Monday, 15 October 2012

Ireland's Past & its Ruins

My quest for learning more about Ireland, its history & it's rich culture, has me scouring the internet on a regular basis for reading material.

Over a year ago now, I stumble across a wonderful blog which I've been following ever  since.  I'd like to promote & share it with you.   The author goes by the name of 'Castlehunter' & his blog is worthy of reading if you are at all interested, as I am, in the history behind the hundreds of abandoned castles lying in ruins around Ireland.
Castlehunter's blog  is aptly titled "Ireland in Ruins" & is, in his own words, "A guide to the best and sometimes off the beaten track historical ruins around Ireland".  
Like Tarquin Blake, mentioned in my previous blog, who is recording the history of Ireland's 'Abandoned Mansions', here Castlehunter is photographing & documenting the history of Ireland's Ruined & Abandoned Castles. 

Over 100 Castles have so far been explored & photographed for the blog, along with well documented history & stories for each.

If you look closely on the 'Ireland in Ruins' blog site, you'll find a link to another of the author's blogs, 'titled "Ireland in History Day by Day".    This blog he says is "dedicated to establishing an online database of day by day entries of important events in Irish History..." which he is endeavouring to post "...on the historical date they actually happened".   And again, it is a blog chocked full of lessons for those of us, who know little about Ireland's rich & turbulent past.

Now I don't know the author of these blogs at all except, [because he's said so on his blog], that he is from Dublin & has a BA in History & Geography(Hons) and an MA in Modern Irish History(Hons) from the National University of Ireland in Maynooth, Co. Kildare.   It appears to me, he is well qualified to teach us a thing or two about Irish History.

So, head along & follow these blogs if you're as enthralled as I am with Ireland's Past & its Ruins. 


Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Peeking into the Abandoned Mansions of Ireland

It's been a while since my fabulous trip to Ireland came to an end & along with it, my Blog.  I did intend to leave it there, but six months on, I've not been able to get Ireland out of my head.

Recently, I came upon a wonderful website by Tarquin Blake, Abandoned Ireland which I wanted to share.  Tarquin is an "Architectural explorer, photographer & historian" with a passion for unlocking the mysteries of the many abandoned mansions which lie decaying, in fields all over Ireland.

As you take the virtual photographic tours found on his website, of the buildings he has explored over recent years, you get a remarkable glimpse of how the priviledged classes lived & how now, sadly, these once beautiful country mansions have crumbled. 

RTE Nationwide interviewed Tarquin Blake & this clip below of that documentary, gives us some insight into Tarquin's passion & the important task he has undertaken to preserve the history of these decaying structures.

Abandoned Mansions of Ireland
Many of the mansions Tarquin has photographed for his website are those that we stopped to admire during our road trip around Ireland in March of this year.  All of course, were on private property & too dangerous to enter.  The photos I have of these hauntingly majestic mansions. are of their exteriors, which left me wondering what lay on the inside.  Tarquin's virtual tours, which can be accessed on his website, give us the opportunity to walk through the interiors of these Abandoned Mansions as well.
One such mansion we visited, which I mentioned in my blog post "Galloping on to Galway", was the gloriously foreboding Tyrone House. 
Tyrone House, Co. Galway
Tarquin Blake's remarkable virtual tour of the interior of this once stately home, now allows me to venture inside & take a look.
Another mansion that had mesmorised me, was Menlo Castle in Galway City, not that far from the small settlement of Tyrone, which I blogged about in my post "The Call of the Claddagh".
Menlo Castle
And again, I was lucky to find that Tarquin had given us a look inside this beautiful ruin as well.
So a big thank you to Tarquin Blake, for opening our eyes to the grandeur of these once magnificient mansions of Ireland.