Saturday, 27 September 2014

Lismore Castle and a Stroll Along the River.

Yesterday we had a litttle jaunt over to Lismore, a small heritage town in Waterford, and had a nice stroll along the river. We parked in the car park/picnic area to feed the ducks and i noticed these nice topiaries.

I like the flower.

Until recently, you could only walk a little way along this side of the bridge as it was overgrown and unsafe underfoot, but thanks to Lismore Tidy Towns, it's been cleared and made accessible to the public.

We've had so little rain this summer, so the water was really low along this part of the river.

These are nice touch  for the kids.

I think i'll get a couple for my garden for when my grandson's older.

There's a good view of Lismore Castle by the bridge, which was once owned by Sir Walter Raleigh and Richard Boyle (see previous post on Youghal), now it's the private home of the Duke of Devonshire.

Over the other side of the bridge...

there were some cows enjoying a drink.

Across the other side of the river is Lady Louisa's Walk, which goes a lot further along the river, but i'll save that for another day. : )

Thanks for dropping by.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Cobh, Annie Moore and Pugin

Cobh (pronounced Cove) is a coastal town in Co.Cork. Following Queen Victoria's first visit to Ireland in 1849, it's name was changed to Queenstown, but was reverted back to it's old Irish name in 1922, after the War of Independence.It is steeped in maritime history and was for many years the main port of Cork.

Convicts were transported from Cobh to Australia in the 18th century and in 1838 the paddle steamer, 'Sirius,' was the first ever ship to cross the Atlantic from its harbour to New York, without the aid of a sail.

Between 1848 and 1850, over 6 million people emigrated from Ireland to America with 2.5 million people departing from Cobh alone, in hope of a better life. The statue on the quayside outside the Heritage Centre, is of Annie Moore and her two brothers. She was the first ever immigrant to be processed at the new immigration centre at Ellis Island, New York, on the 1st January 1892 (also her 15th birthday).

On 7th May, 1915, the Cunard liner, Luistania, sailing from new York to Liverpool, was about 10 miles from the coastline of nearby Kinsale, when she was hit by a torpedo from a German submarine. As the liner quickly listed to one side, it was extremely difficult to launch the lifeboats and she sank in just 300 feet of water. Of the 1,959 passengers on board, 761 were able to be saved and were ferried to nearby Cobh, where they were accommodated in private homes and nearby hospitals.

There's a memorial in the square dedicated to those who lost their lives in the disaster.

On 11th April, 1912, 123 passengers boarded the Titanic from Cobh (then known as Queenstown), on her last port of call during her maiden voyage. Mail bags were loaded onto the ship from the mail train at the station, which has been authentically restored and now houses the Heritage Centre and museum.

There's gift shops, a café and exhibitions of Irish history.

Further up the town St. Colman's Cathedral stands proud.

I'd read that E.W Pugin, son of the famous architect Augustus Pugin, was one of the architects who designed this lovely French Gothic cathedral, and being a great lover of Gothic architecture, i couldn't wait to get inside.

I wasn't disappointed. There were beautiful stone arches and marble pillars.

Fantastic detail everywhere you look.

Soft mellow lighting brings out the delicate carvings.

The columns bear the heads of Irish saints...

and famous churchmen.

The pulpit carved from Austrian oak.

Two angels with scrolls.

The cathedral took 47 years to build, with work starting in 1868 and finally finishing in 1915, costing a total of  £235,000.

My apologies for not getting the whole of the front of the cathedral in the photo, but it's on a hill so there wasn't the distance to stand right back. 

As you can see there was a bit of a drop.

There's some nice detail outside too.

I'll leave you these little fellas. 

I do like Gargoyles.

Thanks for dropping by.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Ashford Castle and 'The Quiet Man.'

A couple of weeks ago we went up to Mayo for the day and visited the lovely village of Cong, famous for the location of  the film 'The Quiet Man,' starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara.

This statue in the village depicting the leading stars is dedicated to those who were involved in the production of the 1951 film.

There's a Quiet Man cottage museum and gift shop which has been authentically designed to replicate the 'White-o-Mornin' Cottage, with reproduction furnishings, artifacts and costumes, to give visitors the feeling of being 'on-set.' John Wayne's widow, Josephine, wrote in the visitors book - "Duke would have loved this!" They also do guided walking tours of the locations around Cong village that were used in the film.
 An old Irish telephone box.

Some of the filming of The Quiet Man took place in the grounds of the beautiful Ashford Castle on the shore of Lough Corrib, and several of the films stars stayed there too.

 Originally built in 1228 by the Anglo-Norman de Burgo family, Ashford Castle has been extended extensively over the years. The castle remained in the hands of the de Burgo's for more than 350 years, until 1589, when a battle ensued with the forces of the English official Lord Bingham, governor of Connaught. A truce was agreed and the castle fell into the hands of Lord Bingham.

In 1715, the estate was established by the Oranmore and Browne family and the French style chateau was added and used as a hunting lodge.

Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness (of the world famous Guinness brewery) bought the estate in 1852, which he extended to 26,000 acres, building new roads and planting thousands of trees. He also added two large Victorian style extensions. In 1868 the estate was handed down to his son, Lord Ardilaun, who added further extensions in the neogothic style and was also responsible for the development of the vast woodlands on the estate. Eventually the estate was passed on to Lord Ardilaun's nephew, Ernest Guinness.

In 1915 the estate was retained by the Iveagh trust on behalf of the Guinness family until 1939, when it was bought by Noel Huggard, who turned the castle into a "First Class Hotel."

Today it is a stunning luxury 5 star hotel owned by Red Carnations Hotels.

There is a public right of way on the castle's estate, so people can sit on these nice benches and ponder all day if they like! I know I could quite easily. It's such a lovely tranquil place.

Or sit on the wall and enjoy the views across the Corrib.

We were sorry to leave, but we know we'll be back visiting this lovely castle soon.








Thursday, 11 September 2014

Youghal and Sir Walter Raleigh

Yesterday we had a little jaunt down to Youghal in Co. Cork and came across this little medieval church tucked away up a side street in the town.

St. Mary's Collegiate Church was built around 1250 and in recent years was declared a National Monument of Ireland. It's believed to have been built on a site of an earlier religious settlement founded by St. Declan, dating as far back as 450 and was rebuilt in Irish Romanesque style in 750. The current stone church was built to replace the timber structure which was destroyed by a storm in 1192.

Inside you can still see the masons 'signature'  marks cut in the pillars on the arches. They are the same as those found in German Cathedrals built around that time, which indicates that the workers travelled around Europe. If the stonemasons didn't mark their work then they would not have got paid.

 The Baptismal font dates back to around 1350.


The church has several old tombs including Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Cork, who looks very relaxed on his tomb! He was born in Canterbury, Kent in 1566, and arrived in Ireland around 1588. After marrying a wealthy heiress, Joan Aspley in 1595, he was able to purchase Sir Walter Raleigh's 42,000 acre estate for a mere £1,500, which included castles, lands and the towns of Youghal, Lismore and Cappaquin,


and also Myrtle Grove, Sir Walter's house, which still stands next door to the church.

On the way home we stopped for a picnic at a nice spot by the river overlooking Ballynatray House.

Thank you for visiting my blog, please drop by again.