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Killenaule - Tipperary - Main St

Great old irish picture

The town of Killenaule lies at the Southern extremity of the range of The Slieveardagh Hills — situated 17 miles from Clonmel, 10 miles from Thurles, 10 miles from Cashel and 28 miles from Kilkenny City. The area has a chequered and colourful history, from Scandinavian invasions in the 9th Century, to a battle at Crohane in 852.


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Photo Details

  • County:Tipperary
  • Town: Killenaule
  • Scene: Main St
  • Date: 1910 (estimate)


  • 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 Killenaule below


The town of Killenaule lies at the Southern extremity of the range of The Slieveardagh Hills — situated 17 miles from Clonmel, 10 miles from Thurles, 10 miles from Cashel and 28 miles from Kilkenny City. The area has a chequered and colourful history, from Scandinavian invasions in the 9th Century, to a battle at Crohane in 852.

In the Norman Era, Killenaule was granted to a settler named Stantton, and the town achieved the status of Borough. Names associated during this period with Killenaule include Butler, Laffan and Cantwell.

During the 16th Century and the reign of Henry VIII lands in Killenaule were under the ownership of names like Britt, Purcell and again Cantwell and Butler. Around the mid 1500s landowners included Thomas Morris in Killenaule, Ballinure, Ballintogher and Moyglass. In 1640 the chief landowners among others were, Theo Mansell, Cataganstown 560 acres, Edmund Kearney Knockinglass, 800 acres, Everard of Fethard, 600 acres in Moyglass lower, Robert St. John, 300 acres in Roan, Cantwell of Killeens 700 acres, James Earl of Ormond 1600 acres in Killenaule. In Ballinure, landowners were Richard Tobin and Walter Hackett, Florence Fennell had 160 acres in Cooleagh, Morish Stokes, 800 acres in Coolquil and Henry Laffen had 1600 acres at Noan.

The principal Landlord in the Killenaule area was an absentee landlord named Waldron and the town of Killenaulewas part of the Waldron Estate in the early 1900s. On the death of Mr Waldron the deeds passed on to the trustees of the Bank of Ireland. Around 1976 much controversy arose in Killenaule as some of the Waldron leases had expired and the townspeople wished to purchase outright the leases on their holdings. Various local meetings were held and with the co-operation of Tipp SR. Co. Council, and legal advice, a satisfactory agreement was reached between leaseholders and Waldron Reps.

In more modern times the two largest estates adjacent to Killenaule have been the Lanespark Estate, Ballynonty, and the Noan Estate, Ballinure. These both provided a welcome boost to the local economy by providing employment and various small industries.

Killenaule and its surrounding area, has a large and varied history and heritage to offer. The area has many fine ancient Ring Forts, Tower Houses and Castles to support its local history.

Rathmoley double Ring Fort is one of the finest complete double Ring Forts in the Country now preserved by the State. It is also situated in a prime viewing area very adjacent to Killenaule Town and discovered on its site, in Autumn 1925, was The Killenaule Viking Silver Hoard, now in the possession of the National Museum of Ireland. The site of Killenaule Castle is just a few hundred yards from the town centre and the Norman Graystown Castle is just a few miles to the south west of Killenaule. Other notable Castles are St. Johnstown, Coolquill, Mortlestown and Cooleagh Castleat Ballinure. The area has many natural resources including coal mining and peat harvesting. Killenaule is also noted for the very successful horse racing industries and numerous greyhound breeding and training establishments in the locality. In recent years, Killenaule Stone Quarries have established a thriving business at Kilbrennal Quarry. The stone is both used as road trunking and also very much sought for ornamental design.

The surrounding bogland has left a Hugh store of folklore and as this area was the last Gaelic speaking area of Killenaule, a large vocabulary of many old Irish words have remained in the area. The late Dr. Thomas Morris, former Archbishop of Cashel & Emily documented these for posterity. The normal piseogs that exist throughout rural Irelandcan be heard in the Killenaule area.

The Hills of Killenaule Festival provides entertainment cultural, sporting and musical around mid-summer and has been growing in popularity since its inception three years ago. There are at least four local historians in the locality and much activity surrounds the now restored Church of Ireland in River Street, which houses the Slieveardagh Rural Development Co. Ltd, administrative centre, and is also the local Cultural and Enterprise Centre. All of the data from headstones from the ten local cemeteries have been logged and computed and also available to visitors are the complete list of death records for Killenaule, dating back to when these records were first logged.

Killenaule is also the home of Derrynaflan Island, where on a dark and dreary February Sunday evening in 1980, Mr. Webb and his son unearthed the priceless Derrynaflan Hoard, consisting of an 8th century chalice, a strainer or ladle, a stand — all enclosed in a bronze basin, buried eighteen inches below ground, and found about 20 yards from the main church ruin. This priceless archaeological find continues to bring many students of history, historians and interested tourists to our area to view the exact location of the find. Derrynaflan Island is situated approximately 4 miles north west of Killenaule Town.

