St Mullins

Saint Mullins, County Carlow.

This stretch of the River Barrow is steeped in legend and has been settled for millennia. This is also where the Atlantic ventures up from New Ross and the fresh water of the River Barrow meets it. The different water temperatures often create a soft, misty landscape and imbues the area with a natural spirituality. During the Great Plague which swept Europe, pilgrims would come here to escape the pestilence and visit the holy well.

The place name in Irish, Tighe Moling, the House of Moling; Saint Mullins is the location of a monastic site built by St. Moling. He was born in 614 AD, a prince and during his lifetime he became a poet, artist and craftsman as well as a priest. He built his monastery in St. Mullins in the 7th century. He reputedly dug a mile long watercourse with his own hands to power his mill, a task which took seven years. During his lifetime many miracles were attributed to him. He died in the year 696 and is buried in St. Mullins.

Norman Motte in St Mullins

Norman Motte in St Mullins

How it once appeared

A Norman Motte & Bailey stands proud above the green which was once a village, protected by the Wooden Norman tower. The stump of a round tower and a holy well form a small part of extensive ecclesiastical remains. The site also contains the cross section of a ninth century granite High Cross which depicts the Crucifixion. The graveyard holds many 1978 United Irishmen burials and a pattern (patron day) is held each year to remember all those buried here. Along the riverside, a ten minute walk brings you to the lock where you can usually chat to the boatmen who moor here. Bahanna Wood flanks the river and birdsong sweetens the air.

St Mullins river Barrow Barrow Way
St Mullins, River Barrow and Barrow Way
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St Mullins graveyard on a foggy winter morning. Photo James Burke.

See video page for a film made here.