Tuesday, 23 February 2016
CILL DARA - KILDARE
Round Tower at St Brigid's Cathedral
We awoke on Monday morning to a bright blue, sun filled sky and I felt this was a sign to rid ourselves of the cabin fever which we had both been aware of for sometime.
"Kildare is calling us” I said to Lady H.
"Which way shall we go ?” said Lady H.
"We will take the stress free route and take the old road towards Dublin.”
So we did, for the old roads are a pleasure to drive on these days and relatively free of traffic for most people use the motorways.
Kildare in Irish it is Cill Dara meaning the Church of the Oak, made famous by St Brigid who had her monastery there complete with a perpetual fire which was kept burning until the 15th century.
On our arrival Lady H hopped out of the car and went off to take photos and on her return said we'd visit the Parish Church next.
“Hang on a minute" I replied “just behind us is the Cathedral with St Brigid’s Fire pit and the round tower, it’s important that I go there first.”
The first and last time I was at the Cathedral was in 1993 when I took a few friends to visit Kildare.We spent most of our time sitting in St. Brigid's Fire Pit chatting and when we decided to leave, we found ourselves locked in after the caretaker had chained the entrance gates together.
We tried to attract attention to our plight by shouting but to no avail.
The youngest member of the group, a lad by the name of Tolly, climbed over the gate and went to the nearby pub for help, but not until he had tried to
con us all out of money. We were not so easily fooled and understood that if he was in funds he’d be in the pub for hours whilst we’d be still behind bars!
After twenty minutes or so the landlord came across with a tray of free drinks and passed glasses of Guinness
through the gate to us. Tolly was dismayed after being told he was underage and about thirty minutes later the key holder arrived to let us out us out.
St Brigid's Fire Pit
On arriving at the cathedral we found the building locked, not that it bothered me for I have no love for church buildings.
Lady H was keen to move on to the Parish Church which has doors decorated with Brigid’s Crosses and bronze hands.
I explained it was just across the hill as I’d noticed a spire as we drove into town.
Over the hill we went and arrived a large church. There were doors but no bronze hands were to be seen, however we entered, lit a candle as requested for by a friend and left.
Lady H disappeared (again!) and I was left alone to my own devices. This time I noticed two signs one said White Abbey Church and the other Carmelite Convent
In my mind I said ‘Whoops I have erred! This isn’t the right church at all.”
Never the less during Lady H’s absence I went for a wander as you never know what may be discovered.
Find something I did, something that I can best describe as a breasted tree with a ring seat around the trunk
'the breasted tree'
Finally returning to the car Lady H produced a map and she was right, the Parish Church was elsewhere. We drove down to the correct church, parked outside
and herself took off to take photos of the bronze hands, while I contented myself with a pipe of baccy.
Our next stop was St Brigid’s Well and I spotted the sign easily so was able to direct my driver on her return.
St. Brigid's Well is in the countryside and it is in 'Nature' where I think you can best connect to any deity and by whatever name you care to use.