the Carew family. During the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries the friars received financial grants from the English crown to help them maintain the important stone bridge over the River Barrow. The monastery stood on the east bank of the Barrow, near the present Black Castle. It was suppressed by Henry VIII in 1540 when the buildings included a church, dormitory, hall, two chambers and a kitchen. The friars also had a large garden and an eel weir on the river. The Carmelites returned to Leighlinbridge in 1730 and remained until the friary was finally closed in 1836.  
World War 1 memorial, Leighlinbridge

World War 1 memorial, Leighlinbridge

In the Garden of Remembrance spend some time looking at the memorial stones to the Carmelite order and to the Sisters of Mercy. There are plaques to Brian Mulroney, Prime Minister of Canada (1984–1993) whose family hailed from the area, John Tyndall and Nicholas Vigors. Visit Ireland’s first all county World War 1 memorial, listing the men from Carlow who died in the Great War.     

The Sculpture Garden, Leighlinbridge

The Sculpture Garden, Leighlinbridge

The Sculpture Garden is dedicated to three of Leighlinbridge’s most famous sons – Cardinal Patrick Francis Moran – Australia’s first Cardinal (see St. Molings Trail), John Tyndall, the scientist and mountaineer (see St. Patrick’s Trail) and Captain Myles Keogh (see St. Patrick’s Trail). Keogh was second in command to General Custer and lost his life in the Battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876 at the hands of the Sioux Indians.     

  
Memorials in the Garden of Remembrance to the Carmelite Order

Memorials in the Garden of Remembrance to the Carmelite Order

DID YOU KNOW 

In 2001 Leighlinbridge won a gold medal in the European Entente Florale Competition, the first Irish village to do so in twenty five years.  The award is in the Garden of Remembrance. 

                      Open: daily, daylight hours     

Admission: Free 

Parking: Yes