📍Kylemore Abbey, County Galway
Ireland's most picturesque castle?
It's one of our favourite views in Ireland - looking across Kylemore Lake to the abbey beyond. Kylemore has served quite a few purposes since it was first built in 1868 - a grand family castle, a working abbey and even a boarding school. However, its status as one of Ireland's most cherished buildings has never wavered and Kylemore's popularity today is a testament to the work of Mitchell Henry, the original owner of the castle 150 years ago
One of Britain's wealthiest men, Henry's relationship with Ireland was rather different than many of his contemporaries at the top of British society. Henry had a genuine respect for Ireland and the Irish people and, together with his wife Margaret (herself from County Down) they looked to the beautiful surroundings of Connemara to build a home in which to raise their family. Kylemore took four years to complete but sadly, the Henry family only had a few years to enjoy their incredible home as Margaret died in 1875. While Henry continued his work in helping Ireland gain greater autonomy, he spent less time at Kylemore without Margaret by his side. After being sold off, the castle eventually came into the possession of an order of Benedictine Nuns whose previous abbey in Ypres, Belgium had been bombed during World War I. As such, Kylemore Castle became Kylemore Abbey and the Benedictine Nuns continue to operate the Abbey today
Baltinglass Cistercian abbey is situated close to the river Slaney in a valley of the Wicklow Mountains which was a strategic pass between north and south Leinster.
The original place name Belach Conglais ‘the pass of Cú Glas’ retains the name of a mythological hero Glass who was reputedly killed by magical wild boars.
The archaeology of the surrounding environs, and especially the substantial hillfort of Rathcoran on Baltinglass Hill overlooking the river valley testifies to strategic importance of Baltinglass from prehistory.
It is likely that Dermot MacMurrough, who as king of Leinster often used ecclesiastical patronage to further his military and political ambitions, endowed Baltinglass with a view to strengthening his grip on the provincial kingship of Leinster. Baltinglass was the second daughter house of Mellifont abbey, Co. Louth, the first Cistercian house in Ireland (fd. 1142). Dermot granted Baltinglass abbey eight separate parcels of land in the Cos Wicklow, Carlow and Kildare. It became the motherhouse of Jerpoint abbey in 1180. The ruins of the 12th-century Romanesque church are all that survive of the monastery and they consist of a long and elegant nave arcade and a range of sculptural details on capitals and in the east end of the church.
Ferns priory, also known as St. Mary’s Abbey, has been functioning as an ecclesiastical site associated with St Edan (Aidan or Máedóc) since the 7th century.
At the synod of Ráith Bressail in 1111, Ferns became one of 5 episcopal sees in Leinster. Ferns was an important centre of the increasingly powerful Uí Chennselaig dynasty in the 10th and 11th centuries, becoming the caput (or principal seat) of the dynasty under Diarmait Mac Murchada (Dermot MacMurrough), (d.1171), king of Leinster. Through his patronage, an Augustinian abbey dedicated to St Mary was founded circa 1160-2.
It was founded either within the earlier ecclesiastical settlement or very close to it. According to Diarmait’s granting charter, the Augustinian community at Ferns was under the authority of the episcopal see.
In 1160, Diarmait Mac Murchada, king of Leinster granted to the Augustinians an abbey at Ferns, the capital of his kingdom.
Due to political conflict with the kings of Breifne, Meath and the Norse of Dublin in 1166, Diarmait was stripped of his title of king and fled to Bristol. He returned later with Norman knights to support him to reclaim his kingdom, led by Richard de Clare, aka ‘Strongbow’. In 1171, Diarmait Mac Murchada died Ferns. It is said a shaft of a high cross at Ferns, which is on the grounds of the medieval and modern Church of Ireland Cathedrals marks his grave.
In 1317, the abbey was plundered and burnt by Irish forces during the Bruce wars.
For more on the history of Ferns Augustinian abbey, visit Monastic Ireland
Jerpoint Cistercian Abbey in Co. Kilkenny is one of the most complete Irish Cistercian monasteries and was founded by either Domnall Mac Gilla Pátraic I (d.1176) or Domnall Mac Gilla Pátraic II (d.1185), kings of Ossory.
The church, dating mainly from c. 1160-1200 is still relatively intact and its 15th-century crossing tower dominates the surrounding landscape.
Preserved within the church is an important collection of sculpted tombs, including carvings of saint and apostles associated with the 16th-century O’Tunney ‘School’ of sculptors.
The reconstructed 14th- or 15th-century sculptured cloister arcade is unique in the context of Cistercian cloister arcades for its rich array of quirky sculptures.
In 1217, the abbot of Jerpoint was deposed for causing the ‘riot of Jerpoint’ during an official visitation to the abbey. The abbot of Bective abbey was involved in the riot – he was further charged with imprisoning a man in a tree stump until he died.
