Askanagap PURE Mile

Photo:Children at Askanagap sign

Children at Askanagap sign

The Askanagap Community Development Association

Photo:Askinagap sign in recycled timber

Askinagap sign in recycled timber

The Askanagap Community Development Association

Photo:Billy Byrne's memorial in the snow

Billy Byrne's memorial in the snow

The Askanagap Community Development Association

Photo:Billy Byrne memorial erected in 1998

Billy Byrne memorial erected in 1998

The Askanagap Community Development Association

Photo:Church of Our Lady Askanagap - Built 1820

Church of Our Lady Askanagap - Built 1820

The Askanagap Community Development Association

Photo:Maintaining the church bell - at a stretch

Maintaining the church bell - at a stretch

The Askanagap Community Development Association

Photo:Site of Avalanche 1867 killing the local Mulhall family members

Site of Avalanche 1867 killing the local Mulhall family members

The Askanagap Community Development Association

Photo:Memorial on Church for Mulhall family - died in 1867 - buried in Preban cemetery

Memorial on Church for Mulhall family - died in 1867 - buried in Preban cemetery

The Askanagap Community Development Association

Photo:Children gathering sample leaves from each tree on Pure Mile

Children gathering sample leaves from each tree on Pure Mile

The Askanagap Community Development Association

Photo:Beautiful hedgerows and gate to field in sunshine

Beautiful hedgerows and gate to field in sunshine

The Askanagap Community Development Association

Photo:Boy and dog enjoying the snow

Boy and dog enjoying the snow

The Askanagap Community Development Association

Photo:Church graveyard in the snow

Church graveyard in the snow

The Askanagap Community Development Association

Photo:Goldfinch

Goldfinch

The Askanagap Community Development Association

Photo:Planting Spring flowers at Askanagap sign

Planting Spring flowers at Askanagap sign

The Askanagap Community Development Association

Photo:Sheep in the snow

Sheep in the snow

The Askanagap Community Development Association

Photo:Rabbit in the nettles

Rabbit in the nettles

The Askanagap Community Development Association

Photo:Water source - fresh water spout - close to farmyard and used to keep milk cans cool while waiting to be collected by the nearby dairy

Water source - fresh water spout - close to farmyard and used to keep milk cans cool while waiting to be collected by the nearby dairy

The Askanagap Community Development Association

Photo:Newly painted feature postbox with stone wall and new planting

Newly painted feature postbox with stone wall and new planting

The Askanagap Community Development Association

Photo:Farmhouse - 1700's - 1800's - derelict

Farmhouse - 1700's - 1800's - derelict

The Askanagap Community Development Association

Photo:Barracks - derelict - barred windows at front and small windows at back indicate use of building as a barracks

Barracks - derelict - barred windows at front and small windows at back indicate use of building as a barracks

The Askanagap Community Development Association

Photo:Repaired stone wall in sunshine

Repaired stone wall in sunshine

The Askanagap Community Development Association

Photo:Volunteers at graveyard and church

Volunteers at graveyard and church

The Askanagap Community Development Association

Photo:Low Winter sunlight on snowy road

Low Winter sunlight on snowy road

The Askanagap Community Development Association

The Askanagap Community Development Association

By Mary Hargaden

The Mile starts at Askinagap/Slievemweel Bridge and extends to ‘The Pound’ Crossroads. It runs between the Ballymanus and Askinagap Mountains, straddling the townlands of Askinagap and Coolballintaggart.  

 

The name Askinagap may have been derived from ‘the bog of the stumps’ and the name Coolballintaggart may have meant ‘the last townland of the priest’.

 

There was a stray animal pound at  “The Pound” crossroads. This part of the local O’Mahoney estate in the 1800’s.  The stone-built white washed building at this site was once a barn for storage and also served as a dairy where milk was churned into butter.

 

The built heritage of the Mile includes a national school dated to 1897, which is now the community hall, St Mary’s Church, and a GAA football pitch, which is home to the ‘Billies’ football team.  Nearby there is a commemoration to the execution of Billy Byrne who was a commander in the 1798 rising. There was much activity in the Wicklow Hills during the rising.

 

Granite, which is prevalent in Wicklow, is much in evidence at Askinagap and the bridge is made of stone and capped with granite. Many of the gates to the fields have granite gateposts and a granite stone wall surrounds the community hall and the Church.   

 

As was common in the past, local fields were named.  These include the Glen Field, Carthy’s Field and Wilson’s Field. 

There are two fresh water sprouts in the area one near the house in Wilson’s field and the other near the old Barracks.  The water was used by one of the houses to keep the milk cans cool while awaiting collection by the local dairy.

 

The old one roomed school building, dating to 1897 has its original wooden floors and wood panelling on the walls.   There are studs in a semi-circle on the floor, where the children stood around maps on the wall during Geography class. Behind the community hall there is a ruined building which may have been the old Barracks, as both the front and back windows have bars on them.

 

There are two good examples of forged iron gates in the area, one opposite the football pitch and the other in a garden at the end of the Mile.

 

The hedgerows in this area have a rich variety of wild flowers and native trees including the primrose, Dog violet, Lesser Celandine, the ash, birch, hazel, holly and blackthorn. 

 

Species of wildlife along the mile include foxes, squirrels, rabbits, mice, and frogs.  Bird types to be seen include pheasants, water hens, robins, crows, pigeons and the cuckoo.

 

The Mile is also home to Wicklow Cheviot Sheep, cattle, horses, ponies, hens, dogs and cats.

 

Award

 

The Askanagap Pure Mile entry for 2010/11 was given the Best Pure Mile Photograph Award and the Best Community Effort Award. 

 

 

This page was added by Mary Hargaden on 07/01/2013.

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