In the Neighborhood
Several fantastic sites can be found within a few miles of Knockahopple. Here’s a taste:
- Castle Otway : Seldom visited by tourists, Castle Ottway was occupied until the early 20th century and once home to the Otway Harp (now on display in the National Museum), but the castle is now in ruins. Although it is not set up for visitors, guests have been known to explore the ruins and admire the Georgian Revival addition that was added to the original castle in the 1800’s.
- Kilboy Church: The ruins of this 15th century parish church went through minor excavation and a major clean-up, conservation, and partial reconstruction program in 1987. It is located on the Donnalley (now Ryan) Estate.
- Kilcommon Prayer Garden: Site of St Colom’s Well, the Prayer Garden is an effort by the townspeople to promote their fair village. In addition to the formal rose garden, the entire site has been landscaped to create a meditative area that has become a popular pilgrimage site. A local tradesman has carved the Stations of the Cross in teak that are displayed in the garden.
- Glown: This scenic valley was once home to dozens of families, but today only a handful are occupied and many others are now abandoned and overgrown.
- Heritage Hedge School: The architectural footprint of an old “hedge school” marks the spot where young Catholics were taught during penal times. A monument at the site has been dedicated to the educators who risked their lives to teach there. This was the first memorial of its kind in Ireland.
- The Long Stone: It is believed this ancient “signpost” was either used for wayfinding or to mark boundaries.
- Shanballyedmond Court Cairn: Located just outside of the village of Rear Cross, this 4,000-year-old megalithic structure is believed to have been a tomb or part of a burial rite.
- Silvermines Step Viewing Point/Slieve Felim Way: Located on the slope of the Silvermines Mountains, the Step Viewing Point offers views of Nenagh including Nenagh Castle, St Mary’s Church of Ireland (1860), St Mary of the Rosary Catholic Church (1896) and the Nenagh Creamery, as well as views of northwest Tipperary, south Offaly, Limerick, Clare and stretches of the River Shannon, Lough Derg, and Arra Mountains. From this point you can catch a glimpse of the nearby Kilboy Estate, former home of the Barron Dunnalley which was owned by Tony Ryan, the late owner of Ryan Air. The Slieve Felim Way is a signposted hiking trail; this section takes you along the uppermost ridge of the Silvermines Mountains.
- Silvermines Village: The quaint village of Silvermines takes its name from the mines in the area and prides itself as one of Ireland’s Tidy Towns.
- Vale of Cuneen: This beautiful valley located between Knockahopple and Templederry provides a fantastic scenery by foot, bicycle, or auto.