FEATURES OF LOCAL INTEREST IN THE TULLAHERIN AREA
Tullaherin is situated seven miles south-east of Kilkenny City, via Bennettsbridge - (from Waterford and New Ross, via Thomastown; from Dublin, via Paulstown and Gowran).
Tullaherin The name Tullaherin is usually given as the translation of Tulach Thirim - the dry mound or hillock, although it may also have derived from Tulach Chiarain - the tumulus or burial place of (St.) Ciaran, patron of Ossory Diocese and the "first of the saints of the Gael".
The old monastic site at Tullaherin boasts a number of fine antiquities, the most important of which is the well know Round Tower, or "Steeple" as it is know locally, which dates from the end of the 9th century. Features to note are: the regular layers of finely chiseled blocks of stone, the elevated entrance door, the small square-headed windows lighting each storey and the top storey (now partly eroded) which originally had eight windows - a feature Tullaherin Round Tower shares with that of Clonmacnoise. The whole tower leans slightly to the South.
The adjoining church dates from the 11-13th century with additions to the East from the 16th century. There are two ogham stones near the tower: a fragment discovered in 1852 and an almost complete example discovered in 1983.
Tullaherin Folk Museum is housed in the nearby old parochial residence. Established by Duchas - Tullaherin Heritage Society - in 1981, it contains many interesting household and farm items which were in everyday use in the locality in days gone by. It is open by request only.
Opening times: on request. Admission is free but donations for upkeep are gratefully accepted.
Lectures are held during the winter months and are open to all. Summer tours are also open to non-members.
This depicts a Norman Knight in full armour. The entire body is covered in a suit of chain mail over which is draped a loose cloth surcoat. The shield, which features the Cantwell coat of arms, is held in the left hand. The sword is partly hidden behind the legs. Around the ankles are strapped rowel spurs, an important feature in dating the sculpture. The legs are crossed which is thought to signify that the subject took part in the Crusades.
The skillful carving of the features, combined with its early date of execution and excellant state of preservation make Cantwell Fada an unique treasure among Ireland's medieval antiquities.
Items of Interest: