Description of the mile
The Mile begins at the bridge near the Woodenbridge Hotel, originally called the Putland Arms Hotel. The hotel was a popular overnight stay for merchants travelling through this important crossroads on the Dublin to Wexford highway. It is said to have been originally licenced in 1608. De Valera spent his honeymoon here and a room in the hotel is named after him.
Woodenbridge takes its name from several timber bridges in the area which were swept away by a flood in 1770. These bridges were replaced by a stone bridge. The Mile runs through the townland of ‘Garnagowlan’ which means ‘garden of the river fork’ which describes the place where the Aughrim and Avoca rivers meet.
The Mile passes by Woodenbridge Golf Club which is reputedly the second oldest golf club in Ireland. In a field beside the golf club, John Redmond the Irish politician made a historic speech in 1914, resulting in the start of a split between the then supporters of Home Rule.
On a stone wall along the route there is the following inscription ‘Sigfried/Maginot Line’. This refers to the Sigfried Line which was built by Germany in Northern France during World War One and the Maginot Line refers to a wall built by France from Luxembourg to Switzerland between the two World Wars.
The road passes by Ovoca Manor which is now used as a Scripture Retreat and Adventure Centre, it was previously an orphanage between 1938 and 1978. It was originally built in 1919 as a residence for a Church of Ireland minister.
On the left hand side of the road there is the ancient graveyard of Castlemacadam dating back to 1717; a “new” church was built here in 1870.
Along this road there are a number of trees including one hundred and fifty year old beech trees under the “Black Dog House”.
This area is rich in trees plants and wildlife. The Red Kite which is a bird of prey can often be seen in these parts.