Castledermot, Kildare

Castledermot

 

Castledermot in Kildare isn't quite in the Irish midlands but with it being off the beaten trail and Carlow barely 10 Kms away I have included it here.

Castledermot

Saint James Church of Ireland in Castledermot contains a Round tower, two high Cross's, a Hog Back (a Scandinavian grave slab/marker), a Romanesque Archway and a Swearing Stone (the stone with a hole in it) reputed to be used for the swearing of various allegiances.

Castledermot

Within a few hundred metres of Saint Jame's Church is Castledermot Friary, the ruins of a 13th century Franciscan building. It's a fascinating place.

Castledermot

Castledermot

The Friary ruins contain an example of a Cadaver Effigy tomb slab, one of the few in Ireland. Although very worn the outline of the skeletons on the slab are still clearly visible.

Castledermot


Castledermot

Castledermot is also believed to be the place where Irelands first Parliament met in 1264.

Castledermot

Castledermot

Above is Ireland's sole example of a Hog Back and below are the High Cross's in Castledermot.
The Cross's date to the 10th Century (perhaps earlier) and the detail and depictions on them are very ornate and well worth seeing close up.

High Cross Castledermot

Castledermot

Pictured below is the Swearing Stone in Saint Jame's Church, Castledermot. A cross is inscribed on the opposite side of it.


Brownshill Neolithic Portal Dolmen (below) is about 11 Kms from Castledermot and is situated in County Carlow. This particular Portal Dolmen is reputed to have the largest capstone of any Dolmen in Europe.


The megalithic structure dates to approximately 3000 B.C.

Portal Dolmen,Brownshill

The usage of Dolmen in reference has fallen out of favour and they are more often referred to now as Portal Tombs. I'm stuck in my ways so Dolmen it is.

Brownshill Portal Tomb

Photographs can't quite capture its size or dimensions but it is estimated that the capstone alone weighs over 150 tons.