Borris is a Georgian, granite village, full of charm and heritage nestling in the fertile valley of the River Barrow and the ideal gateway for nearby Mount Leinster and the Blackstairs Mountains. Its old granite houses and Victorian shop fronts have remained largely intact. Most of the town’s buildings stand on the north side of a steeply rising main street, overshadowed by the presence of the very substantial demesne walls of Borris House.
Built in Tudor style, Borris House is the home of the Kavanagh family, direct descendants of the McMorrough Kavanagh dynasty, former Celtic Kings of Leinster. The town prospered in the late 1800s as Arthur McMorrough Kavanagh, the landlord of the time, developed a sawmill and a thriving lace-making industry – Borris Lace soon became famous for its beautiful, intricate patterns and found its way to stately homes as far away as Russia.
He also instigated the building of the spectacular 16-arch viaduct, situated at the lower end of the town, which carried the now defunct Great Southern and Western Railway Line between Bagenalstown and Palace East in Co.Wexford. A pleasing feature of the town is the Sacred Heart Church, built in 1820 with a facade of granite decorated with limestone which incorporates a Romanesque style doorway.
ATTRACTIONS: Borris House is open on selected days throughout the year. Clashganny Lock, 5km south of Borris on the R729 New Ross road offers a panoramic view of Carlow’s waterways system and rich countryside. The Borris Viaduct Walk offers a leisurely stroll around the spectacular sixteen arch viaduct with beautiful views to the blackstairs Mountains and Mount Leinster.
ACTIVITIES: Hang-gliding and paragliding on Mount Leinster, walking on the South Leinster and Barrow Ways. Coarse angling, Clashganny Forest Looped Walks.