Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Visiting ancient places

Easter Monday was a day of sunshine and discovery as we walked over fields of lush green grass. We had with us a small book written several years ago by a local historian in which several artifacts were mentioned as being possibility's of what we might find.

The first to be seen was a Norman motte and unfortunately
the bailey was bulldozed several years ago.
Around the right hand corner of the field a ruin showed
through the trees.

The ancient abbey & monastery of Drumcullen
founded in A.D. 591 by Saint Barrinn, also known as
St.Barron. He was by all accounts an extraordinary character
being a traveler and a navigator & is believed to have discovered
America, long before the noted St.Brendan the Navigator who
visited America many centuries before Columbus.

At the western end of the building is a corballed ceiling,
uniquely (I think) made of very small stones. This chamber
is believed to have been the priests quarters; I think he must
have been a hardy fellow for there was no sign of smoke hole!

On the floor of the corballed chamber lies a fragment
of what was once a celtic cross.

A close up of the Norman motte showing signs
of erosion and further around the erosion is
even worse; how much longer before it to disappears
is hard to tell.

The vista from the side of the motte shows
Knocknaman in the distance. The translation of
which is 'The Hill of the Women' referring perhaps
to the two women druids who fostered the
hero Fionn mac Cumhaill.

There are so many artifacts to be seen and ancient places to visit in this relatively undiscovered part of the Irish midlands and I hope to share more with you in the future.


  1. These are beautiful photos and a mesmerizing article! The ancient history is fascinating. I visited an abbey once, many years ago and it was one of the most profound experiences of my life...deeply spiritual...probably more than any actual church experiences I've had.
    Thank you for sharing! ;^)

  2. Looks lovely. What a nice way to spend the holiday.

    We ran to the top of an iron age hill fort. well, ran probably isn't the right word! :)

  3. Ireland charms me completely, and I love its pockets of ancient relics and mystical places. The photos make me long to go back and visit this beautiful land again. Lovely post, Mel and I shall look forward to reading more of your journeys into the Irish midlands.

  4. Bulldozers, eh? -I was hunting for St Anne's well in Devon a few years back, and could only see a tangle of brambles. A red-faced chap wandering back from the pub said, "Ur, we put the bulldozer through there last year. T'weren't much to look at, mind"