Leixlip and Its Castle

From The Illustrated Dublin Journal, Volume 1, Number 12, November 23, 1861

SIXTY years ago there were few localities in the neighbourhood of the Irish metropolis more frequented by its pleasure-seeking inhabitants than the village of Leixlip, although it is now comparatively neglected. Doctor Campbell says: "All the outlets of Dublin are pleasant, but this superlatively so which leads through Leixlip, a neat little village about seven miles from Dublin, up the Liffey, whose banks are beautiful beyond description." O'Keeffe in his opera of "The Tired Soldier," thus chaunts its charms:

"Though Leixlip is proud of its close shady bowers,
Its clear falling waters, and murmuring cascades,
Its groves of fine myrtle, its beds of sweet flowers,
Its lads so well dressed, and its neat pretty maids."

The town is memorable in an historic point of view as the place where, in the war of 1641, General Preston halted when on his way to form a junction with the Marquis of Ormond to oppose the Parliamentarians. It is bounded on one extremity by the river Liffey, which is crossed by a bridge of ancient construction, and on the other by the Rye-water, over which there is a bridge of modern date. The Castle of Leixlip is magnificently situated on a steep and richly-wooded bank over the Liffey. Although of great antiquity, its external character exhibits but little of the appearance of an ancient fortress, having been modernised by successive occupants. It is supposed to have been erected in the reign of Henry II., by Adam de Hereford, one of the chief followers of Earl Strongbow.