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 MacMurrough Kavanagh dynasty, former Celtic Kings of Leinster. The town prospered in the late 1800s as Arthur MacMurrough 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. Samples can be viewed at the Lace Gallery in Kilbride, near Ballon.
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 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. Today, Borris is a busy village for its surrounding rural hinterland. the village is a gateway to Mount Leinster and the Blackstairs Mountains, where some of the county’s most satisfying walks are to be found.
Borris House, open to groups by prior arrangement Tel: 059-9773105. May – end of August, Thursday & Sunday. House tour at 3 p.m.
Mount Leinster Drive Heritage Drive and the Blackstairs Mountains which are accessible from Borris via the viaduct at the end of the town.
Clashganny Lock, 5km south of Borris on the New Ross road offers a panoramic view of Carlow’s rich countryside.
Hang-gliding and paragliding on Mount Leinster, walking on the South Leinster and Barrow Ways. Coarse angling, Golfing at Borris Golf.
Rosdillig Vintage Annual Tractor Run Sunday April 15th., Borris National Country Fair August Bank Holiday Weekend.