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Curragh - Kildare - Main St

tinted color

The Curragh (Irish An Currach) is a very flat plain in County Kildare Ireland, lying between the towns of Newbridge and Kildare. It consists of a large area of common land containing almost 5,000 acres (20 km²). The Curragh is composed of a sandy soil formed after an esker deposited a sand load and as a result it has excellent drainage characteristics.

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Photo Details

  • County: Kildare
  • Town: Curragh
  • Scene: Main St
  • Date: 1910 (estimate)

Specification

  • Digitally remastered
  • 10' x 8' printed on quality photo paper
  • Also available mounted & framed, ask for details
  • Colour images can be printed in black & white if preferred.
  • Read about Curragh below

Curragh

The Curragh (Irish An Currach) is a very flat plain in County Kildare Ireland, lying between the towns of Newbridge and Kildare. It consists of a large area of common land containing almost 5,000 acres (20 km²).

The Curragh is composed of a sandy soil formed after an esker deposited a sand load and as a result it has excellent drainage characteristics. This makes it a popular location for training racehorses. The Curragh Racecourse is located there and is Ireland's Premier Flat Racecourse. It hosts all five classic races in the racing calendar. These are the Irish Derby Stakes, the Irish Oaks, the Irish 1,000 Guineas, the Irish 2,000 Guineas, the St. Leger. These races are held annually during which Iarnród Éireann trains halt at a seasonal station near the track.

History

Used as meeting site during Pre-Christian societies, the Curragh is shrouded in a mist of mythology. The hill north of the Curragh is called the Hill of Allen (Almhain) and is the legendary meeting place of the mythical Fianna. Legend also has it that in about 480 AD, when St. Brigid became intent on founding a monastery in Kildare town she asked the High King of Leinster for the requisite piece of land on which to build it. The king scoffed at her request and granted her as much land as her cloak would cover. St. Brigid then placed her cloak on the ground to cover the entire Curragh plain.

It was a common site for mustering the armies of the Pale (see Essex in Ireland). During the 1798 Rebellion, there was a massacre in the Curragh at Gibbet Rath. The Curragh Camp is now located there, where members of the Irish Defence Forces undergo training.

There is a natural bowl-shaped amphitheatre on the Curragh. This is known locally as Donnelly's Hollow, because in 1815 the Irish champion boxer Dan Donnelly defeated the English champion George Cooper there, before a large crowd. Dan Donnelly had a famed reach and the remains of his arm were on show until recently in the Hideout Pub in the nearby town of Kilcullen.

Trivia

  • The Curragh plains were used to film the battle scenes in the film Braveheart.
  • An Irish folk song is called The Curragh of Kildare.