There might be some truth in that Carriganore myth about the hidden treasures because the end of the rainbow is right there by the river bank. We leave the rainbow behind and resume our walk to Kilmeadan station.
River Suir makes a sharp bend. The pink froth you see among the trees on the other side of the bend are Magnolias from the Mount Congreve gardens, in some 15 minutes walk from here.
But first we walk through the Magic Wood where Fairies and Leprechauns live happily together 🙂
There is a whole city in the trees with lovely little houses, ladders and bridges. It is well hidden in the summer but now the fairies are in the open, and have to pretend that they are not real, otherwise the passers-by will annoy them with questions. I would advise you to make a wish as you pass by without disturbing the fairies. I made a mistake of entering the Woods for these pictures. When I climbed down to the road, I heard a sound of breaking plastic in my pocket. I was terrified, I thought it was my car key, but it was only a plastic barcode tag from the Applegreen petrol station. I have a spare one, but the fact is that I had it for years, and it broke exactly when I was exiting the Fairy Wood. Did I get a warning from the Fairies? Just don’t tell me it was a coincidence 😉
Finally we reach the Mount Congreve garden wall. The gardens are massive – 70 acres of planted woodland and 4 acres of walled garden with impressive 16 km long net of paths. They say it will be possible to enter the Gardens from the Greenway: for this purpose there is a long platform under construction. I don’t know why people would go to the Gardens from the Greenway if there is a main entrance, but may be someone will.
There are many different magnolia trees that you can see from the railway.
Some of them are very high.
Beautiful huge petals cover the path. I took a double exposure picture of one adorned with the dew.
Kilmeadan Castle stands by the River Suir junction with a tributary, on the site that was granted to the Power family (le Poers) in 1307 but was apparently destroyed during Cromwell invasion. I wrote about the Power family in my blog about Dunhill castle which they also owned.
This structure was built on the foundation of the old castle later in the 17th-18th century. The site looked different then, beautifully landscaped, surrounded with plantations of timber trees, canals and gardens.
Bridge across the tributary, still in the process of reconstruction.
A closer view. You can see the ruins of the Courtyard. The structure that looks like a tower is not actually a tower anymore – just two walls with a gap between them.
The railway tracks take us further to our destination – Kilmeadan station.
Two roads cross the railway over the old stone bridges.
Finally we reached Kilmeadan. Here is some useful information if you want to take a ride. The photographs in their website were taken before the construction of The Greenway, and there is a sad but necessary change of scenery since the jungle has been cleared to accomodate the cyclists. I don’t know if it makes me happy though. Too many species of birds lost their habitats and were scared away.
Kilmeadan station was closed to passengers in 1967 and beautifully restored by Suir Valley Railway Heritage group 35 years later. A Simplex locomotive pulls two open carriages travelling at a grand speed of 15 km/ hour. Enough to enjoy the ride.
Railway carriage serves as a ticket office and shop. There are indoor tables and a picnic area. The railway tracks don’t go any further.
This is where we finish our walk. Next time I will drive you to Kilmacthomas to visit a very exciting stretch of the Greenway. Thank you for walking with me. Stay fit! 😉
To the blogging community – thank you for your patience, I will catch up next week.
Have a wonderful weekend!