South Kildare Quick Tour

Suggested Route

Tour Route

Places to Visit


South Kildare is an area well worth visiting for those interested in the history of Ireland. Click on the links below to discover more about the historical attractions of each area. 


In the ancient Heritage Town of Athy, visit the Heritage Centre in the Town Hall, built in the early 18th Century.  Here you can trace the history of Athy, the Anglo-Norman town on the Marches of Kildare, which was founded almost 800 years ago.



From Athy it is only a short drive to Kilkea Castle, ancient seat of the Earls of Kildare.  Take the road to Kilcullen and a right turn along the R418. Kilkea is the oldest inhabited castle in Ireland and now is a luxury hotel.



Castledermot, only minutes from Kilkea Castle along the same R418, was an early Christian monastic settlement. In the grounds of St. James's Church you will find two unique granite High Crosses, and the 10th Century Round Tower.  Nearby are the remains of the Franciscan Friary.



Moone is one of the oldest inhabited areas in Kildare, with evidence of settlement going back 6000 years.  In the sixth century St. Colmcille founded a monastery here.   From Castledermot take the Dublin road to the village. In the centre of the village follow the road that passes through the pillars of Belan House to visit one of Kildare's most important historical monuments, the 8th century Moone High Cross. 



The village of Timolin once was the site of an ancient manastery. Very little of this remains today. However, an old mill in the centre of the village stand over the monastery site and is today a private business making pewter. Here the old craft of pewter making was re-established after centuries in limbo.



Ballitore is the only planned and permanent Quaker Settlement in Ireland.  Established by Quakers from Yorkshire around 1685 Ballitore contains several historical buildings.  Among the more notable of these are the recently restored home of Mary Shackleton Leadbeater, who chronicled the main events of the village in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and The Meeting House, built around 1708 which is now a library containing a Quaker Museum.



From the village follow the signpost to Crookstown Corn Mill,  a delightful building of local limestone which lies in the Greese Valley.  The mill was built in 1840 and today houses a heritage centre with unusual and interesting displays of industrial archaeology.



Take the R418 road from Crookstown and Ballitore to Athy. On the N79 main Kilcullen to Athy road the Moat of Ardscull is situated in a commanding position,  affording extensive views in all directions.  The Moat is a large oval-shaped mound, surrounded by a ditch and bank which was built in the late 12th or early 13th centuries.  The site contains a recently developed picnic area which has become a popular spot with locals and tourists alike.



Quick Tour Options

Link to Kildare Community Network
Network Link