Set on gentle sloping hillsides, developed on the Barrow River, the village of Leighlinbridge is a natural beauty with many historical sights and picturesque surroundings.
Over 300 years before the Christian era, a great battle took place here to capture the fort of Dinn Righ, reputedly the ancient seat of the Kings of Leinster.
The focal point of Leighlinbridge is its valerian bearded bridge, built in 1320 by Maurice Jakis, Canon of Kildare Cathedral. It remains today one of the oldest functioning bridges in Europe.
The Black Castle is one of the main features of Leighlinbridge and is located at the foot of the bridge, on the east bank of the river. One of the earliest Norman fortresses in Ireland built in 1181 by Hugh de Lacy to defend the crossing on the river. Black Castle had usual stormy history.The present castle is reported to have been built by Sir Edward Bellingham in 1547.
The site was long held by the Kavanaghs and the Butlers and was also occupied by Sir Peter Carew and the Bagenals.
Leighlinbridge has produced more than its share of famous people including the daring Captain Myles Keogh, aid to General Custer, the scientist and mountaineer John Tyndall, the former archbishop of Sydney, Patrick Francis Moran and the Right Hon. Brian Mulroney, Prime Minister of Canada from 1984 – 1992 whose family hailed from Leighlinbridge..Read more
Award winning, family-run Lifestyle and Garden Centre.
Spacious and well laid out, the centre guides visitors through elegant displays of garden furnishings, pot plants, outdoor plants, an extensive gifts section, hand crafted furniture and lots more. Read more..
Travel time: 2 min drive
Early in the seventh century St Gobban founded a monastery at Old Leighlin which once accommodated 1,500 monks.
In 630 AD a synod was held there to consider the correct time for the celebration of Easter. St Laserian, who succeeded Gobban, was very influential in deciding the Irish Church should follow the Roman, rather than the Celtic System for the date of Easter.
The Present St. Laserians Cathedral is a 13th century stone building of great charm. It replaced the original monastery which was destroyed by fire in 1060 AD.
Nearby is the very ancient 7th century Cross of Saint Laserian and his holy well, which continues to be venerated and attracts votive offerings some 14th centuries after his death. Read more..
Travel time: 5 min drive.