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Scavenger Walk 7 “.. by Bleck Cra   (Show all posts)
wicklore
2011-07-05 15:55:21
"From humble beginnings..." from wicklore Expand pics
From humble beginnings... (Expand pics)
The Military Road: The infant River Liffey
The Military Road runs through the heart of the Dublin/Wicklow Mountains from Rathfarnham in South Dublin to Aughavannagh in deepest Wicklow. The road is 55kms long, and it was constructed between 1800 and 1809 in the wake of the 1798 Rebellion. It was designed to open up the wild Wicklow Mountains to the British Army to assist them in reaching the insurgents who were hiding there. A number of military barracks were built along its length which were used to house the soldiers who could rapidly respond when rebels were afoot in the area.

Today the road offers excellent access to the mountains around Glenasmole, Glencree, Sally Gap, Glendalough, Glenmalure and Aughavannagh. It is a great route to see and admire some of the best scenery in Dublin & Wicklow. But besides the mountains and valleys there are other things of interest along the road that are worth mentioning.

Just south of the Kippure Mountain access gates lies a small and non-descript bridge. You wouldn’t even notice you’re crossing it as it appears as nothing more than a few stones on either side of the road formed into little protective walls. As you pass in a flash you wouldn’t even realise that you have just crossed the infant River Liffey, which trickles into life about 700 metres further east in a lonely stretch of bog. This bridge, at O138 138 (OSI Map no 56) is the first of many that the Liffey flows under in its 125km journey through counties Wicklow, Kildare and Dublin before it meets the Irish Sea at Dublin Bay. ‘Flow’ may be the wrong word because at this infant stage it is barely a gurgling brook about 1 foot across.

By following the stream eastwards from the bridge through wet and boggy ground you will be entering a wide bog surrounded by higher bog to the south, east and north. It is a natural gathering place for the drainage of rain water from the surrounding area. At about O142 132 you can claim to have visited the source of the River Liffey. You are looking for a small pond that gathers water from all directions before it filters through a mass of bog and moss before reappearing as a stream – the first appearance of a distinguishable River Liffey. Of course there is wet and marshy ground surrounding this pond, and it all qualifies as being the source of the Liffey, but if you want to point to one definable feature and say “this is it”, then I would suggest this pond or the small bog holes beside it.

Geographically, this area lies in the saddle between Tonduff and Kippure. However being much closer to the summit of Tonduff, I would suggest that we could say Tonduff is the Mother Mountain from which the Liffey springs forth. Those of you not familiar with the Irish language may be horrified (or amused) to hear that Tonduff (Thoin Dubh) translates as Black Arse. So that’s where the Liffey comes from! The name Tonduff derives from the black bog and peat of the mountain, which appears as dark and brooding even on good days.
On the red poppy, .. by Bleck Cra   (Show all posts)
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