The Curragh of Kildare

The Curragh of Kildare / Currach Chill Dara

The Curragh is a unique semi-natural, acid grassland on shallow soils over an extensive glacial outwash plain. The gravels of the plain reach a depth of 75m in places, and the Curragh Aquifer lies under the Curragh, and stretches as far afield as the Hill of Allen, Nurney, Suncroft, Newbridge and Kilcullen, possibly covering an area of 200 square kilometres (an aquifer may be simply described as a natural underground store of water). The Curragh Aquifer is an important source of water for rivers and streams in the locality, and has undoubtedly influenced the ecology of a number of local habitats and more significantly it is the source of water for Pollardstown Fen (the Seven Springs).

Royal Curragh Golf Club

Royal Curragh Golf Club

The Curragh is one of the oldest natural grasslands in Europe. It is a recorded monument under the National Monuments Act, being designated a Special Environment. It is nominally divided into Brownlands (exclusively for Military use), Bluelands (Military firing ranges) and Greenlands (for general and Turf Club use).

According to legend St. Brigid, patron saint of County Kildare, was granted as much land as her cloak would cover, and when her cloak was spread it covered an area somewhat larger than the area we now know as the Curragh. While the Curragh itself covers approximately 5,000 acres, it is said that it once stretched to the River Liffey, encroachment by human habitation has compressed the Curragh to its present acreage.

Curragh WW1 Training Trenches

WW1 Training Trenches on The Curragh of Kildare

There are many areas of interest on the Curragh, the best known of which is the world famous Curragh Racecourse, some of the most prestigious horse racing events in Ireland are staged in the Curragh. The Curragh itself and the town of Newbridge are surrounded by some of the greatest stud farms in Ireland. While walking on or driving through the Curragh visitors are likely to be met with scores of horses being walked or trained on the Curragh grasslands.

In 1815 Dan Donnelly was victorious in a boxing match over George Cooper, the English champion. The fight which took place on the 13th December on the Curragh at the place that has since been known as “Donnelly’s Hollow.” The fight is commemorated by a monument in the centre of Donnelly’s Hollow, and children can follow in Donnelly’s “footsteps” up the side of the hollow.

Donnelly's Hollow Monument & Footprints

Donnelly’s Hollow Monument & Footprints

The Curragh is an ideal place for leisurely walks, and is the home of the Curragh Golf Club (founded 1883), and Cill Dara Golf Club (founded1920).

The first formal permanent military barracks was built in the mid 1800’s, and there has been a military presence ever since on the Curragh. The Military Cemetery on the Curragh is dated 1869, and some of the WW1 Trenches built to train troops prior to going into battle still exist. The Irish Army took possession of the Curragh Camp in 1922.

Military Cemetery on the Curragh

Military Cemetery on the Curragh

The Curragh of Kildare
Oh the winter it has passed
And the summer’s come at last
The birds they are singing in the trees
Their little hearts are glad
Ah, but mine is very sad
Since my true love is far away from me.

And straight I will repair to the Curragh of Kildare
For it’s there I’ll find tidings of my dear.

Oh the rose upon the briar
And the clouds that float so high
Bring joy to the linnet and the bee
And their little hearts are blessed
But mine can know no rest
Since my true love is far away from me.


All you who are in love
and cannot it remove
I pity the pain that you endure
For experience lets me know
That your hearts are filled with woe
It’s a woe that no mortal can cure.


Further Information:
Curragh History Group Website
Curragh Race Course Website
Horse Racing Ireland Website
Royal Curragh Golf Club Website
Cill Dara Golf Club


About Us


Newbridge Tidy Towns Association is continuously working on projects designed to enhance the appearance of the town for the residents, visitors and business community.

Please explore our website - how could you become involved?

Contact us with ideas and suggestions, let us have your feedback.

Perhaps we can all work together to enhance the appearance of Newbridge

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How To Help


Work parties meet as follows:

October - March at the Watering Gates each SATURDAY morning at 9.30 am.

April - September - Meet at the Watering Gates each TUESDAY evening at 7.30 pm.

Please check our Twitter Feed for updates.

Monthly planning meeting:

Parish Centre, Station Road at 8.30 pm. on the first Wednesday of each month.

Meetings or work parties generally last one hour all are welcome.

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