Ancient Ireland [3] : Lismore

Other features of ancient Ireland are the stones – carvings and standing. We saw the carvings on the stones at Knowth but there are more carved stones scattered across the countryside. Or … maybe not scattered at all but strategically or symbolically placed monuments. There are wells dedicated to saints. There are ancient churches, cathedrals, monasteries and abbeys – the earliest religious foundations.

Some of these ancient sites I came across on my walks.

Lady Louisa’s Walk, Lismore

LL Walk Lismore

[Following description is from here.]

Lady Louisa’s walk is a gentle and picturesque walk which takes you, for the most part, on a woodland walk along the river bank.

Starting at the car park on the Cappoquin road, exit the car park and turn left for Lismore Castle and St Carthage’s Cathedral.

Lismore Castle

When you come to the Blackwater river, continue over the bridge. A magnificent view of Lismore Castle now unfolds in front of you. Proceed in the direction of Lismore town and, shortly, you will come to black gates on the left. Inside these gates, you will see the map board for Lady Louisa’s walk. The walk follows a path on the southern side of the river Blackwater.

Blackwater R

River Blackwater

Some way along the river you will come to a second gate. Follow the signs to your right, leaving the river behind you and following the path uphill.

2nd gate

The second gate

At the top of this path, turn right, keeping the high wall of the school and playing pitch on your left and eventually emerging with a neat row of houses on your left just before a crossroads.

Turn right, toward the cathedral (which dominates a beautiful tree-lined square).

Lismore cathedral

St Carthage’s Cathedral

St Carthage’s Cathedral has been a place of worship since 636. Gravestone slabs from monastic times can be found inside the Cathedral. The first stone Church on this site was build about 1207 but the present church dates from 1630. It has been altered and extended since. The pointed windows and ribbed ceilings were inserted by Sir Richard Morrison around 1820. The tower and ribbed spire were added by the Pain Brothers in 1827. Other things I noticed were the Burne-Jones stained glass window; ancient stone carvings and the story of the Lismore Crozier which is now in the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin.

Burne-Jones window


Lismore Crozier

Turn left through the square and then right to bring you onto the main street of Lismore.

Carthage cathedral doorway

St Carthage’s is Church of Ireland

Continue to the crossroads, with the monument in the centre of the road, Lismore Hotel on your right and the Heritage Centre across the road on your left.

Lismore town centre

Centre of Lismore – Lismore Hotel on left; monument in the middle

Hotel plaque

Sign seen at The Lismore Hotel

Turn right here to return to your car, noting on the way the beautiful millennium park on your left, the entrance to the castle gardens beyond that and, a little further on on your right, St Carthage’s holy well.

St Carthage well

St Carthage Holy Well (not easy to photograph)

Continue past the bridge, turning right to return to the car park and your starting point.


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