St. Laserian’s Cathedral was built in the 13th century on the site of a church founded by St. Gobban in 632 A.D. This early church was one of the foremost monastic houses in Leinster at one time with over 1,500 monks in residence. St. Lazerians Holy Well (Molaise) situated on the school road.
An important seventh century church synod took place in a local field which influenced the date of Easter for the entire Christian world. Â The field known as Pairc Baun or White Field took its name from the gathering of the white-robbed monks.
The pattern day is held every year on the 18th April. Starting with an eccumenical service in the Cathedral followed by a procession to the Well.
A strong tradition regarding healing powers attributed to the monks of St. Lazerian’s Monastery remains in Old Leighlin. Â This healing was botanised medicines, the monks used herbs, plants, flowers and various sages, from these drinks and ointments were concocted. Could it be that yesterdays superstition is today’s science.
The Big Tree at the centre of the village is believed to symbolise the pre-christian sacred tree “Eo Rossa”, the tree was associated with pagan worship but St. Lazerian did not abolish these customs but instead introduced them into christianity.
The 1798 memorial plaque is situated opposite the Big Tree, this area also contains an ancient carved stone found while clearing this site, it is believed to be dated back as early as the eighth century and symbolised the many hospitals in the area run by the monks.
Colm Crushers were an important part of the economy of the area, coal dust was crushed with red clay and ground into a paste, which was made into “bombs” or balls. These balls were long lasting and kept the fire going around the clock the whole year through. They were positioned in several places in the area. Two examples that can be seen are on the Quarry Road.
ATTRACTIONS: The Ridge Drive – a route over Old Leighlin and the Castlecomer Plateau.