The Town of Cahir and Cahir Castle, Ireland

Our next adventure for this day was to stop in the beautiful town of Cahir. Close your eyes and imagine the colorful pubs and the other stone buildings that lined the streets.  For much of its history, the town has been influenced by the Butler family. It was from this family that the first Barons of Cahir were created. The town was known for much of its history as being a defense town.

Cahir Castle, which is situated on a small island in the River Suir, is the town’s main tourist attraction.  It is one of the largest ancient castles in Ireland and was built in County Tipperary in 1142.  Standing tall, the castle appears to grow out of the rock. Now situated in the town center, Cahir Castle is well preserved and has a guided tour and audiovisual show in multiple languages. The castle tour will take you down spiral staircases as well as into the deep dark prison dungeons. It is one of the best-preserved standing castles of Ireland. In 1375, the castle was granted to James Butler, newly created Baron of Cahir, for his loyalty to Edward III. In 1961 the last Lord Cahir died, and the castle reverted to the state. ~irishtourism.com

We spent most of our time wandering the castle grounds, but we did take a brief walk in the town center. The geese and goslings on the castle grounds where a hit as the crowd watched them drop from the foliage where they nested along the wall into the cast moat. Dan got the best sequence of the babies entering the water so I have included them here. To see Dan’s post of this site, click here.

I hope you enjoyed this leg of the trip; I will see you at our next stop! Until then, I am sending peace and love to each and everyone of you.

Aughnanure Castle

We woke to yet another beautiful day full of sunshine. After our delicious traditional Irish breakfast, we said our goodbyes to the owner of the B & B and started our daily adventure. A very short distance away from the B & B, stood Aughnanure Castle. Of course we had to take in a tour!

The name Aughnanure comes from the Gaelic, Achadh na nIubhar – the field of yews.  One very old specimen remains nearby the gates.

The uses and mythology of the Yew Tree are quite interesting:

  • Yew timber is incredibly strong and durable. Traditionally, the wood was used in turnery to make long bows and tool handles. One of the World’s oldest surviving wooden artifacts is a Yew spear head estimated to be around 450,000 years old.
  • Anti-cancer compounds are harvested from the foliage of Taxus baccata and is used in modern medicine. Eating just a few leaves can make a small child severely ill and there have been some deaths linked to yew poisoning. All parts of the tree are poisonous.
  • Yew trees are associated with churchyards and there are at least 500 churchyards in England which contain yew trees older than the buildings themselves. It is not clear why, but it is thought that yew trees were planted on the graves of plague victims to protect and purify the dead, and also in churchyards to stop ‘commoners’ from grazing their cattle on church ground as yew is extremely poisonous to livestock.

Aughnanure Castle and grounds

The castle, which stands on what is a rocky peninsula, is a particularly well preserved example of an Irish Tower house. Though the castle did finally succumb to superior cannon power, the O’Flahertys knew well enough how to protect themselves. The great rectangular Tower House is protected inside two alls or enclosures. The inner enclosure is wedge-shaped with walls pierced with gun-loops. The remains of a gatehouse and drawbridge are at the northwestern corner. On the northern side, the Drimneed River adds a natural defense line. the outer ward consisting of a large irregular enclosure protected by a much more extensive outer brawn wall, which had five wall towers at intervals along its length, to provide a greater variety of angles from which to shoot at attackers.

You can view Dan’s post about this site here.

This was our morning stop; I cannot wait to share more of this day with you. See you all very soon!