Friday, July 31, 2009

Dun Guariagh, Dunguaire Castle, Kinvara, Co. Galway

Kinvara (Cinn Mhara)"head of the sea", on the west coast of Ireland on the edge of the Burren. Kinvara was the stronghold of the O'Hynes from the 600's onwards and it also had a residence/stronghold of the King of Connaught Guaire Aidne mac Colmáin. On the edge of the town there is a little inlet with the remains of Dun Guariagh "Guaire's Stronghold". He lost a major battle to the King of Munster for the lands at Thomond in Limerick, after a curse was put on him before battle. He came to a truce with the King of Munster and was known for his acts of charity.
Further along is Dunguaire Castle which takes its name from the older Dun Guariagh. built in 1520 by the O'Hynes Clan it has a 75 foot tower and defensive walls. It was purchased after the turn of the 20th century by Oliver St John Gogarty poet and he restored it. It became the meeting place of the Celtic revival group who's member included W.B. Yeats, George Bernard Shaw and John Millington Synge.
The Castle was bought by Shannon Development in 1954 and is open to the public during the Summer month's with a Medieval Banquet every night, where costumed performers sing and recite traditional music and verse.
More shots of Dun Guariagh, some with the Kinvara in the background.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Woodlawn House, Co Galway

I have posted pictures of the Gatehouse (click here) before, this is Woodlawn Big House. It was built in the 1800's after Frederich Trench was rewarded with a peerage for voting in support of the 'Act of Union' 1800 where Ireland became part of Great Britain ( a boring fact is that the British flag was changed to reflect this and still has the Irish St. Patrick Cross) . Frederich Trench became Lord Ashtown ,The house was sold in the 1950's after the then Lord Ashtown was bankrupt, it was sold to the Le Poer Trench's, but was sold on again after one of them committed suicide on the grounds in 1978. It fell into disrepair with a lot of the fireplaces etc 'dissapearing', but it was sold recently and there are various rumours as to its plans for the future. Other bits of boring trivia is there are 365 windows in the house and its one of Irelands most "Haunted" houses.
I was not sure what this structure was as it looks like an observatory but could have be something else completely, a cold house etc.
See comment below from Nicola who is helping the Woodlawn Heritage group, its an Ice house
Comment from Chris thought it was nicer than reading the history "I was fortunate enought to spend a lot of time up at the house when i was younger. Im 27 now but all my family are from the area. Kellys from woodlawn and Quinns from nearby new inn. my uncle used to work there when he was just 17,(hes 70 now) for lord ashtown. He always had great stories, some admititdly a bit scarier than others, like the spot where the man was found hanging etc. As a youngster though this just added to the atmosphere. The house itself is beutifull up close, there are summer houses and gardens etc to the rear. There is also an old tennis court , lake and small footbridge , in their day they would have been lovely, but now stand earily silent and overgrown. As my uncle lived up the road from the owner maybe 15 years ago(i think i was 12ish and i think the owner was Lally at the time) he managed to obtain the keys, so me my uncle and a cousin made our way into the house, again my uncle telling stories of grand parties, big christmases etc. showing us galley kitchens wine stores and more. The best part being able to negotiate ourselfs on to the roof, the veiws were great but looking back we propably shouldnt have trusted the stair cases as they have seen better days. And yes it is as scary as you can imagine even on a bright july day"

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Loughrea, Galway

Loughrea town takes its name from the lake which is 'Grey Lake', though people from there say its speckled lake as its similar in Irish. I was more interested in the cloud/light and reflections on the water than getting much landscape shots, anyway there are better shots further along the lake, which I did not have time for today. If you look closely on some of the shots you'll see a mound on the lake, someone has planted a Galway flag on the little mound.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Last of Blue Sky

Just before sunset this evening and another rain cloud pregnant with heavy rain that we seem that we have been tending to get these last few days cuts across the sky.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Woodlawn Gatehouse and Tower, County Galway

I have photographed the gatehouse before, but lately the tower and gateway have been cleared and tidied up a walkway put in. These are part of Woodlawn house estate, built in the late 18th century by the Ashton family, they were peers and were important enough to get the Dublin Galway railway to pass through their land. they owned 8300 acres in Galway, part of their total 25ooo plus land holdings

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bogland Killimordaly

Some of wild flowers and bushes with remains of forestry in background Bog Landscape Turf, the peat in the Bog is harvested by cutting into Sods, after it starts to dry its 'footed', ie lifted off the ground so that air can pass through. Once dry its brought home for fuel.
Boxed footing More footed turf, done in different way Heather, ferns and plant life

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Kiltullagh big house, Galway

This is what remains of Kiltullagh big house and was the home of the D'arcys a descendant of the D'arcy's of the 14 tribes of Galway city. click on the comments link to see a comment from a D'Arcy A view out the upstairs windows, the mountains in the background are the Derrybrian.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Aghagower , Co Mayo

Aghagower tower was built around 1000 by St Senach.

Friday, July 17, 2009

On a Clare day, county Clare

Today I traveled thro Clare from the Shannon Estuary in the south to the Burren in the north (see here and here for more detail on Burren) Shannon Estuary
Clare Coast Part of the Burren on the coast The Burren Coast near New Quay a view from 'Cork screw' hill near Ballyvaughan overlooking the bay Clare Coast