Ardclough

Ardclough is a dispersed rural community of about 700 residents, a small place with a big history.

The name comes from the quality of its limestone, which was brought from canal bank quarries to build some of Dublin’s most iconic structures.

It is home to one of the most scenic of Ireland’s surviving hilltop round towers and the burial place of Arthur Guinness, founder of Ireland’s most famous brewery. Check out the stunning canal bank walks below the hills, amid otters and swans.

Famous locals include sculptress Mary Redmond, poet Emily Lawless, Valentine Lawless, a 1798 rebel who became Ireland’s most powerful politician, John Ponsonby, speaker of the 18th century Irish parliament and Lady Grey of the tea-bags. Lyons Hill, whose importance goes back to pre-Christian times, was once royal capital of Leinster.

 

Pat Taaffe, who achieved fame as jockey on the legendary Arkle (pictured), trained Captain Christy here to win the 1974 Cheltenham Gold Cup, a feat repeated by his son Tom with Kicking King in 2005. Other four legged celebrities include 1975 Prix de l’Arc winner Star Appeal and the Tetrarch, champion sire of the first half of the 20th century.

At a time its population was even smaller Ardclough teams shocked the sporting world by winning the Kildare football championship and achieving some of the county’s most famous victories in the Leinster club hurling championship.

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