Tinryland, Carlow
Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)


Co. Carlow

Page 1

Tinryland (Irish: Tigh an Raoilinn) is a village in County Carlow, Ireland.  It is within the townland of Tinriland (historically Tinrilan) in the parish of Tullowmagimma.
St. Joseph's Church, Tinryland Carlow
Tinryland Church was originally built in 1819 by Father Tyrrell (1823-46). in the style of Cruciform. J.K.L. (Bishop James Doyle) was Bishop-Elect of the diocese when he consecrated the new church. It was built on the site of a mud-walled chapel.

Church alterations took place in 1974 under architects Tyndall, Hogan & Hurley, Dublin; building contractors were the Carbery firm of Carlow. the three galleries with their stairs of stone were taken down. A new sanctuary area was constructed and a new alter and Baptismal font of Wicklow granite installed.

Tinryland House
Source: Facebook
Tinryland House
Source: Facebook

The Church

by Peadar Mac Murcadha c1996

 In the 1930's Tinryland Church was a haven of peace and quiet. I often spent time of a sunny evening watching the effect of the sunrays shining through the coloured glass of the narrowed windows onto the altar. The white altar cloth would be covered in a magic collection of blues-yellows-greens-purples-reds all mingled in an array of mixtures giving hues of all shades that changed with the moving sun as it sank into the west, leaving me mesmerized.

The altar setting for the forty hours adoration was something to behold. Candles of all sizes and flowers by the armful arrayed in serried ranks with hardly space between them to allow attention. The parish priest and curate with a platoon of altar boys - candles all aflame, incense rising to the ceiling, the monstrance standing on the altar surrounded by, and reflecting the light of a million candles seemed to give to us children a vision of heaven itself. The same church however was nearly the cause of me losing my innocent faith in the mystery and mystique of Catholicism.

I had just started serving mass on my own having been trained in the Latin by the schoolmaster and on the altar movements by the senior altar boys. I was allotted a place on the weekly roster to serve the daily morning Mass. I now had certain perks one of which was that I did not have to be in school until 10 o'clock instead of the regular starting time. This was to enable you to go home after Mass for your breakfast. You were allowed to serve at weddings, on the Bishop's visit, funerals, forty hours and the May procession. Up to this you were only filling space with no power. However, back to my threatened loss of my faith. When serving and prior to that elevation of status I was always intrigued by the tabernacle. No matter how many people came for communion the tabernacle never failed to supply. It was simply a never-ending source of sacred hosts. One morning I was serving the Parish Priest when he turned around on the altar and beckoned me to come to him. I rose and ascended the steps to his side. He placed his hand on my head and told me to go to his house (a 100 yards away) and ask Molly the housekeeper for the biscuit tin. Is he out of his mind said I to myself? But a well-trained altar boy never questioned His Reverence. I backed down the steps, genuflected and took off for the house. Molly was at the hall door and seeing me in my altar boys attire of black soutane, laced edge surplice and black altar slippers, came towards me not knowing what to expect.

I puffed out that His Reverence wanted the biscuit tin and she apparently knew what to do for she disappeared inside and came out with a small round tin of about 8" diameter and about 2" deep. There you are now says she, run with it, but do not let it fall whatever you do. I ran back up the avenue, in the wicket door and up the steps to the sacristy door, where with the devil's prompting I took a look into the tin. Holy Moses it was full of hosts!! I nearly fainted with awe at what I held in my hand.  I had been trained to have the greatest respect for the sacred host - "never, never touch it," said the schoolmaster, not even with your teeth - "on your tongue only. Only a priest can touch the host.

It's so precious it can only be kept in a gold or silver chalice in the Holy Tabernacle." Holy God what was the world coming to when an altar boy would find himself with a biscuit tin of Hosts. I slapped on the lid, entered the sacristy, went out on the altar and handed the box to his Reverence. He opened the box and filled the chalice, which he blessed and placed inside the Tabernacle. For days I was dumbfounded until eventually I told the schoolmaster who with profound wisdom put his hand on my head and said, "You did what you did but the Priest has the power!".

A Little Bit of Our Heritage.

Recently the people of Tinryland have become more aware of their heritage with the placement in front of the Church of the large granite Baptismal font which came from Linkardstown Church. It is centuries old and still in good condition and it provides a reminder to us our entire Christian heritage and the faith of our forefather.


(Tigh an Raoireann; House of Raoire; A very ancient name of a Royal Residence)

The Tinryland area is rich in heritage and culture, with its own trove of treasures, most of which have been discovered and recorded down through the centuries. The early records show that people lived in the Tinryland area around the time 3700-3400 BC. These people would have been the first farming type people of the Neolithic Period (New Stone Age) and probably the first people to settle in the area. They farmed the land, domesticated cattle, sheep and goats, wove textiles and made pottery.

Evidence of these people was found at the ancient burial site in Linkardstown in 1943. The find consisted of a Polygonal stone chamber paved with stones that sloped upwards and inwards. Inside was found the remains of a single human, along with some pottery. The National Museum of Ireland were notified of the find and the items found were sent away for examination. This find was of immense archaeological importance and was the first burial plot of kind found in Southern Ireland.

The heritage trail finder map in Tinryland village documents the other areas of historical interest in the Tinryland area including the locations of many castles, churches and graveyards.

While the Linkardstown Church and Graveyard is now in ruins, the old stone baptismal font use at this church now stands on the grounds of St. Joseph's Church, Tinryland and dates back to the 1700's.

Ballyloo Castle, only a fragment of which remains, was home to the Kavanagh family and was built by Art Og Kavanagh of Pulmonty, King of Leinster who died in 1417. This castle was the centre for the Kavanagh's of Ballyloo until the arrival of Cromwell 200 years later. This castle was a structure of four stories high with a view of the countryside in all directions.

The site of Graiguenaspideog Castle was another Kavanagh home built in the 1400's. Rumour has it that years later those near the ruins of the castle claimed on some nights you could hear music, laughter, singing and the clinking of crystal glasses very clearly in the background.

Another area of immense historical significance mentioned is the ancient cross site of the Monastery of St. Willibrord of Luxembourg in Clonmelsh, who studied in the area for 12 years.

Nearby is Clonmelsh Church and Graveyard where the ancestors of Walt Disney and the Butler family are buried.

Pierce Butler of Garryhundon was one of the architects of the American constitution and was one of its signatories in Philadelphia in 1788. He went on to represent South Carolina at George Washington's Presidential Inauguration. He went on to become advisor to three consecutive presidents and turned down a nomination to run for the Vice-Presidency before his death in 1822.

The 1798 Commemoration Stone was erected on the main approach road to the village on the 200th anniversary of the uprising in 1998. The monument was built in honour of the locals who fought and died in the insurrection and at the battle of Carlow in May 1798.

Source: www.tinryland.ie

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