Monday, 15 September 2014

KINNITTY, Co.Offaly


KINNITTY in Co.Offaly sits at the foot of the Slieve Bloom mountains and has had a variety of names throughout the years from Cinneity, Kernittys, Killenitty and the Irish Cinneitigh. 

Today in Irish the name is spelt Cionn Eitigh, meaning either the head or hermitage of Etech or Eitigh (St. Ita), who also gave her name to the neighbouring parish of Ettagh.  


One of the first notable things about Kinnitty is the very wide streets and it would be easy to believe that they were recently constructed until you see the age of the buildings which border them. The village consisted of five houses at the end of the eighteenth century and had grown to ninety-six dwellings by 1841.



The Green 



The Bernard family who were the estate owners built the RC Chapel circa 1841. They offered the then parish priest Fr. Delaney a house for himself and his successors and 10 acres of land if he would let them build a chapel at their own expense. Fr. Delaney refused but the Bernards went ahead anyway and the bishop compelled him to use the chapel. 
This picturesque chapel now hosts a great many weddings, with many of the wedding breakfasts being held in either Giltrapp's, The Slieve Bloom Bar or The Kinnitty Castle Hotel.

I wonder if the pump is dry too ?


A dry summer has almost dried up this river



A great pub for a good pint of Guinness !

I have always admired the four foliate heads above doorway


You might think from looking at the window that this is just a gift shop,
well you would be wrong for it sells groceries, bread, butter and ice-cream.



The Kinnitty Pyramid, the only one of its kind in Ireland, is situated in the graveyard of the Church of Ireland. It stands 30 feet in height and was built as a crypt by Lt. Col Richard Wesley Bernard for his family on his return from Egypt in the mid 1800's. 
It is an exact replica of the Pyramid of Cheops in Egypt. 
The pyramid was completed in 1834 and it is now permanently sealed by 3 inch thick doors 
made from steel which lead down to the interior. The tomb holds 6 coffins belonging to the Bernards of Kinnity Castle with the last burial taking place in 1907.

Other places to rest your head




We often stop at Kinnitty on our way home from Birr with our weekly shopping as it is such an attractive, tidy and friendly village. For me it represents many of the Irish towns and villages across the island and is a place we never get tired of visiting.

38 comments:

  1. I 'collect' place names that are wonderful to say, that roll around the mouth like Upper Poppleton. Kinnitty has just been added to my list, a terrific name and a lovely looking town x

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    1. Goodness me Fran I have never heard of that particular fad :) You might like to know that Kinnitty has neighbouring village called Crinkle.

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  2. What a beautiful little town!

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  3. Many thanks Carol - just give me a few minutes I have left out the village pump, Fool that I am :-]

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  4. I must say that was my thinking when I saw your lovely pictures - it looks so much like so many pretty Irish villages I have passed through when I have holidayed over there.

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    1. Thank you for your comment Pat. It is a very attractive village especially with the backdrop of the Slieve Bloom mountains.

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  5. I do enjoy our visits to Kinnitty especially a pint in Giltraps and the craic in de Cleir's.

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  6. You are getting me closer and closer to a visit.

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    1. That's good Joanne and I even given you a selection of places to rest your head at night.

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  7. Wow I didn't know there was a pyramid there! See you next week xx

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    1. Amazing Grace you being an offaly nice person now living in oz :)

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  8. The pyramid is incredible, Heron. I read somewhere recently that the stone forts and circles (there are over ten thousand) in Ireland were built before the pyramids in Egypt.

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    1. That is absolutely correct Dave for they were of the Bronze and Iron Age.

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  9. That's a lovely town, it really does look clean and tidy and I love the wide road. What a great place to stop and refresh after a shopping trip.

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    1. Yes it is and what I see whenever we pass through Ireland's villages and towns is the civic pride of the people, who voluntary keep their places clean without employing any municipal roadsweepers.

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  10. Fred said:the next time you are in Kinnitty call in to mrs Peavoy on the corner,
    tell her I sent you and get her to let you into the excellent protestant church
    and see what you think of the stone just inside the door.

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  11. What a beautiful part of the world ……. to be put on my places to visit list I think. XXXX

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    1. Am certain you would fall in love with the area Jacqueline.

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  12. Looks like an interesting place to spend a day and have a Guinness or two.

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    1. Thank you Janet, you are correct it certainly is and with two pubs and a bar in the castle you are not limited in choice :)

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  13. Oh Wow how beautiful. What a wonderful place to be able to visit on a regular basis x

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  14. The closest thing to being there, thanks so much for the tour. It looks like a lovely spot...I find the story behind the pyramid fascinating. Great post!

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    1. I thank you for your appreciation Jeanne, I too find the pyramid fascinating, for it definitely reflects an eccentricity of the family who built it.

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  15. What a sweet village, and I'd love to stop into the pub with the lovely foliage heads for a pint of Guinness and to rip down those disgusting Budweiser signs!

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    1. So glad you like the foliate heads, they are called 'foliate' because they are based upon the pagan green man carvings.
      Not certain how long you would last as a customer if you attempted to interfere with mine hosts business ;-)

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  16. Brought my kids up there in their younger years...(Ita's hermitage) Had a few guilt trips from Giltrap's an' all. :)

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  17. I really enjoyed your post. Thank you so much for sharing this tour. Warm greetings from Montreal, Canada. You have a very nice blog.

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    1. Linda,
      Thank you very much indeed for your comments and compliment.

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  18. Thank you for taking us round Kinnitty, Mel! It looks a truly delightful place with an interesting history. But I'm curious about these very wide streets? Was there a reason for this? Your photos make it all look very appealing!

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    1. Thanks for your comments Val. Now as to your question, which was a question that I asked some years ago and I was told that it was done mainly as a sign of prestige by landlords of that era. The Bernard's estate was literally enormous, many thousands of acres and so when they built Kinnitty they designed it with wide roads. To show not just their generosity it was a also a display of their wealth.

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  19. You have some wonderful comments here Heron. I wonder how you do it.

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