Situated near the village of Moyglass is the ancestral site of the home of Ned Kelly the famed Australian bush ranger at Clonbrogan. This site is of major significance to all Australians who visit our town. A natural amenity available to all visitors in the future is the beautiful lake and nature reserve, presently under construction at Derryvilla between Glengoole and Killenaule, where a large tract of bogland has been flooded and converted to a lake, this will be complimented by a pony trekking area and a nature and wild-life preserve. Ideal viewing points around the Killenaule area include Knockforlagh, The Reen, Rathmoley, Graigue Upper, Knockavardagh, Crickeen and Monslatt, all providing beautiful scenic views of the various “Hills of Killenaule”. Those same “Hills of Killenaule” have been immortalised in song by the late Davy Mc Cormack, Ardagh House, who wrote this widely known local song in praise of our native hills. At Mardyke or “The Found” near Killenaule can be seen the remains of the first mining village in Ireland and also visible the remains of a mining Engine House and Air Vent. Mardyke in its glory days boasted an R.I.C. Barracks, a National School and three streets: Barrack Street, Puddle Street and Middle Streetand numerous Mining Company buildings. At its peak over 1,000 men were employed in mining across the Slieveardagh Hills around 1827.

Bord Na Mona at its former works at Littletonand more recently at Killeens briquette factory provides a national fuel resource and also valuable local employment.

Local traditions of cheese making can be found at the home of Mr. Louis Grubb, Silverfort, home of the famous “Cashel Blue Cheese”. Also cheese is made at Sullivans Ballinure, home of Derrynaflan variety. A number of local people are involved in the craft industry, mainly in needlework, Art, and Hurley making. Scoil Ruain is the base of Derrynaflan Schoolof furniture & design, where post Leaving Cert students study the craft of designing once off furniture pieces.

Killenaule Tidy Towns Committee and numerous other personal, have had and continue regular meetings with senior officials of Planning, Environment, Roads, and Sanitary services to keep abreast of proposals and council initiatives, concerning Killenaule Town and surrounds. The main concerns at these meetings entail traffic restrictions in Killenaule Town, proper sign posting derelict sights and dangerous and derelict buildings in our locality. Concern has also been aired regarding proper public lighting, provision of proper footpaths and car parking and public toilet facilities, also the planting and landscaping the approach roads to our Town.

Killenaule Townhas had a new Sewerage system installed at Crosscannon in recent years. This system is capable of, and has the capacity to deal with current housing development as of now, however, future development may entail an enlargement of this present system.

There is a steady rate of planning for housing in close proximity to our town and surrounding area. The applicant base is generally young married couples whose employment base is one of Thurles, Clonmel, Cashel, Kilkenny or Waterford City. Killenaule is ideally situated and provides all of the services necessary and demanded by young families building residential homes in our area.

Buildings listed locally in need of conservation include the Old Distillery Building at River Street, the former Killenaule National Schoolnow St. Mary’s Community Centre. A number of derelict buildings and sights are at present under scrutiny and in co-operation with the environmental officer of Tipp SR Co. Council; progress on this issue is expected shortly.

Killenaule is a self-sustaining town to a large degree, containing seven public houses, a supermarket, five grocery shops, a hardware shop and a Glanbia provisions store. its service include a medical clinic, a modern nursing home, three hairdressers, two victuallers, one bookmaker office, one central primary school, one secondary school (600 pupils), one roman catholic church, one Garda barracks, two drapery shops, a solicitor’s legal business, three garages and filling stations, two guest houses, one chemist shop, a funeral parlour and undertaking business, public health nurse, two practising medical doctors, a modem post office service, three existing town taxi services, one dry-cleaning service shop, a modern chip shop.

Public buildings include a modem Sports Complex Centre, a Heritage Cultural & Enterprise Centre, St. Mary’s Catholic Church; St. Mary’s Community Centre Bailey Street, a Credit Union Centre, two Electrical and T.V. shops. Killenaule town is serviced by Tipp S8.R. Co. Council Refuse Collection, a once weekly service. The existing bus services include twice daily Clonmel-Thurles and reverse. A bus service also exists to Kilkenny City daily. Train services are available at Clonmel (17 miles) and Thurles (10 miles). The National Bus service route can be availed of at Littleton(6 miles) and Urlingford (12 miles).

For the last 10 years Killenaule has provided its own FÁS Community Employment Scheme giving valuable training and experience to prospective employees. It has also used the FÁS Youth Training Schemes to publish the “History of Killenaule / Moyglass” in 1990, this gave valuable employment and experience over two and half years to over twenty young people. The Youth Training Scheme was also employed to renovate the existing Culture & Heritage Centre at River Street.

The existing Community FÁS Employment Scheme provides numerous local services e.g. Maintenance of Local cemeteries, grass cutting and cleaning of public Buildings in the area, erecting approach fencing and walls to town, planting and maintaining public flower beds etc. and assisting in running local festivals, concerts and public events.

Killenaule would be described as a modem progressive Rural Town, where the community are hard working and forward looking, who aspire to a decent standard of living and education, and their fair share in the distribution of the National Cake. Our Community is noted for their generous Cead Mile Failte to our town, where visitors will be showered with hospitality and afforded plenty of time and opportunity to learn and listen and participate in the general merriment of our life and times. In brief, in Killenaule like Tipperary, “the Stranger is treated like a King”.