St Mullins: A Charming Village in County Carlow, Ireland

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St Mullin's carlow

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St Mullins is a charming village nestled on the eastern bank of the River Barrow in the southern part of County Carlow, Ireland.

Steeped in history and natural beauty, the village offers visitors a chance to explore its ancient monastic ruins, scenic riverbanks, and picturesque countryside, making it an ideal destination for history enthusiasts, nature lovers, and those seeking a peaceful retreat.

Irish name origins:

The village’s Irish name, Tigh Moling, formerly anglicized as Timoling or Tymoling, translates to ‘homestead of Moling,’ named after Saint Moling, who founded a monastery there in the early 7th century.

Points of Interest:

  1. Ruins of the Monastery at St Mullins: The monastery at St Mullins was founded by Saint Moling in the early 7th century. Built with the help of the legendary Irish builder, Gobán Saor, the original monastery was plundered by Vikings in 951 and burnt in 1138. An abbey was later built on the site. The earliest known plan of an Irish monastery can be found in the 8th-century manuscript, “The Book of Mulling,” which details the layout of the monastic complex, complete with crosses inside and outside the circular wall.
  2. St. Mullins Graveyard and Monastic Site: The graveyard and monastic site at St Mullins offer a glimpse into the village’s rich history. This location is said to be the final resting place of Saint Moling, who passed away in 697. In Irish folklore, it is also believed to be the place where Suibhne Geilt, a legendary figure, died after being welcomed into the monastery by Saint Moling.
  3. St. Moling’s Well: This historic well is named after Saint Moling, who is said to have dug a mile-long watercourse by hand to power his mill, a task that took him seven years to complete. Today, St. Moling’s Well is a testament to the saint’s dedication and perseverance, and the watercourse he created still exists, providing a serene spot for reflection and relaxation.
  4. River Barrow: The picturesque River Barrow flows through St Mullins, offering visitors a chance to enjoy the scenic beauty of the village and its surrounding countryside. The river is a popular spot for anglers and is also frequented by pleasure barges and cruisers. The building of the canal on the River Barrow began in St Mullins in 1750, further enhancing its importance as a transport hub in the region.
  5. 9th-century High Cross: A remarkable 9th-century high cross stands outside the remains of the abbey in St Mullins. This intricately carved cross features depictions of the crucifixion and traditional Celtic spiral patterns. It serves as a stunning example of early Irish Christian art and a reminder of the village’s spiritual heritage.
  6. Norman Motte Remains: The remains of a Norman motte in St Mullins provide a glimpse into the village’s medieval past. This earthen mound, once topped by a wooden or stone structure, played a strategic role during the Norman occupation of Ireland. The motte’s presence is a testament to the village’s historical importance and offers visitors an opportunity to delve into its intriguing past.
  7. St Moling’s Mill: St Moling’s Mill, located near the well, is another point of interest in the village. The mill was powered by the watercourse dug by Saint Moling and played a crucial role in the local economy for centuries. Today, visitors can explore the remnants of this once-thriving mill and appreciate the ingenuity of its design and construction.

Travel:

St Mullins is easily accessible by road, being less than 2 km off the R729 regional road. The village is a popular stop-off point for pleasure barges and cruisers traveling along the River Barrow, and serves as the starting and ending point for the Barrow Way long-distance walk.

The three nearest villages:

  1. Goresbridge
  2. Graiguenamanagh
  3. Borris

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