Céad míle fáilte Welcome!
It is the hope of Solas Bhride Centre and Hermitages that all who come into the grounds and cross the threshold into the Centre will find peace. We trust that your visit to the Centre will be unique and uplifting.
Inspired by the legacy and values of St Brigid, the Centre is an ecologically sustainable building in the shape of a St Brigids Cross. From the main foyer of the building, you can orientate yourself by the circular rooms projecting into it, the Cill Dara room to the north and the Brigid Room to the south. The symbolic line that connects St. Brigid’s Cathedral to St. Brigid’s well, runs through these two rooms, and the small courtyard in the centre of the building. All other spaces radiate from this central foyer, such as the hospitality area and the prayer and anamchara rooms.
As you enter the grounds you are invited to take some time to enjoy the stillness, peace and tranquillity of the sounds, smells and sights of nature all around. You may follow the meditative walk and pause as you reach the significant points along the way.
These points marked by symbols invite you to reflect, to rest awhile, and to take notice of the abundance of nature all around, to journey within and restore, body, mind, heart and soul: walk the labyrinth, rest and reflect at the willow bower, observe the diversity of wild life at the ARC, sit by the fire pit and reflect on the stories and legends depicted on the St. Brigid sculpture nearby. As you complete your walk take time for a quiet, peaceful moment by the oaks in the oak grove and return to the Brigid room refreshed, renewed and replenished.
A labyrinth is an ancient symbol that relates to wholeness. It combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful path. The labyrinth has long been used as a meditation and prayer tool.
“Step into the circle, step on to your path, find your place of journey, where your life is mapped.” “Labyrinth” by Liam Lawton
The Sisters of St. Brigid were restored by Bishop Daniel Delany, in Tullow, Co. Carlow, on 1st February 1807. The Brigidine Annals record that he restored the ancient Order of St. Brigid to the diocese of Kildare and Leighlin. He planted an oak sapling from Kildare in the grounds in Tullow to symbolise the historic link. In 2007, the bicentenary year of the Brigidine sisters, a group of pilgrims walked from Tullow to Kildare, carrying 7 oak saplings. These were symbolically planted at the site of the Centre. The oak grove was planted on Earth Day 2015. Each of the oaks have a story.
"The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn." Ralph Waldo Emerson
There are many other native species of trees planted in the grounds, hazel, holly, yew, rowan, crab apple and alder. These trees were planted to encourage and enhance biodiversity.