An Irish outing – 1894

This just makes me smile..

The fourth Annual Excursion Meeting [of the County Kildare Archaeological Society]  took place on Tuesday, the 18th September (1894), at Castledermot, Kilkea, and district.

A special train was run from Kildare to Mageney, in connection with the morning trains on the main line.

Ruins of the Franciscan Abbey, Castledermot, co. Kildare.

On the arrival of the train at Mageney, the company betook themselves to the vehicles which were provided by the Society for the conveyance of the Members to the various places to be  visited during the day, and under the conductorship of Lord Walter FitzGerald, who, with Mr. Arthur Vicars, Ulster, had charge of the arrangements for the day, a long procession of vehicles started for Castledermot, three and a-half miles distant, where the forces of the Society were augmented by others who had driven from contiguous parts of the county. All assembled in the ruins of the Franciscan Abbey to hear a Paper of deep research read by the Vice-President of the Society, Most Rev. Dr. Comerford, who traced the history of the old abbey down from remote ages.

The next move was for the Church, where Lord Walter FitzGerald gave a short dissertation on the Round Tower attached to the church, on which subject he had already written a Paper in the Journal.

The chief interest in the churchyard however, was centred in the Old Celtic Cross, which had been restored by a former Duke of Leinster.

The Southern Cross, Castledermot cemetery, co Kildare

Miss Margaret Stokes (Hon. Member of the K.A.S.) gave a most interesting lecture on the fine Old Cross, describing the various scenes carved on the sides, and touching generally on the archaeology and history of Old Celtic Crosses, on which subject Miss Stokes is one of our greatest authorities.

The peculiar “hole stone” close by was pointed out and discoursed on by Lord Walter FitzGerald, after which luncheon was the order of the day. The company proceeded to the adjoining schoolhouse, kindly lent for the purpose by the Rev. C. Ganly, where Lord Walter FitzGerald had made most ample arrangements for those who had sent in their names for luncheon a few days before.

The Members and their friends then drove to Kilkea, some three and a-half miles distant, first visiting the ruins of the old church of Kilkea, Rev. C. Ganly shortly detailing its history, after which they proceeded to the Castle a few yards off, where they were received by the Ladies FitzGerald, and having taken up their position on the terrace, which formed an admirable natural lecture theatre, with the Castle in the background, the Rev. C. Ganly commenced a Paper on Kilkea Castle, which will be published in the Journal.

Kilkea Castle, co Kildare.

The whole Company then adjourned to the interior of the Castle to inspect the quaint old building, which is an admirable specimen of an Irish feudal castle, adapted to modern usage, with walls of prodigious thickness. Many antiquities were to be seen in the hall, and some interesting historical portraits, but we must remember that although this is the original residence of the FitzGeralds of ancient days, still Carton is now the principal seat of that family, where naturally are to be found its chief treasures and objects of historical family interest.

The Ladies FitzGerald had kindly invited the Society to tea, which formed a very welcome termination to the day’s proceedings. Mr. Mansfield having photographed those present in the Castle grounds, and it being now late, the party separated on the return journey to Mageney and Athy, to catch their various trains, having spent a very enjoyable day in most magnificent weather. On the whole the Members of the Society have reason to congratulate themselves on their annual excursions, which hitherto have always worked so satisfactorily, and given the Society quite a reputation for its Excursion Meetings.

Kilkea Castle, co Kildare.

The following Members and Visitors took part in the Excursion : —

The Earl of Mayo (President) ; The Countess of Mayo; Most Rev. Dr. Comerford (Vice-President), Mr. and Mrs. Cooke Trench; Mr. D. Mahony ; Mr. H. Hendrick-Aylnier, High Sheriff (Hon.Treasurer); Colonel Bonham ; Miss Bonham ; Mr. Mark Taylor ; Mr. Casimir O’Meagher; Mr. and Mrs. Mackay Wilson ; Lord Walter Fitz Gerald (Hon. Secretary) ; Mr. Arthur Vicars, Ulster King-of-Arms (Hon. Secretary) The Dean of Kildare, and Mrs. Cowell; Rev. C. W. Ganly ; Very Rev. Thomas Tynan; Rev. Denis Murphy ; Lady Weldon; Captain Weldon; Miss Margaret Stokes, Hon. Member, K.A.S. ; Colonel Vigors ; Mr. and Mrs. Grove White ; Mr. W. R. J. Molloy ; Mr. S. J. Brown; Rev. J. F. M. Ffrench ; Mr. T. J. Hannon; Rev. W. Elliott; Mr. J. R. Sutclitfe; Mr. and Mrs. Edmund Sweetman ; Mr. and Mrs. Carroll, and Miss Carroll; Rev. E. O’Leary; Rev E. Hogan; Rev. J. Dunne; Major and Mrs. Rynd; Rev. M. Devitt; Very Rev. Dr. Burke; Rev. M. Walsh ; Mr. L. Dunne; Colonel Wilson ; Mrs. Wall and Miss Scovill; Surgeon-Major Keogh; Miss Archbold; Lady Eva FitzGerald; Lady Mabel FitzGerald; Mr. J. Whiteside Dane; Mr. George Mansfield and Mrs. Mansfield; Rev. Canon Travers- Smith ; Rev. D. Meake ; Mr. Gerald FitzGerald; Mr. A. Wharburton; Mr. Morgan Mooney ; Miss Power; Miss Manders ; Mrs. Ross; Miss Browne; Mrs. Blake; Mrs. Engledow ; Rev. A. Kirkpatrick; Rev. P. Connolly ; Miss Jones ; Mr. R. L. Weldon ; Mrs, and Miss Taylor ; Mr. W. T. Kirkpatrick ; Mr. and Mrs. Vipond Barry ; Rev. J. D. Osborne, and Mrs. Osborne; Miss Braham ; Miss Elliott ; Miss Awdry; Miss H. M. Heathcote ; Miss M. Manders ; Mr, Thynne, C.B. ; Mrs. Woollcombe ; Mr. R. L, Woollcombe ; Rev. Mr. Mackey ; Rev. Mr. Gormley ; Miss Burroughs ; Miss Boyd ; Mr. Nicholas J. Synnott; Rev, J. Bird; Mr. Arthur Hade, C.E. ; Rev. B. C, Davidson Houston; Rev. James Adams; Mr. Thomas Greene; Mr. R. R. Kennedy, R.M.

From the Journal Of The Co. Kildare Archaeological Society And Surrounding Districts. Vol. 1. 1891 – 1895 . p. 352 – 353.

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