Carlow is a county with an exceptionally rich ecclesiastical heritage with a number of sites of national significance. These include the monastic site at St. Mullins, the Romanesque doorway at Killeshin, the medieval Cathedral of Old Leighlin, the eighteenth centurty college and the nineteenth century Catholic Catherdral in Carlow.
Carlow's Trail of the Saints is made up of 3 different driving routes taking in much of the county.
Named after St. Patrick, who is reputed to have batised the King of Leinster in north Carlow, this trail takes in the county's two larger urban settlements of Carlow and Tullow. Both towns have a rich ecclesiastical tradition and were in the forefront of the 19th century revival of Catholic places of worship and education. The beautifully carved doorway at Killeshin and the crosses and holy well in the peaceful village of Clonmore are excellent examples of the county's early Christian and medieval heritage.
A visit to one of Ireland's finest medieval churches, St. Laserian's Cathedral in Old Leighlin, makes a perfect start to this trail which meanders through the heart of the county towards Myshall at the foot of the Blackstairs Mountains. In Myshall, the visitor can admire the exquisite Adelaide Memorial Church with its exuberant decorative work. The trail also includes the Quaker burial grounds at Ballykealy and Ballybrommell.
St. Moling, the 7th century saint, ranks among the four great prophets of Ireland. The monastery he founded at St. Mullin's, beside the River Barrow, is the highlight on this trail which bears his name. There are, however, other exceptional experiences awaiting the visitor. The isolated Temple Moling in Ballinree and the diminutive early medieval church at Killoughternane are set in breathtaking scenery and surrounded by the calming sounds of nature.
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