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Latest Laois Event: Trip into our past with walk along ancient Sligh Dhála road
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Latest Laois Event: Trip into our past with walk along ancient Sligh Dhála road

Ancient Road Walk Sunday 16th July as part of Erkina River Festival 

This Year’s Woodenbridge  Erkina River Festival will trace the route of the ancient road that ran from Western Upper Ossory to Kilkenny. It crossed the River Erkina near a ford which was located near Coolkerry Church 2km North/West of Rathdowney. It then continued by Carrick and Kilnaseer to Gurteen crossing the River Goul near Newtown Nunnery before continuing to Kilkenny via Aharney Church.

Along with rambling by four rivers and three parishes you will also discover many historical sites in this area along the South Laois/Kilkenny border.

The Sligh Dhála was one of five principal highways leading from Tara in Early Medieval Ireland dates back to AD 123 according to an entry in the annals of the Four Masters for that period.

With Laois Tourism Officer Regina Dunne at the starting post on Sunday 16th July a 10km walk will start from the Woodenbridge over the Erkina River at 2.30pm. Walkers will then make their way to Killogue Churchyard. There they will follow a pathway to a temporary constructed bridge at the original crossing of the ancient road over the River Goul close to the 7th century Nunnery at Newtown. Pilgrims on the ancient road will then continued by the site of an 18th century Mass rock, the  Church and Castle at Cahir Hill to the townland of Graigueavoice  before meeting the Glosh Stream where a pathway would have taken you to  St. John’s Well and Church at Killenny More. 

Ballykelly Castle is next on the ancient road before meeting the Seskin River. Your journey will now continue by the Wavers Way, the Ford of an Ancient Battle, St Bridget’s Well and Aharney Church. 

Having reached the county boundary the walk will finish in Lisdowney County Kilkenny

A bus service will be available here to carry walkers to where refreshments will be available in the same parish at the tavern of Mackey’s in Gathabawn.

Afterwards the bus will return all to the carpark at the Woodenbridge.

Ancient Roads are featured in the recently launched book The Erkina River From Source To Sea. 

Registration from 2.00pm at the Woodenbridge where parking will also be available.

Reg. (donation) which includes your bus fair.

Proceeds to the Woodenbridge Paddlers & Woodenbridge Community Alert.

A presentation to mark this momentous occasion will be made to all participants.

Ancient Road Walk Sunday 16th July supporting the Woodenbridge Paddlers & Woodenbridge Community Alert