World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Cill Dara
Saint Brigid's Cathedral
Kildare is located in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Country Ireland
Province Leinster
County County Kildare
Elevation 105 m (344 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 8,142
Irish Grid Reference N726124

Kildare (Irish: Cill Dara, meaning "church of the oak") is a town in County Kildare, Ireland. Its population of 8,412 (2011 Census)[4] makes it the eighth largest town in County Kildare and the 55th largest in the state, with a growth rate of 8% since the 2006 census. Although Kildare gives its name to the county, Naas is the county town. The town lies on the R445, some 50 km (31 mi) west of Dublin – near enough for it to have become, despite being a regional centre in its own right, a commuter town for the capital.


  • History 1
    • Founding by Saint Brigid 1.1
    • Milestone in Early Motorsport 1.2
  • Annalistic references 2
  • Places of interest 3
  • Politics 4
  • Sports clubs 5
  • Transport 6
  • Notable people 7
  • See also 8
  • Notes 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11


Founding by Saint Brigid

Rich in heritage and history, Kildare Town dates from the 5th Century, when it was the site of the original 'Church of the Oak' and monastery founded by Saint Brigid. This became one of the three most important Christian foundations in Celtic Ireland.

It was said that Brigid's mother was a Christian and that Brigid was reared in her father's family, that is with the children of his lawful wife. From her mother, Brigid learned dairying and the care of the cattle, and these were her occupations after she made a vow to live a life of holy chastity. Both Saint Mel of Ardagh and Bishop Mac Caille have been credited with the consecration of Brigid and some companions, after which the woman established a community beneath an oak tree, on a hill on the edge of the Curragh. Hence the name Cill Dara, the church of the oak.

Not too far away, on Dún Ailinne, lived the King of Leinster who had donated the site to the holy woman. A story told was that the King had offered Brigid as much land as her cloak would cover. When she spread her garment it miraculously stretched out to embrace the entire Curragh. True to his promise, the King gave her the fertile plain, and there the new community grazed their sheep and cows.

Milestone in Early Motorsport

Kildare Community School
Kildare Castle

On Thursday, 2 July 1903 the Gordon Bennett Cup ran through Kildare. It was the first international motor race to be held in the United Kingdom as it then existed, an honorific to Selwyn Edge who had won the 1902 event in Paris driving a Napier. The Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland wanted the race to be hosted in the islands, and their secretary, Claude Johnson, suggested Ireland as the venue because racing was illegal on British public roads. The editor of the Dublin Motor News, Richard Mecredy, suggested an area in County Kildare, and letters were sent to 102 Irish MPs, 90 Irish peers, 300 newspapers, 34 chairmen of county and local councils, 34 County secretaries, 26 mayors, 41 railway companies, 460 hoteliers, 13 PPs, plus the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, Patrick Foley, who pronounced himself in favour. Local laws had to be adjusted, ergo the 'Light Locomotives (Ireland) Bill' was passed on 27 March 1903. Kildare and other local councils drew attention to their areas, whilst Queen's County declared That every facility will be given and the roads placed at the disposal of motorists during the proposed race. Eventually Kildare was chosen, partly on the grounds that the straightness of the roads would be a safety benefit. As a compliment to Ireland the British team chose to race in Shamrock green[b] which thus became known as British racing green, although the winning Napier of 1902 had been painted Olive green.[5][6][7][8]

The route consisted of two loops that comprised a figure of eight, the first was a 52-mile (84 km) loop that included Kilcullen, The Curragh, Kildare, Monasterevin, Stradbally, Athy, followed by a 40-mile (64 km) loop through Castledermot, Carlow, and Athy again. The race started at the Ballyshannon cross-roads () near Calverstown on the contemporary N78 heading north, then followed the N9 north; the N7 west; the N80 south; the N78 north again; the N9 south; the N80 north; the N78 north again. Competitors were started at seven-minute intervals and had to follow bicycles through the 'control zones' in each town. The 328 miles (528 km) race was won by the famous Belgian Camille Jenatzy, driving a Mercedes in German colours.[6][9]

Annalistic references

See Annals of Inisfallen

  • AI697.1 Kl. Repose of Forannán of Cell Dara. [AU 698].
  • AI733.1 Kl. Repose of the daughter of Corc, coarb of Brigit.
  • AI758.1 Kl. Murthán, abbots of Cell Dara, fell asleep.
  • AI964.1 Kl. The plundering of Cell Dara by the foreigners of Áth Cliath; and the female erenagh died in the same year.
  • AI1031.9 Cell Dara and Port Láirge were burned.

Places of interest

  • St. Brigid's Cathedral and Norman tower House in the town center
  • St Brigid's Well on the outskirts of the town,
  • Father Moore's Well on the Milltown Road
  • The National Stud and Japanese Gardens.
  • The Curragh Race Course Just outside the town
  • Kildare Village is a shopping outlet located on the outskirts of Kildare Town and has become a large shopping and tourist attraction.


Kildare Town lies in the Kildare South Dáil constituency and the Kildare Local Electoral Area of Kildare County Council.

Sports clubs


Bus Eireann operates an expressway service between Dublin and Cork which calls at Kildare, whilst Dublin Coach operate services to Dublin Airport and Portlaoise.

Kildare railway station is located on the Dublin-Cork mainline and is served by the south western commuter service.

Notable people

Michael Corcoran (died 1819) was parish priest of Kildare and afterwards Roman Catholic Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin.

See also


a. ^ (This footnote is from the collapsed "Historical population" side-bar. It becomes visible, along with references,[2][3] if the bar is expanded).
1813 estimate of population is from Mason's Statistical Survey For a discussion on the accuracy of pre-famine census returns see JJ Lee "On the accuracy of the Pre-famine Irish censuses Irish Population, Economy and Society edited by JM Goldstrom and LA Clarkson (1981) p54, in and also New Developments in Irish Population History, 1700–1850 by Joel Mokyr and Cormac O Grada in The Economic History Review, New Series, Vol. 37, No. 4 (Nov. 1984), pp. 473–488.

b. ^ According to , Saturday, 11 April 1903Leinster Leader, Britain had to choose a different colour to its usual national colours of red, white and blue, as these had already been taken by Italy, Germany and France respectively. It also stated red as the color for American cars in the 1903 Gordon Bennett Cup.


  1. ^ "Census 2006 – Volume 1 – Population Classified by Area" (PDF). Central Statistics Office Census 2006 Reports.  
  2. ^ a b CSO census
  3. ^ a b Historic Population for post 1821 figures
  4. ^ Census 2006 – Table 14A – Towns 10,000 population and over
  5. ^ Circle Genealogic and Historic Champanellois
  6. ^ a b , Saturday, 11 April 1903Leinster Leader
  7. ^ race by Brendan Lynch, based on his Triumph of the Red Devil, the 1903 Irish Gordon Bennett Cup Race. October 22, 2003Britain's first international motorForix 8W –
  8. ^ The Gordon Bennett races – the birth of international competition. Author Leif Snellman, Summer 2001
  9. ^ Bleacher report, The Birth of British motor racing

External links

  • Kildare town
  • Kildare town history
  • The Irish National Stud
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.