The Yew Walk

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The Yew Walk in is a short walk from Adams Gates of Portumna Castle to the rear wall of the Church of Ireland. It is about 300 years old but fell into disuse after a fire in the Castle in 1826. Many efforts have been made to restore it - only for Sean Ryan the Yew Walk might have never been opened. The yew, with its poisonous dark evergreen leaves, tough wood and long life, is a symbol of death, eternity and the afterlife. Its excellent timber meant that it was considered one of the most important trees to man. Yew trees are best known for their association with graveyards where they are widely found, often close beside churches. Gerald of Wales in his History and Topography of Ireland remarks that: “yews with their bitter sap are more frequently to be found in Ireland than in any other place I have visited; but you will see them principally in old cemeteries and sacred places where they were planted in ancient times by the hands of holy men to give them what ornament and beauty they could”