Bagenalstown, county Carlow
One of my most loved small towns located along the river Barrow as it flows through county Carlow is Bagenalstown, it is located of the side of the hills that surround the river barrow south of Carlow town. Otherwise known in its Gaelic version as Muine Bheag it is a pleasant stretch of the River Barrow and derives its name from Walter Bagenal, who, in founding the town, had visions of mirroring the city of Versailles, in northern France.
However, his efforts became frustrated due to the re-routing of the coach road away from the town. He left more than enough for visitors to enjoy with handsome stone public buildings including the impressive Courthouse, now a public library in Bagenalstown.
The arrival of the railway in 1846 rejuvenated the town, and its neo-classical railway station is one of the finest in Ireland. Attributed to William Deane Butler it is constructed of limestone and granite and is a seven bay, two-storey building in an Italianate villa style. Today Bagenalstown station still retains its charm in a largely unaltered state. This former mill town made full use of the river Barrow to transport grain, beet, coal, turf and Guinness by barge, evidence of which can be seen in its fine industrial architecture. Near the railway bridge on the R705 Borris road is an example of the Carlow fence which consists of a decorative fence made of granite pieces, laid horizontally over vertical posts and is found nowhere else in the world.
One of the finest views of Bagenalstown may be enjoyed on the approach road from Leighlinbridge and includes the spire of St. Andrew’s Catholic Church and the fine tower of St. Mary’s Church of Ireland Church. St. Andrew’s Catholic Church was built in 1820 on a site provided by the Newton family, successors to the Bagenals. The stained glass behind the altar is worthy of particular attention. Nowadays, riverside walks, picnic tables and a picturesque lock enhance this fine town which has been twinned with the French town of Pont Pean since 1999.
ATTRACTIONS: The ruins of the early 14th century Ballymoon Castle and 13th century Ballyloughan Castle are located near the town. Wells Church, situated closeby, is the preserved ruin of a church dating back to 1262. The church is surrounded by an enclosed and well-maintained graveyard which is still in use today.
ACTIVITIES: Outdoor swimming pool. The McGrath complex offers excellent sporting facilities including cricket, hurling, soccer and Gaelic football fields, tennis court and pitch and putt courses. The River Barrow in this area is renowned for coarse fishing with wheelchair friendly fishing stands located near the swimming pool. The Barrow Way long distance walking route passes through the town.
Glengarriff, Beara Peninsula of County Cork, Ireland.
These images where taken on a visit to the west Cork town of Glengarriff during September 2014.
To me the town is at the top of my personal list of best visits in Ireland, for its size it has plenty of places to eat and drink and some great little shops. The surrounding area is full of great places to visit with a wonderful coast line , Mountain walks and Historic parks and nature reserves.
The Town has an official web site here : Glengarriff
Glengarriff the town
Glengarriff (Irish: Gleann Garbh, meaning “Rough glen”) is a village of approximately 800 people on the N71 national secondary road in the Beara Peninsula of County Cork, Ireland. Known internationally as a tourism venue, it boasts many natural attractions. It sits at the northern head of Glengarriff Bay, a smaller enclave of Bantry Bay.
Located 20 km (~12 miles) west of Bantry, and 30 km (~18 miles) east of Castletownbere, it is a popular stop along the routes around the area. In recent years, its importance as a waypoint along the Castletownbere to Cork fish-delivery route has declined as local infrastructure improves.
Glengarriff : Gallery
The beautiful village of Leenane, snugly situated at the head of Killary Harbour, is often aptly described as the ‘Gateway to Connemara’. The roads from Maam, Clifden, and Westport meet at this point. Killary Harbour extends ten miles inland and with the mountains rising steeply on either side provides what is probably the best scenery in Ireland. Walkers have access to Mweelrea, Sheefry, Paltry and Maumturk Mountains.
Leenane with its surrounds is a haven for geologists due to a great variety of sedimentary, volcanic and metamorphic rocks. There is good fishing in the local Erriff and Delphi rivers. Well known beauty spots include Aasleagh Falls and Doolough Valley, scene of the tragic famine walk. A film adaptation of John B. Keane’s famous play “The Field”, directed by Jim Sherdian, was made in Leenane in 1989. Well-known stars taking part included the late Richard Harris, John Hurt and Tom Berrenger. Visitors can visit many of the locations used as sets in the film.