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 traditional Irish street front and spectacular mountain setting. Borris village is a popular stop for those boating or walking in the area. The name denotes a borough or region.
As a matter of fact, The MacMurrought Kavanagh dynasty, former Celtic Kings of Leinster, is central to this picturesque village of old stone buildings. And the family still lives at Borris House in the center 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 tenants. 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 between Bagenalstown and Ballywilliam in Co. Wexford.
His mother Lady Harriet visited Corfu In 1857 and was impressed by the lace industry there. She brought lace-making back to Borris and run it as a cottage industry, encouraged 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.
At the present time, 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.
Also, there is a long-distance walking route where some of the county`s most satisfying walks are. Novices will find peace and tranquility in the Barrow Way walking route, a flat walk that runs alongside the River Barrow. You can walk 2km outside the village at Ballytiglea Bridge and Graiguenamanagh Road. Mount Leinster is also an internationally renowned location for hang-gliding and paragliding and is a multi-directional site.
Lower Borris is home to the old Catholic schoolhouse and The Sacred Heart Church with a 19th-century streetscape that has remained largely unchanged to this day.
The old Catholic schoolhouse was built by Mrs. Butler Nee MacMurrought Kavanagh in 1832. The two-storey, five-bay Tudor Gothic structure has a projecting entrance and an 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 functions as a Borris Library and offers a range of services to visitors including a visitor information point and Wi-Fi access.
Adjacent to the old school house is the Sacred Heart Church, the site for which was provided by the MacMurrought Kavanagh family.
The Sacred Heart Church, situated on the main street was built in 1820 with a facade of granite decorated with limestone which incorporates a Romanesque-style doorway. The stained glass window over the main altar is particularly noteworthy and consists of three granite-framed panels portraying the crucifixion, 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 that features an old bar and grocery with a 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 high standard and commands panoramic views of the neighboring countryside.
The southern end of Borris leads conveniently to the Borris Viaduct and walkway.
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 time stopped here. Below are photos I took in July 2021.