A visit to Ireland

A visit to Ireland


Reliving our recent trip to Ireland. So many beautiful areas, prehistoric to present.
More Photos to be added soon
Check out the Irish Flower Garden on August 6 2013

Newgrange (Irish: Sí an Bhrú) is a prehistoric monument located in County Meath, on the eastern side of Ireland, about one kilometre north of the River Boyne. It was built around 3200 BC, during the Neolithic period. There is no agreement about what the site was used for, but it has been speculated that it had some form of religious significance because it is aligned with the rising sun, which floods the stone room with light on the winter solstice. We were able to enter the stone room, and the winter solstice was simulated using a flashlight. we were amazed to hear that Newgrange is older than Stonehenge and the great pyramids of Giza. It is in fact just one monument within the Neolithic Brú na Bóinne complex, alongside the similar passage tomb mounds of Knowth and Dowth, and as such is a part of the Brú na Bóinne UNESCO World Heritage Site. We also went into a passage tomb in nearby Knowth.

Mellifont was the first Cistercian abbey built in Ireland in 1142, and once held one hundred monks and three hundred lay brothers. It was the main abbey in Ireland until it was closed in 1539.

By 1170, Mellifont had one hundred monks and three hundred lay brothers. The Abbey became the model for other Cistercian abbeys built in Ireland, with its formal style of architecture imported from the abbeys of the same order in France; it was the main abbey in Ireland until it was closed in 1539, when it became a fortified house.

The historic ruins of Monasterboice (Irish: Mainistir Bhuithe) are of an early Christian settlement in County Louth in Ireland, north of Drogheda. It was founded in the late 5th century by Saint Buithe who died around 521, and was an important centre of religion and learning until the founding of nearby Mellifont Abbey in 1142.  The site houses two churches built in the 14th century or later and an earlier round tower, but it is most famous for its 10th century high crosses.

The round tower is about 35-metres tall, and is in very good condition, although it is not possible to go inside. The passage of time has laid down layers of earth so now the doorway is almost at ground level. The monastery was burned in 1097.

12 Arch Railway Bridge–On 6 September 1886 Ballydehob railway station opened on the narrow gauge. The magnificent 12 arch bridge, which dominates the estuary of Ballydehob, was the major engineering achievement of the line. Mounting losses, coal shortages and the arrival of buses and motor cars eventually brought the closure of the line. The final train ran on 27 January 1947 and the station finally closed altogether on 1 June 1953.

The 5.5-metre Muiredach’s High Cross is regarded as the finest high cross in the whole of Ireland. It is named after an abbot, Muiredach mac Domhnaill, who died in 923 and features biblical carvings of both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. The North and West crosses are also fine examples of this kind of structure, but these have suffered much more from the effects of the weather.

Trim Castle, Trim, County Meath, Ireland, on the bank of the Boyne has an area of 30,000 m². It is the remains of Ireland’s largest Anglo-Norman castle. It was built primarily by Hugh de Lacy and his son Walter. The Castle was used as a centre of Norman administration for the Liberty of Meath, one of the new administrative areas of Ireland created by Henry II of England and granted to Hugh de Lacy. de Lacy took possession of it in 1172. De Lacy built a huge ring-work castle defended by a stout double palisade and external ditch on top of the hill. There may also have been further defenses around the cliffs fringing the high ground. Part of a stone footed timber gatehouse lies beneath the present stone gate at the west side of the castle. The ring-work was attacked and burnt by the Irish but De Lacy immediately rebuilt it in 1173. His son Walter continued rebuilding and the castle was completed c 1224.         The Castle is noted for the part it played in the filming of the Mel Gibson directed film Braveheart.

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