Tuesday, 23 February 2016

CILL DARA - KILDARE

Round Tower at St Brigid's Cathedral


We awoke on Monday morning to a bright blue, sun filled sky and I felt this was a sign to rid ourselves of the cabin fever which we had both been aware of for sometime. 

"Kildare is calling us” I said to Lady H.

"Which way shall we go ?” said Lady H.

"We will take the stress free route and take the old road towards Dublin.” 

So we did, for the old roads are a pleasure to drive on these days and relatively free of traffic for most people use the motorways.

Kildare in Irish it is Cill Dara meaning the Church of the Oak, made famous by St Brigid who had her monastery there complete with a perpetual fire which was kept burning until the 15th century.

On our arrival Lady H hopped out of the car and went off to take photos and on her return said we'd visit the Parish Church next. 
“Hang on a minute" I replied “just behind us is the Cathedral with St Brigid’s Fire pit and the round tower, it’s important that I go there first.”

The first and last time I was at the Cathedral was in 1993 when I took a few friends to visit Kildare.We spent most of our time sitting in St. Brigid's Fire Pit chatting and when we decided to leave, we found ourselves locked in after the caretaker had chained the entrance gates together. 
We tried to attract attention to our plight by shouting but to no avail.
The youngest member of the group, a lad by the name of Tolly, climbed over the gate and went to the nearby pub for help, but not until he had tried to
con us all out of money. We were not so easily fooled and understood that if he was in funds he’d be in the pub for hours whilst we’d be still behind bars! 
After twenty minutes or so the landlord came across with a tray of free drinks and passed glasses of Guinness
through the gate to us. Tolly was dismayed after being told he was underage and about thirty minutes later the key holder arrived to let us out us out.

St Brigid's Fire Pit
On arriving at the cathedral we found the building locked, not that it bothered me for I have no love for church buildings.


Lady H was keen to move on to the Parish Church which has doors decorated with Brigid’s Crosses and bronze hands. 
I explained it was just across the hill as I’d noticed a spire as we drove into town.
Over the hill we went and arrived a large church. There were doors but no bronze hands were to be seen, however we entered, lit a candle as requested for by a friend and left. 
Lady H disappeared (again!) and I was left alone to my own devices. This time I noticed two signs one said White Abbey Church and the other Carmelite Convent 
In my mind I said ‘Whoops I have erred! This isn’t the right church at all.”
Never the less during Lady H’s absence I went for a wander as you never know what may be discovered. 
Find something I did, something that I can best describe as a breasted tree with a ring seat around the trunk

'the breasted tree'

Finally returning to the car Lady H produced a map and she was right, the Parish Church was elsewhere. We drove down to the correct church, parked outside
and herself took off to take photos of the bronze hands, while I contented myself with a pipe of baccy. 

Our next stop was St Brigid’s Well and I spotted the sign easily so was able to direct my driver on her return.

St. Brigid's Well is in the countryside and it is in 'Nature' where I think you can best connect to any deity and by whatever name you care to use.




26 comments:

  1. Great photos indeed, and must have been a nice drive around the country side.

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    1. Many thanks Blogo and yes it was a very pleasant drive.

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  2. How wonderful to have the opportunity to visit such a beautiful and historical place. I imagine the energy was just as wonderful. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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    1. Glad that the blog gave you enjoyment thank you for the comment.

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  3. Enjoyed your photos, we visited Kildare a number of years ago.

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    1. Time for you to make a return visit Janet ?

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  4. I'm rather sleepy, I thought that sad "Call Doctor Kildare"!!!

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  5. At least St Brigid must have benefitted from a good draw on her fire with a chimney like that.

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    1. Excellent Bill excellent ! ha' ha' ha'

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  6. I love that area - we toured there a few years ago. Like you I have no desire to go in the churches, but often the churchyards are interesting. There always seem to be those flowers covered by glass globes - Victorian I suppose. Thanks for the tour Heron.

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    1. Thank you for your appreciation Pat. I know that the Victorians were into globes brass and glass. I think the ones you have mentioned are 20th century given that they have a black plastic base.

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  7. Beautiful and I love that breasted and girdled tree. Thanks for the little tour and for the lesson on the meaning of "Kildare." I wonder if the makers of the 1960s American TV series "Dr. Kildare" had any idea.

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    1. Thank you Mitchell, I often see facets of the human in the natural world or as my partner has just said anthropomorphisms in nature.
      As to your question - I have no idea whatsoever. We must leave that to be answered by a film buff I think :)

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  8. Hi Mel - I will have to be back to read this properly .. there's lots of information here and some excellent photos ... will need to check in again - see you anon .. cheers Hilary

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    1. Hello Hilary. Thank you - I am waiting with bated breath for your considered opinion :)

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  9. It seems you've found an historic treasure trove of interest. You need a week there surely

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    1. Ha'h Anna Hello !
      We have only just met and already you want to inflict me with a week in Kildare ha' ha' ha'.
      No thank you, even if you are paying - not when it is but an hours drive from our own comfortable bed.

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    2. Still it is wonderful to go out on a sunny day and explore, even if you don't like churches...

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    3. Yes you are right to go out on a sunny day after having been indoors so long because of bad weather is a welcome tonic.
      Thank you for the comment.

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  10. I'm no lover of religion, but I do love old church buildings, Mel, especially the very small and remote churches that seem to be places of simple peace rather than dogma and doctrine... There are some lovely photos here and I enjoyed your reminiscences...haha...how kind of the publican to bring you drinks in your distress! The tree is amazing and I never knew that about Kildare's name either!

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    1. Thank you for the comments Val. I doubt if many people have been served alcohol when stood behind bars !
      I too was amazed when I saw the tree, just imagine sitting on the bench and lying back against in between those swellings - must be wonderful :)

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  11. I do love your little tours of different places, you really bring them to life for us readers xxx

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  12. Hi, thanks for following my Blog! I enjoy visiting Ireland (my late ma-in-law was from Dublin). We had a great tour of the south-west a few years ago and your Blog brings back some lovely memories!
    CLICK HERE for Bazza’s fabulous Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

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    1. You are very welcome Bazza and thanks for the comment.

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