Map of Kildorrery Village
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Community / Tourist Information Point and Restaurant
Beginning of Trail.
St Bartholomew's R.C. Church
Constructed in 1838-1839.
Medieval Church Ruin
Located in Kildorrery Graveyard, this ruin dates back to at least the 13th Century, when it was mentioned in Papal records.
When King James I granted permission for a fair to be held in Kildorrery in 1601, thus began a tradition that was to last for 400 years. A commemoration plaque can be seen at the entrance to the Fair Field on the Limerick Road.
From Oisín, son of Fionn mac Cumhaill, to Mahon, brother of Brian Ború, these hills have strong associations with both legend and history. Many a battle was fought here as they once marked a much disputed territorial boundary.
This White Knights Castle, now in ruins, was reputedly built early in the 16th Century by William Coach 'The Blind' Fitzgibbon, son of the 5th White Knight. The rule of the Anglo Norman Fitzgibbon Clan spanned 12 generations until their dramatic demise in the 17th Century.
Farahy Park / Cow and Gate Info Boards
Situated in the fertile Golden Vale, the Kildorrery area has always been associated with agriculture and farming. In Farahy Park, there is a selection of farm machines that came into use during the 19th Century. The Cow and Gate information boards are also located here. See 11 for the location of the Creamery.
St. Colman's Church and site of Bowen's Court (Elizabeth Bowen)
The church was erected in 1721 and it was here that the Bowen family worshipped. Bowen's Court House was built in 1775 and was inherited by Elizabeth Bowen in 1940. Sadly, it was demolished in 1960. Elizabeth Bowen was an Anglo-Irish novelist and short story writer who wrote over 40 books in her career and is highly regarded in the literary world.
The Black Ditch
This is a linear earthwork, which runs a distance of 25km between the Ballyhoura and Nagle Mountains. This ancient territorial boundary is similar to the system of Roman Limes, such as Hadrian's Wall between Scotland and England.
The remains of many ringforts can still be seen in the Kildorrery area. In the ancient manuscript Crichad an Chaoilli, Kildorrery was listed as Lois an Cunic, which means "The Fort on the Hill".
This beautifully restored house was once the home of WIlliam Gates, the founder of Cow and Gate. He also operated his dental practice here. Willliam died in 1933 and is buried in Farahy Graveyard.
St. Mologga's Church, Aghacross
This Early Christian ecclesiastical site in Aghacross was founded by Saint Mologga in the 7th Century.
Cow and Gate Creamery
In 1887, William Gates, of the West Surrey Dairy Company, Guilford, England, established his first creamery in Ireland at the crossroads in Kildorrery. In 1929, the name of the company was changed to the now globally known brand, Cow and Gate.
Community / Tourist Information Office
Start of Trail.
A Wildlife Park named "Gates' Meadow" was developed adjacent to the Mitchelstown Road, which includes a Bug Hotel, Log Pile, Bug Bath & Bog Garden. Several native trees have also been planted. Bird boxes and bat boxes were also erected here. All of this encourages the rich biodiversity in the area, providing a habitat for hundreds of species of mammals, birds and insects.
The River Funcheon is a Brown Trout river and Salmon return in October/November to breed. The many water bird species include Swans, Kingfishers and Grey Herons. Otters can also be seen along the banks of the river. The fishing season starts on the 15th of February and ends on the 31st of September.
There are many native wild mammals in this area such as: rabbit, hare, stoat and hedgehog. These mammals are widespread and locally common throughout Ireland and are found in woodlands, ditches and gardens.
The flowerbeds in this park are filled with plants such as Buddleja, Foxgloves and Sedum, which attract insects such as bees and butterflies. Pollination by insects is essential, with bees providing 70%.
Many species of birds have been successfully reintroduced to the Ballyhoura Mountains including Hen Harriers, Red Kites and Buzzards. Barn Owls are widespread in Ireland and nest in barns, old churches and farmhouses.