Saint Mullins

St Mullins is part County Carlow and part Wexford.  It is only a 40 minutes drive from your cottage and well worth the visit.

Saint Mullins is a tiny historic village on the bank of the River Barrow. It was established by Saint Moling who built a church and founded a monastic settlement there in the 7th Century. It is a most interesting place to visit.

The plan of Saint Molings church may be seen in the Book of Mulling, a precious Irish illuminated manuscript that with its jewelled Shrine is preserved in the library in Trinity College. The manuscript includes watercolours of three of the evangelists reputed to have been painted by Saint Moling himself.

Saint MullinsThe monastery was destroyed by the Vikings but replaced by a medieval Abbey in the 12th Century. The ruins are still clearly visible.

A Celtic High Cross from the 9th Century stands outside the remains of the Abbey and inside the ruins is the base of a round tower. A Church of Ireland was built close to the site in 1811.

The McMurragh Kavanaghs, former Kings of Leinster, are buried in the precincts of the monastery which is a busy historic area with remains of domestic buildings from the 9th Century and a mass alter from the 18th Century.
Saint Mullins is rich in folklore and tales of Saint Moling. His well is still visited in the village for a variety of cures including part of a ritual to cure toothache.
Just beside the monastic ruins is a large grassy Motte and the remains of a Bailey can be traced in the ground beside it. The Motte topped by a wooden structure was used by the Normans as fortification. It stood in a strategic dominating position overlooking the Barrow. Now it has a different role as children run down it sloping sides.

Saint Mullins holds its Patron Day that is a celebration of the saint on the Sunday before July 25th each year.

The Barrow was navigable from New Ross as far as St.Mullins. The tall stone buildings on the banks of the river are 18th century grain stores that stored grain and other goods for distribution around the whole area including the Blackstairs Mountains. Barges plied the river up to 1920 and their legacy of the towpath has now created a perfect path for walking.

Saint MullinsIn summer Indian Balsam borders the banks of the river with a froth of pink blossoms and is gorgeous. Walk along the towpath to the first lock or even better walk to Graighnamanagh. It will take about an hour.
On several occasions as we walked along this river path we have been thrilled by the blue flash of a Kingfisher swooping over the water.

Although it is a really quiet village Saint Mullins now has a café with tables along the river and a pub as well as a very helpful Heritage Centre in the restored Church of Ireland.

To extend the trip call to The Piano Gallery signposted a little outside the village where you will find a wonderful selection of new and old pianos in a modern showroom –All in this remote spot at the foot of the Blackstairs Mountains! Very unusual.

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