The unique mining village of Ahenny sits above the beautiful River Lingaun Valley just outside Carrick-on-Suir.
This two street village was built by the Victoria Slate Mining Quarries Company in the 1860s for their workers. Now only one of the original streets, Vickers’ Street, remains in its entirety. Modelled on quarry workers’ cottages in Wales, these houses were finest workers’ cottages in the area at the time, boasting slate roofs, clay floors and latticed windows.
Slate is known to have been quarried in the Ahenny area from the 14th Century onwards and used in a number of important buildings including Ormond Castle in Carrick-on-Suir, Kells Priory in County Kilkenny, and even the Palace of Westminster in London. Quarrying in Ahenny was most predominant in the Victorian era, and a large community grew in the area. Today all quarrying activity has ceased and much of the quarry land is returning to nature.
Perhaps the most accessible and best known of the quarries is Ormond Quarry on the banks of the Lingaun River. In the 1990’s the Slate Quarries Festival was centred around the lake and to mark its first year a Slate Sculpture Park was created. The sculptures include ‘The Miner’s Egg’, ‘The Weir’, ‘The Dinosaur’, ‘Eternal Spirals’, and ‘Noah’s Ark’ perched on the cliff top overlooking the lake.
Although the festival no longer exists, an annual Mass is still held at the lake during early summer followed by music in the famous nearby Delaney’s Pub.
Directions: Take the R697 north from Carrick-on-Suir and after approx 6 km turn left to Faugheen. After 400 metres turn right for Ahenny and drive for approx 2.5 km to arrive at the village.