Borris is a Georgian, granite village, full of charm and heritage nestling in the fertile valley of the River Barrow, below the curve of the Blackstairs Mountains. With its tradicional Irish street-front and spectacular mountain setting, this village is a popular stop for those boating or walking in the area. The name denotes a borough or region.
The MacMurrought Kavanagh dynasty, former Celtic Kings of Leinster, is central to this picturesque village of old stones buildings and the family still live at Borris House in the centre of the village. The village prospered in the late 1800a as Arthur MacMurrought Kavanagh, the landlord of the time, developed a sawmill and built new cottages for his tennants. He also instigated the construction of the impressive 16-arch viaduct, situated at the lower end of the town, which carried the new defunct Great Southern and Western Railway line betwen Bagenalstown and Ballywilliam in Co. Wexford. In 1857, his mother Lady Harriet visited Corfu and was impressed by the lace industry there. She brought lace making back to Borris and run it as a cottage industry, encuraged by her son. Borris Lace soon became famous for its beautiful, intricate patterns and found its way to stately homes as far away as Russia. Borris House is open on selected days throughout the year.
Today, Borris is a busy village serving its surrounding rural hinterland. The village is a gateway to Mount Leinster, the Blackstairs Mountains and the South Leinster Way, a long distance walking route where some of the county`s most satisfaing walks are to be found. Novices will find peace and tranqulity of the Barrow Way walking route, a flat walk which runs alongside the River Barrow. The walk can be joined 2km outside the village at Ballytiglea Bridge and Graiguenamanagh road. Mount Leinster is also internationally renowned location for hang-gliding and paragliding and a multi-directional site.
Lower Borris is home to the old Catholic school house and The Sacred Heart Church with a 19th century streetscape that has remained largely unchanged to this day.
The old Catholic school house was built by Mrs. Butler Nee MacMurrought Kavanagh in 1832. The two storey, five bay Tudor Gothic structure has a projecting entrance and impressive tower built of granite. By 1837, the school catered for 150 boys and 90 girls with The MacMurrought Kavanagh family contributing to the running cost of the school. Nowadays it function as a Borris Library, and offers a range of services to visitor including a visitor information point and a Wi Fi access.
Adjacent to old school house is the Sacred Heart Church, the site for which was privided by MacMurrought Kavanagh family.
The Sacred Heart Church, situated on the main street was built in 1820 with facade of granite decorated with limestone which incorporates Romanesque style doorway. The stained glass window over the main altar is particularly noteworthy and consists of three granite-framed panels portraying the crucyfixtion, with the three under portion depicting St. Fortchern, Brigid and Fiachra.
M. O’Shea is an authentic traditional Irish pub located in the historic village of Borris, running since 1934. And near, there is Joyce’s Pub, a traditional pub and features an old bar and grocery with special charm of its own.
Located at the southern end of the town is Borris Golf Club. Established in 1907 the ground was leased to the club by William MacMurrought Kavanagh. It is one of the oldest golf clubs in Ireland and has a thriving and burgeoning membership. Borris Golf Club, a fine 9-hole course, is maintained to a very hight standard and commands panoramic views of the neighbouring countryside.
The southern end of Borris leads conveniently to the Borris Viaduct and walk way.
Source: the boards in Borris village.
The most beautiful cottage I’ve seen in County Carlow is Ivy Cottage located just at the entrance to Borris Village.
Location of Borris village:
The village is lovely and looks like the time stoped here. Below my photos taken in July 2021.