10 May 2019: Kindlestown Wood to The Octagon
Start point grid reference: SG 258 688GPX file
My wife and I are staying nearby in Co Wicklow with a friend, so the three of us started this walk in Bellvue Hill Road rather than Kindlestown Wood. If going there by car it is best to park in the Kindlestown Wood car park.
We took the farm road opposite the car park and immediately came across a ewe which had obviously escaped from the field on our right. As we walked towards it, it walked ahead of us keeping the same distance. Two lambs, which we assumed to be its offspring, walked the other side of the field fence, bleating all the time.
A little further along we came across another ewe which had also escaped from the field. She also started walking away from us, with just a single lamb paralleling her. At the end of the field our way continued onward but there was also a path to the right and a field gate on the corner. One ewe jumped back into the field a short way up this side path. I opened the gate and stood by it to prevent any further escapes while my wife and our friend persuaded the other ewe to go through the gate back into the field.
We continued along the farm road to the farm buildings, which are basically the remains of the farm estate of the manor house built by the La Touche family in the 18th century. The house itself disappeared long ago but other buildings remain. We met the farmer, who kindly showed us into the original stable courtyard and allowed us to continue on his private farm path up to what was “the top field” in the days when our friend’s father farmed the land.
We then retraced our steps back to the main farm road and continued into the woods. We hadn’t intended to visit The Octagon but unfortunately our friend lost the sole off one of her boots and the other sole about ten minutes later. At that point the route back via the Octagon seemed the better option.
The Octagon is now a ruin, having been built for a daughter of the La Touche family who suffered from TB. It would have had magnificent views in her day. There was one large main room for the daughter with a kitchen below it. Remains of both of them can still be seen. When our friend was a child it was a favourite place for her and her sibling to explore and play.
After stopping there for a while we carried on through the woods and on to another farm road which brought us back to Bellvue Hill Road opposite the Kindlestown Wood car park.