Sculptor Philip Quinn with Cllr Andy Moloney at one of the iconic pieces
The imaginative Inch Field Sculpture Trail in Cahir was officially unveiled by former mayor Andy Moloney.
The trail is the brainchild of former Senior Executive Engineer with Clonmel Borough District, Paul Mulcahy and was created by Philip and Liz Quinn from Stonemad Scuplture Workshops with the support of Cahir Tidy Towns and Cahir Development Association, and financial support from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Areas (CEDRA).
The Inch Field is situated beside Cahir Castle is an area of outstanding natural beauty, flanked by the River Suir, the back-drop of the castle and surrounded by mature native trees.
A few years ago some of these trees fell and others lost large boughs during a severe winter storm. It was decided that these trees should continue to live on in the Inch Field and many of them have been carved to form a sculpture trail.
Philip and Liz Quinn with Cllr Andy Moloney at 'Excalibur's Sword'
The trail includes -
As you enter the Inch Field, on your left you will see a dug-out boat. This piece is oak and is a companion piece to the Kilkenny Limestone boat in the Sensory Garden in Cahir.
A little further on is the hollowed-out oak stump, which the boat bough originally came from. This piece features three Bow- Man’s Windows, overlooking the small weir, and is a lovely spot to hop into and observe the river life below.
This oak piece is a salute to the Dovecote and the tradition of falconry in the castle.
The ash tree represents one of the turrets in the castle and houses a knight on sentry duty.
An Gobán Saor
The legendary stone-mason, An Gobán Saor, is climbing the turret stairs, his two-tailed cat ahead of him and his pigin of stout in his hand. The masons had an allowance of eight pints of stout per day.
Again in the ash tree, there is an alcove, which, when you sit into it echoes like the sound you hear climbing the turret stairs.
This over-sized banquet table and carvers tells of the great feasts held in the castle in days of yore.
This seat was inspired by names whittled onto this beech tree over the years, locals, courting couples, etc. In turn, this brought Marie Antoinette, the inspiration for the Swiss Cottage, and her “Love Seat” to mind. The words of a local ballad, “Cait of Garnavilla” are carved onto the seat, along with initials of some of the current users of the Inch Field.
Knight and Lady
This oak couple should bring a bit of fun to the field and provide a few good photo opportunities. They are styled on the Butler Tomb at Clonmel Friary.
This chestnut piece is carved in a basket style, to represent our old friend Lusmore, the basket-maker of Cappagh in the Glen of Aherlow, who sold his baskets at the fair in Cahir and had an interesting encounter with the Fairies of Knockgraffon.
Cahir Abbey Corbel I
This chestnut piece is styled on one of the heads in the nearby Cahir Abbey.
Mortice and Tenon
This simple beech piece represents the mortice and tenon joinery from the castle roof, an ancient technique which has stood the test of time.
Foot in Both Camps
This pair of red and black high-heeled shoes echo back to the time of Louis XIV, that very stylish man who is reputed to have started the trend of high-heeled shoes, purportedly to keep him up out of the mud in the streets of Paris. He decreed that only he himself was allowed to wear red shoes, but his wife, in a final act of defiance, wore a pair of red shoes when she was led to the guillotine for her execution.
Cahir Abbey Corbel II
This chestnut piece is again styled on one of the carved heads in Cahir Abbey.
This ash piece represents the talons of the eagle overhead the gate of Cahir Castle, a feature of the Butler crest.
The Sword in the Stone
This metal sword, embedded in a stone is a tribute to the rich history of film making in Cahir Castle, particularly “Excalibur”, shot on location here in 1980. We gathered as many of the local extras as possible and stamped their names onto the sword.
This ash piece is again a fun piece, with more photo opportunities – will you be the face of the jester or the face of his mock sceptre?