This tour took place on November 4th 2017 and was guided by Helena Nugent. She gave an account of some well known personalities and events as we passed their areas on our way to Lismore. These included Damer, the Gaelic poet Liam Dall, the notorious John Sadleir and the Butlers of Cahir.
The magnificent Lismore castle lies on a steep hill over the town. It was built in 1185 by Prince John of England but it remained the residence of bishops for four centuries. It was leased to Sir Walter Raleigh but his lands were purchased by Richard Boyle in 1602 .A member of the Boyle family married the Duke of Devonshire and the castle and its lands passed to that family in 1784.The castle is now a private family home but we were able to view the gardens.
Helena arranged a visit to St.Carthage’s Cathedral which is a very beautiful church and we had a meeting with the Dean and visited its wonderful library. The cathedral has stunningl stained glass windows, an amazing ribbed ceiling and in the nave of the church is the beautifully 16th century stone carved McGrath tomb .In the graveyard around the cathedral there are some very old interesting gravestones.
During our walk around Lismore we were impressed with The Towers gate lodges and bridge and its woodland habitat. St.Carthage’s Catholic church is well worth a visit. This church was built in the same era as St.Ailbe’s Church in Emly but is in Italian Romanesque architecture rather than Emly’s Gothic style.
Our first stop in Youghal was a tour of the Youghal Clock Gate Tower. It was an interesting tour that related the history of the building and the role it played in the town from the 16th century.The building was used as a merchant’s store, a prison and a family home. The staff in period costume related stories of torture and floggings and gave an interesting exhibit of the clock. The views from the roof were spectacular.
Helena guided us through the Raleigh Quarter and the Town Walls Walk. The Collegiate church can claim to be the oldest church in Ireland and has continuous worship since the 13th century. Among its monuments is a memorial to Richard Boyle and an older stone depicting a 9th. century Viking longboat. This church is a building of great historical importance and is a National Monument of Ireland.
We finished off a very interesting day with an excellent meal in the Sir Walter Raleigh Hotel.