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Carrigtwohill and Barryscourt

May 9, 2011

Carrigtwohill is a large village to the East of Cork City. The name comes from the Irish ‘Carraig Thuathail’ meaning ‘Tuathails Rock’. Despite being countryside, the population is large enough to deserve a regular bus and train service. I felt like taking the train that day because it would be very fast and it was relatively cheap. The train station in Carrigtwohill was a short walk from the village, which gave me even more opportunity to enjoy the sunshine. I’ve been to Carrigtwohill once before but that was part of a reenactment event and didn’t leave much time for sightseeing.

The main reason I had come to Carrigtwohill was to take a walk around the magnificient Barryscourt Castle. I assumed since it was still April, that tourist season wouldn’t have really begun yet and it would be an excellent opportunity to look around at my leisure.

The castle from a distance

A nice peaceful country laneway

The castle in it’s present form dates from the 15th or 16th centuries but the land was occupied by the Anglo-Norman de Barry family from the 12th century. Unfortunately luck was not with me on this day. I didn’t have to worry about tourists or anyone else for that matter. The castle wasn’t open until June. It was a bit frustrating to come all that way and find out the place was closed but I still took a few pictures of the exterior.

Determined to make something of the trip I walked back to the village to get some lunch and to enquire about the next train. By the time I had eaten my lovely toasted sandwich I had an hour before the next train. I had spotted some ruins next to a church on my way through the village so I decided to take a closer look.

The ruins belong to a Franciscan Abbey which was founded and endowed by the de Barry family

There is an Anglican Church of Ireland church next to the ruins and there still seem to be burials in the old churchyard. I noticed a lot of the same names on the headstones and a few that seemed to span several generations. I would guess that these were families who belonged to that church. Some of the headstones also served as a grim reminder of the high infant mortality rates in the past.

There was also a nice monument to those buried without a marker, such as burials from the Great Famine of the 1800’s.

In the Catholic Church next door there were a number of munuments to deceased priests who had served in that parish, such as this cross

Even though I had not managed to take a look around Barryscourt Castle I still feel it was a worthwhile day. With luck I will have another opportunity to gain access to Barryscourt Castle itself when it does open to the public in June.

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