The Ha-Ha, A Sunken Stone-lined Walkway

This sunken stone-lined ditch or fence dates from the 1812-16 site preparation period, prior to the 1816-18 building of St. Paul’s Church and Erasmus Smith schoolhouse. The chosen site for the church and schoolhouse needed to be artificially elevated, owing to the liability of the nearby river to flooding. Thus, two artificial hillsides were constructed, contained within a limestone wall and bisected by a stone-lined ditch or "Ha-Ha". In the nineteenth century it was used as a walkway of romance by the local gentry!
On large estates, the purpose of a Ha-Ha was to keep deer from the ubiquitous deerparks from coming into the formal gardens. Here, the practical purpose was probably keeping the school children out of the churchyard! This central link in the Cahir Town Heritage Trail, after years of neglect, is now restored to part of its original purpose.