Hello and welcome to this weekend’s virtual walk.
Today we are in County Tipperary, round about halfway between Dublin and Cork . Let’s take a stop in the village of Horse and Jockey as I want to bring you on an interesting walk.
Although its cold and damp the day is reasonable. I hope that you have brought your coat and boots as you will need them shortly !
Righto the village of Horse and Jockey used to be on the main road luckily its bypassed nowadays- in the past I have whizzed through this place countless times before the motorway was built, so finally I have the chance to stop and take a look around.
Although the village now has the official Irish name of An Marcach, its official name in Irish was Baile na Páirce, the Irish for the townland of Parkstown. The origins of the village’s name are unclear. Some people believe that the placename may have been derived from a public house of the same name. However, although there is currently a hotel called the Horse and Jockey another suggestion is that, since the village was on a mail coach route it may have been the location of one of the inns that served as a stop off on the main route between Cork and Dublin.
The Horse and Jockey hotel and pub still stands and it’s a thriving, busy spot .
However, at the edge of the village there is a sign directing us to the Derrynaflan walk, this is where our visit gets interesting , and where your boots will come in handy . The monastery at Derrynaflan comes from the Irish “ Oak grove of the Flann’s” and is located a few miles north of the village .
In order to reach this place it’s going to be quite a journey, we have to follow the walking route out across the bog to reach a small island , or raised area of dry land to reach the ancient monastic site.
As we go along we have to cross some open stretches of bogland – can you see some rusting train tracks that used to carry the machinery long ago ? We have to encounter several gates, stiles and overgrown lanes before we finally reach our destination but I think you will agree that it’s worth it !
The ruins stand out distinctly over the deserted bog landscape and its hard to imagine that this was an important settlement long ago. The monastery was founded by Ruadhán of Lorrha in the 6th century AD. and came under the patronage of the King Bishop of Cashel . It is known that a Franciscan community occupied the site between 1767 and 1717 and afterwards the place fell into ruins.
Little remains of the extensive buildings today. The surviving stone church is pre-Norman with a chancel later added . When we take a look inside the church we can see the carved windows and the niche where the sacred objects and treasures would have been placed – and this is where it gets really exciting.
If you have visited the National museum in Dublin, you will see one of the nation’s greatest treasures – the Derrynaflan hoard.
The Derrynaflan chalice is an 8th or 9th-century chalice that was found as part of the hoard of five liturgical vessels made from silver and gold . It is regarded as one of the finest examples of Early medieval art and metalwork in Ireland. The hoard was probably hidden away during the turbulent 10th to 12th centuries, when Viking raids and dynastic turmoil created many occasions when valuables were hidden and lay undisturbed until they were discovered in 1980 by a local man, Michael Webb. Webb handed the hoard to the National museum where it was conserved and is now on permanent display. Research has found that Feidlimid mac Cremthanin, king-bishop of Cashel, who became King of Munster in 821 and died in 847, was a patron of the monastic foundation at Derrynaflan and has been suggested as a possible patron of the chalice.
This is what I always find amazing about Ireland. There are so many of these deserted and ancient places of historic significance. Often left abandoned for centuries and seldom visited they hold secrets of a glorious past and times gone by .
I hope that your enjoyed coming with me today. Also we have FREE SHIPPING across our site at www.connemaramarble.com