The Rathmichael Historical Society organises outings throughout the year for its members, if you would like to attend feel free to become a member.

SUMMER OUTINGS 2018

We are visiting Tully.

Date: Saturday, 11th August.

The sites to be visited will include Tully Church and the two crosses, Lehaunstown House and its castle (seen from the outside only), and a general overview of the area, the Lehaunstown military camp and the current development of the lands.

 

And we are visiting Ballycorus.

Date: Saturday, 8th September.

We will be seeing the lead works at Ballycorus, the former manager's houses, the shot works, the extremely long flue, the sites of the mines and the older shot works and the chimney.

 

Royal Canal Walking Tour with Peter Clarke

Date: Saturday, 26th May 2018

Peter Clarke of the Royal Canal Amenity Group (RCAG) and author of The Royal Canal: The Complete Story lead us on a walking tour of the canal. In glorious weather, 13 members of Rathmichael had the pleasure of a wonderfully enlightening and fascinating walk along the banks of the Royal Canal guided by Peter Clarke, member of the Royal Canal Amenity Group, and author of the lovely 'Walking The Royal Canal, History and Local History'.

Peter gave us the in-depth background to the development of the canal project and all its 'meanderings' culminating in a look into 'the basin' - surely one of the best kept secrets of this part of the town - a beautiful calm oasis in the heart of the city! If you haven't already had the pleasure of doing this walk with Peter, then contact him or buy his lovely book.

Tour of Dalkey Island

Date: Sunday, 17th June 2018

Archaeologist, Jason Bolton, lead us on a tour of Dalkey Island. The tour began at the boat harbour, examining the site of the 1960’s archaeological excavations where remains from the Mesolithic, Neolithic and Iron Age/early medieval trade with the Roman Empire were uncovered, followed by a tour of the early medieval ecclesiastical site and the Napoleonic War fortifications. The tour also covered shipwrecks around the Dalkey Islands, the probable location(s?) of the medieval port of Dalkey and consider the use of the island as a trading post, settlement site, refuge, prison, duelling ring and military base.

Henrietta Street to Grangegorman Walking Tour with Arran Henderson

Date: Saturday, 23rd June 2018

Arran Henderson of Dublin Decoded lead this walking tour for Rathmichael Historical Society from Henrietta Street to Grangegorman via Broadstone.

It started in Henrietta Street where our guide discussed the history and architecture of Henrietta Street and the King’s Inns before passing through to Broadstone to consider the history, architecture and archaeology of the old station and the adjoining area.

Grangegorman is among the least-known districts of Dublin, almost a terra incognita, with its grim, high stone walls and network of former prisons, historic hospitals, asylums and workhouses. Among many buildings we viewed are Francis Johnston’s huge Asylum and his vast Women’s Penitentiary.

We also glanced to the future of this area. Grangegorman is a quarter of Dublin now undergoing rapid, irreversible change, with the new LUAS extension and the former St. Brendan’s Asylum re-purposed as the newly consolidated Dublin Institute of Technology.

Taken as a whole, this 95-minute tour provided insights into social, legal and penal history with notes on Victorian and Georgian architecture, transport history, engineering and urban archaeology as well as reflections on changing 18th and 19th century attitudes to welfare, poverty and crime.

Report on Day Trip to Carlow, Following the tracks of St.Willibrord, Patron Saint of Luxembourg

Date: Sunday, 8th July 2018

On a glorious July Sunday, almost thirty members of the Society took part in a fascinating trip to Carlow to follow the tracks of the 7th century Anglo-Saxon saint, Willibrord.

What, I hear you ask, has a 7th century Anglo-Saxon got to do with Carlow? As it happens, St.Willibrord is one of the most important saints in Europe and he spent twelve years in County Carlow before leading a mission to the Continent in 690. He was based in Rath Melsigi, near Leighlinbridge. During the seventh and eighth centuries, this was the most important Anglo-Saxon ecclesiastical settlement in Ireland. It was here from 678 to 720 that Willibrord and many other Englishmen were trained for the Continental mission.

Even though all that is visible above ground is a broken 7th century stone cross, it was very exciting to be able to share the same space that he had occupied so long ago.

Willibrord's mission was successful, he founded a major abbey in Echternach in Luxembourg and he is now patron saint of that country. To commemorate the link with Carlow, the people of Echternach last year presented to the people of Carlow a specially-commissioned shrine containing a relic of St.Willibrord. We also visited this shrine which is on display in Carlow Cathedral.

Included in the trip was a visit to the wonderful and somewhat quirky 12th/13th century St.Laserian's Cathedral and Holy Well in Old Leighlin, led by Dean Tom Gordon. This was originally founded in the early 7th century by St.Gobban and would have been a major monastery in the area in Willibrord's time and would probably have been visited by him.

The day concluded with a visit to Carlow County Museum where there is a special St.Willibrord exhibition.

Our thanks to Rathmichael committee member, Adrienne Hume, who set up this trip but above all to our guide for the day, Dermot Mulligan, Curator of Carlow County Museum, whose knowledge and enthusiasm were outstanding and made it a memorable day's outing. Dermot gave interesting and erudite presentations at all the sites and stayed with us until after 7pm, which was over and above the call of duty. We are grateful, too, to Dermot for the information pack which he presented to everybody and which contained a book with research by Prof. Dáibhi O Croinin, "Re-discovering St.Willibrord". A wonderful souvenir of a wonderful day!

Rathmichael Weekend in Cork

Date: Friday to Sunday, 5th - 7th April 2019

We will visit Cork City under the expert guidance of Howard Clarke, who is at present engaged in research for the Irish Historic Towns Atlas of Cork city. Howard was also responsible for the Irish Historic Towns Atlas of Dublin part 1, to 1610.

The programme has not been fully finalised yet, but Howard has agreed to provide two guided tours on the Sat. - one of the Medieval and early modern core of the city and one of the 17th and 18th century area of reclamation. As usual, we will have a presentation on the Friday evening after dinner, and we will propose a visit to a convenient site on the homeward journey on Sunday morning and early afternoon.

As usual, all attendees will be asked to contribute an amount to cover the expenses of our guide, the lecture room charges and other incidentals that may arise. This charge will be notified when final arrangements have been agreed.