The Amblers were blessed with bright sunshine for their trip to Timoleague (Tigh Molaga) on Thursday 14th July.
Meeting below the Abbey, we were greeted by our knowledgeable guide, local RTAI member Dónal Whooley. Dónal is a veritable fount of knowledge about the area and its history. He told us the heritage of the Barry and McCarthy families in the area – some lively stories!
Our walk took us out of Timoleague in the direction of Ummera (well known for its smoked foods). On our way we passed Argideen Lawn Tennis Club, with its immaculately maintained courts for both tennis and croquet.
As we ambled along, Dónal drew our attention to the various points of interest, which could be seen in the distance. The old railway line followed the path of the Argideen river, but is now overgrown in places.
At Inchy Bridge we saw the original railwayman’s cottage. More interesting, at Inchy Bridge, was the specially developed space for disabled anglers. This peaceful spot is wheelchair accessible, and is further enhanced by a beautiful sculpture of a heron.
Following further ambling uphill, we were rewarded with stunning views across the Argideen Valley, and Dónal pointed out certain features of the landscape visible from various viewpoints as we walked along.
Returning to Timoleague, we first of all visited the Catholic church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, to view the Harry Clarke windows and the replica of a chalice. The original chalice dates from the 17th century, and had probably been removed by the monks for safe keeping. It was found some centuries later on Cape Clear Island!
Next we visited the Anglican Church of the Ascension, to view the amazing mosaics and interesting stained glass windows.
Our next port of call was the Abbey of Timoleague. Once more, Dónal gave a detailed guided tour, pointing out unique architectural features and relating the history of the abbey for us. All in all, it was a most interesting and enjoyable walk.
After all that walking and talking we retired for a tasty lunch at Monks Lane!