In 1374, the monastery was under such financial due to continual wars between the Irish and English that they were no longer able to maintain hospitality and other due charges – the provision of guesthouses and care of people seeking refuge was a fundamental obligation of the Cistercian order.
In 1540, Jerpoint abbey was dissolved and the property was granted to James Butler, earl of Ormond. The abbot, Oliver Grace surrendered on 18 March of that year and was granted a pension.
For more on the history of Jerpoint Cistercian abbey, visit Monastic Ireland:
10031:37 PM Dec 1, 2018
Сегодня день рождения Джонатана Свифта.Сегодня ирландцы отмечают 350 лет со дня рождения Джонатана Свифта. Да, да, того самого писателя -сатирика, что предложил продавать на мясо детей из бедных семей, декана собора Святого Патрика и автора культового произведения "Путешествия Гулливера". А еще человека непростой судьбы и с загадочной личной жизнью: треугольник Стелла-Ванесса-Свифт.
Джонатан Свифт родился в Дублине, окончил Университет Тринити, из-за гражданской войны в Ирландии, направился в Англию. Получив сан священника англиканской церкви, он возвращается в Дублин, становится деканом собора Св. Патрика и начинает сочинять сатирические памфлеты. Надо добавить, что даже церковные проповеди Свифта содержали в себе элементы сатиры, в которых он критиковал социальную несправедливость и сословные предрассудки.
Строптивого священника-литератора боялись и уважали. Однажды наместник Ирландии в отчаянии написал письмо в Лондон: «Я правлю Ирландией с позволения декана Свифта». Последние 10 лет жизни Свифт страдал от психического расстройства, скончался от инсульта в 1742 году. Он распорядился: похоронить его тело в соборе святого Патрика, в полночь, чтобы не было толкотни и напыщенных речей, и пусть над могилой будет установлена доска: «Здесь покоится тело Джонатана Свифта, декана этой кафедральной церкви, и суровое негодование уже не раздирает здесь его сердце. Пройди, путник, и подражай, если можешь, тому, кто ревностно боролся за дело мужественной свободы». Ну а от себя добавим, что в «Путешествиях Гулливера» самым ударным эпизодом заслуженно считается подвиг Гулливера, когда тот, обильно и от души помочившись, спасает дворец короля лилипутов от страшного пожара. Литературные записки от #absoluteirelandtravel#tourireland#ирландия#irishwriters#literarytourism#swiftfestival#intellectualtourism
The Franciscan friary of Kilconnell lies within the territory of the O’Kellys, lords of Uí Mhaine in Eastern Connacht.
It was situated close to the primary Athlone to Galway road, 50km east of Galway city on a site of an earlier church dedicated to St. Conall.
The tall slender tower of the friary dominates the relatively flat landscape around it. The friary had an unstable history during the turbulent 16th & 17th centuries and enjoyed the patronage and protection of powerful families from the 14th to 18th centuries, both those traditionally associated with the local area and those who were forcibly moved west during the seventeenth century.
The medieval friary survives in good condition, with the tombs of its many of its patrons surviving inside its ruins.
Mellifont abbey was the first Cistercian foundation in Ireland and became one of the wealthiest religious foundations in Ireland. The abbey is located in the valley of the Mattock, a tributary of the river Boyne, one of Ireland’s important waterways which was controlled at various points by Mellifont. This foundation was among the wealthiest in medieval Ireland, holding extensive lands, and although its surviving remains – with the exception of the lavabo – do not reflect the grandeur of its architecture, all the essential components of a Cistercian abbey are evident, including a cruciform church, chapter house and cloister. After it suppression under Henry VIII, the monastery was converted into one of the largest mansions in the country during the second half of the sixteenth century, which lead to the almost total destruction of the church. The most visible remains are standing due to their re-use as a porch (the octagonal lavabo) and chapel (the original chapter house) at this time.
📍 Cliffs of Moher and Doolin, County Clare
An alternative perspective on the Cliffs of Moher and the charming village of Doolin that we don't get to see very often - if you look in the top left corner of the picture, you can see the bird's eye view of the cliffs rising above the Atlantic below
It's one of the most photographed sites in Ireland - and while we'll never tire of seeing the classic view, it's wonderful to see the surrounding countryside like this. That being said, if you're planning a visit in the coming months (or years) keep in mind that, during the summer months, the Cliffs of Moher are incredibly popular and for good reason - look at that view!! .
But that's no reason to cross it off your list. By all means see the cliffs and take in that view but, if you have the time to be a bit flexible, you can see the cliffs in their very best light almost all on your own. Arriving after 4 p.m. will give you more of a chance to have plenty of room to see the view but, even better if you can time your visit for sunset or twilight where the cliffs are at their most magical