The Devil’s Bit and The Devil’s Tooth by Grainne Gleeson and Kate Johnson

The Devil’s Bit is a mountain located outside the town of Templemore in a small locality called Barnane. It is a mountain with a lot of hidden history. According to local legend the mountain got its name because the devil took a bite out of it. There is a small gap in the mountain between one outcrop of the rock known as ‘The Rock’ and another small plateau. The bite the devil allegedly took made this gap. The legend suggests that the devil broke his tooth taking the bite and the tooth fell out near Latteragh. The piece of land he had in his mouth; he spat it out in Cashel. It is now called ‘The Rock of Cashel.’


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John Rutter Carden (J.R.C) by Jimmy Mullen

John Rutter Carden was born on February 5th 1811 in Oxford. He was the eldest son of his parents John Carden and Ann Rutter. His parents took up residence in Barnane castle outside Templemore, Co. Tipperary in or about the year 1815. In 1822, when John was just 11 years old, his father died. John’s mother Ann then continued to run the large estate at Barnane until John himself came of age some ten years later.  

 


After inheriting a somewhat run down castle, John Rutter Carden demanded the tenants living on his land to pay rent. Under his mother’s management the tenants paid little or no rent in the past and would now greatly resent being requested to do so under their new landlord. The inevitable result of this action John Carden then began proceedings to evict 100 families from their homes on his estate. Because of these evictions Carden’s tenants tried repeatedly to kill him. However all attempts failed earning him the nickname “The Woodcock Carden” because any lover of gun sports will confirm, a woodcock, when startled, fly’s with great speed in erratic twisting movements, making them difficult  to shoot. 

                                      

The attempted kidnap of Eleanor Arbuthnot

At the age of 41 John Rutter Carden was still unmarried. He fell hopelessly in love with Miss Eleanor Arbuthnot (age 18). She was a sister of Lady Gough. Eleanor was heiress to a vast fortune. Eleanor’s family forbade J.R.C. by letter to visit Eleanor, as she did not want to see him.

He was determined to have her as his wife at any cost, fair or foul and so he decided to kidnap her from her family. He carefully organised a plan whereby Eleanor was to be seized while returning home from church. He organised relay-teams of horses to be posted along the road to Galway where his yacht was moored. This would take them to Skye to the house of his close friend.

On 2nd July 1854 Eleanor, her two sisters and the governess were returning home from Rathronan Church to her home. Three men appeared out of nowhere and two of them dashed for the horse’s head, the third severed the reins with a clasp knife. In the meantime J.R.C. dismounted from his own horse and went over to the ladies carriage. He leaned across the governess, Miss Lynden and grabbed Eleanor by the wrist and tried to drag her out. Miss Lynden struck him violently and repeatedly in the face till he started bleeding profusely. Now J.R.C.’s men made a big mistake as they grabbed the governess instead of Eleanor.

Mr. Gough’s men were working nearby in the estate and they ran up to help. The kidnapping attempt had failed. John Rutter jumped into the carriage and went in the direction of Templemore. Meanwhile the news spread like wildfire, J.R.C. was arrested in Holycross when one of his horses dropped dead on the road. He was sent to Cashel Gaol. He was tried four weeks later in Clonmel Courthouse. The attempted abduction caused great excitement all over Ireland. For two days before the trial began the gentry began pouring into the town of Cashel.

The courtroom was packed when the trial began on July 28th. The Judge was Judge Ball and the jury consisted entirely of Mr. Cardens neighbours and friends. They found him NOT GUILTY of abduction but guilty of attempted abduction. For this he was sentenced to two years in jail. His friends tried to get him an early release so the government offered a deal. Mr. Carden would be released if he would stay away from Eleanor for 10 years. He refused to sign the proposal. He served out his sentence in Jail. During his time in jail John Rutter Carden purchased the nearby estate and Killoskehane castle.

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Hallowe’en Customs by Jack Ryan Rock and Jack Johnson

In Barnane the children dress up in scary and funny costumes . Children like to play games like snap apple, dive for money in a basin of water and the flour challenge. When you play the flour challenge you get some flour on a plate and put a grape or cherry on top. Two children take turns slicing the flour with a knife. If you knock the cherry then you lose and the winner gets to duck your face in the plate of flour. We go door to door saying “trick or treat” and usually there are fireworks and bonfires to see on Hallowe’en night.


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The black dog of Kelly’s Cross by Brid Ryan Rock

For years people were afraid to pass Kelly’s cross because of the black dog and the haunted house. The house was haunted by a black dog, who could be heard howling and breaking dishes. One night there was a fire in the house and the house was burned to the ground. There was nothing left but four walls and the chimneys. Even after that, on a dark winter night people could still hear the dog howling and breaking dishes. Sometimes on a moonlit night people could see a man in the upstairs window even though there was no floor to stand on. The house has now been demolished but to this day elderly neighbours still feel the hair on the back of their necks stand up when walking past Kelly’s Cross.

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The Book of Dimma by Grainne Gleeson and Kate Johnson

The book of Dimma was supposedly discovered in a cave on the mountain in 1789. It is an illuminated manuscript copy of the four gospels and was written in the monastery of St. Cronan in Roscrea sometime during the 8th century. According to legend, Cronan ordered his scribe ‘Dimma’ to produce the manuscript before sunset on that day. He then used miraculous powers to ensure that the sun did not set for 40 days. Dimma spent all of this period completing the manuscript without feeling the need to eat or sleep. The manuscript disappeared following the dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th century. There is some debate about whether or not the manuscript was actually found on the Devil’s Bit, amid claims that it could not have survived without damage in an outdoor environment for over two centuries. The book of Dimma is currently housed in the library of Trinity College Dublin.


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