Thursday, 13 April 2017

DISAPPOINTMENTS and SURPRISES.

We left home early the other morning to journey to the village of Ballaun. We wanted to see a stone, decorated with Continental Celtic designs, known as La Tène carving. Such pieces are very rare in Ireland. 
Lunch was taken alongside Lough Rea on the outskirts of Loughrea town, where it rained constantly so consequently there are no photos.
After a false start with directions that Mrs H had copied from a web site, I suggested that herself made enquiries at a fuel depot. This was done and off we went, straight in through the gateway of the establishment where the Turoe Stone is sited.

I stayed in the car with Toby whilst herself took photos of the stone. Within a few minutes she returned with two ice creams and a look of disappointment on her face. The famous stone had been taken to Athenry for cleaning.  A black mould had grown all over the stone so that the carvings were no longer discernible.
The ice creams were definitely not the best either so we were disappointed but at least the dog was happy.

 TUROE STONE


Rather than return the way we’d come we took a different road home, one that put us on the western side of  Slieve Aughty, a range of mountains that is shared between county Clare and Galway. Fortunately by then the weather had greatly improved and we could take in the scenery.
Driving along I noticed  a ‘pile of stones’ so we stopped. When I hopped out of the car to explore further I discovered it was Cloghan Castle!




Please view the link



Mrs H is mad keen on viewing sacred wells so our next distraction was Peterswell. Peterswell is confusing because it is also known as Kilthomas.

“Kilthomas is the name of both a civil parish and a Roman Catholic parish in South Co. Galway. 
The RC parish of Kilthomas is also sometimes known as Peterswell or Peterswell/Kilthomas”

We didn’t see the well either but continued on, up and up, towards Hollymount until we ran out of tarmac. Here we found a place to park and take photos.

You can tell when you are up high, when the blades look 
as if they are cropping the grass.

Lough Cutra and the continuing range of the Aughty Mountains


Our route off the Mountain took us to the townland of Ballycahalane and at a T junction 
I spotted the 1916 - 2016  commemorative plaque to the Irish Volunteers of the Easter Rising and beyond.





The Liam Mellows Monument


A close up of the plaque.

For information about Liam Mellows please link 


We shall be returning to explore the Slieve Aughty Mountains [Slíab Echtge] when skies are clearer. I hope to discover more of its’ historic sites and perhaps Mrs H will find her sacred well.









22 comments:

  1. Loved that ride around your part of the world. Thanks for sharing. Pity about the ice creams though!!

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    1. Thank you LA!
      It is the first ice cream that I have ever disliked in all of the years of living here, so I guess that it had to happen one day.

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  2. My folks think they have found a stone in the garden with cup and ring markings, and Ogham script on it to boot! It does rather look that way to me.

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    1. Hello Simon, Not that surprising for there are a few Ogham Stones in the UK. My best advice is that your parents photograph the stone from several angles and send them to the British Museum for their advice.

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  3. You live in a beautiful country and you know how to appreciate it (and share it). Cloghan Castle is quite some "pile of stones," by the way!

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    1. Thanks Mitchell and if you hire the place for a few days, then can I expect a luncheon invitation ?
      Thank you for the comment.

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  4. Haha, a pile of stones! No well, no stone, terrible ice creams and rotten weather - not such a good day, but I enjoyed the tour from the comfort of my armchair, thank you xxx

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    1. So glad that you enjoyed our day out Fran xx

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  5. What an interesting day out you had.

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    1. We did indeed Pat and quietly enjoyed ourselves.
      Thank you for commenting.

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  6. Sorry about the ice cream Mel but otherwise a lovely trip. In our little town we have an old sacred well. My husband has been tending it for several years and several churchwardens before him, only now it has been fenced in so no one can visit. There is also a discussion going on whether that is the correct location or not....hm. As far as sacred goes, you can't reach the water in any of them, and it's rather obscure the whole holyness of them. However, they can't be shipped off for cleaning so once the town council decides to open the gates, pilgrims can return. Thank you for the pictures and that link, I knew nothing about that memorial!!!

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    1. Thank you for the comment Solvieg. Indeed it is a great pity when wells are neglected and fenced off, for it shows a lack civic pride.
      There is a difference here between Sacred Wells and Holy Wells. The former are those with a pagan origin and the Holy Wells are those attached to either a Church or a Celtic Saint and we have some saints in Ireland who are not formally recognised by Rome, for instance such as is St Brigid (Bridget)

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  7. You are right , this is a holy well in that sense that it is connected to the Saint Enevold. If he is recognised by Rome I'm not sure. But our holy St Birgitta indeed is!!! Right now we are following the mass from Rome, in the Colloseum. I've never been to Rome, have you??
    Any way, there will always be places where people gather for comfort, support, recognition or praying. The former roman scene for brutal violence is tonight filled with burning lights, people of all nationalities and all of them praying for peace and light in the darkness of the world. Your great interest in the sacred and holy places of Ireland and elsewhere gives a splendid contribution to the history of mankind, seen through your eyes. Mans travelling along the paths of history is truelly adventurous, isn't it?

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    1. No, I have never been to Rome Solveig. A friend of mine told me that Rome is and was only ever an administrative centre, he had lived there for several years.
      My real enjoyment is to be on a mountainside surrounded by silence, no matter where it is, whether in Wales, Scotland or Ireland- the silence I am able to hold inside of me.

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  8. Silence is a rare thing these days, but we can easily reach a trifle of it along the coastline where I live. There are small beaches where the silence is total, or almost. The complete solitude is found up north or on my favourite island, Oland. The silence held within doesn't always need the perfect settings, but it does help! The creation is such a gift, don't you think? I wish you many happy and enlightening travels through that beautiful landscape you have around you, Melvyn!!!! My regards to lovely mrs H and cute little dog.

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  9. Hi Mel - it looks like the black mould got into the ice-cream mix ... what a pity - I hope the stone can recover? Wind farms are fine ... yet not! Lovely castle hidden away ... cheers Hilary

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    1. Thank you for contributing to the post Hilary.
      I rather like look of the wind farms actually and see them as mobile sculptures the blades to me are rather like the wings of large stationary birds. I recall days past, when I lived in Somerset in the late Forties and Fifties when almost every farm had their own windmill that would pump the water out of the ground.

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  10. I visited Somerset once and still remember for ever the rolling hills and the green country side and the lambs frolicking and the ocean and ... and ... everything ... smiles ... friend H ... Love, cat.

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    1. Cat you are woman full of surprises ! So glad that you enjoyed your visit to Somerset.

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  11. Despite the disappointment of black mould and poor ice cream (I'm glad the one wasn't on the other), this was a lovely trip, Mel. Thanks for taking us all with you!

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    1. Thanks for the comment Val am pleased that you enjoyed our journey and we shall some time in the future return to the Slieve Aughties, which incidentally are named after an owl goddess.

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