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Welcome, We hope you enjoy the landscape and nature images in this site, Nigel also runs www.studio63.ie a protrait and Wedding photography business.

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Borris House , County Carlow

Borris House 01
Borris House, county Carlow
Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

Borris house In county Carlow, is one of Ireland most historic homes as are the Mcmorrough Kavanaghs family who currently still own this wonderful country Estate.

I have visited here many times and was lucky enough to be given a full tour of the grounds and the inside of the house by the owner, while preparing to shoot my first wedding day in the grounds back in 2009.

The images in this post where taken on a somewhat overcast morning in the spring time, I think the softlight added to the atmosphere in and around the grounds.

Borris House History

The ancestral home of the Mcmorrough Kavanaghs, High Kings of Leinster, Borris is one of the few Irish estates that can trace its history back to the royal families of ancient Ireland. Set in over six hundred and fifty acres of walled private park and woodlands, Borris House retains its place as the centrepiece of the locality.

Originally an important castle guarding the River Barrow, Borris House was rebuilt in 1731 and late altered by the architectural dynastic family, The Morrisons, chiefly Richard and William. Externally, they clothed the 18th c house in a thin Tudor Gothic disguise, adding a crenellated arcaded porch on the entrance and decorating the windows with rectangular and ogival hood-moulds.

The MacMorrough Kavanaghs

No family in Ireland can point to a more ancient pedigree than the Kavanaghs. They can trace it back to the dawn of Irish history. Tradition, indeed, carries it far beyond that limit – to the legendary Feniusa of Scythia, coeval with the Tower of Babel, whose descendants, having wandered into Egypt, found their way back again to Scthia, and thence to Spain, from which country Heber and Heremon, the 2 sons of Gallamhy or Milesius, crossed over to Ireland, reduced it to subjection and divided it between them. From them sprang lines of Kings ruling over the 5 monarchies into which the island was split up.

Borris House Gallery

Borris House 02

Borris House 03

Borris House 04

Borris House 05

Lyrath Estate and Hotel , County Kilkenny

Lyrath House Estate  1
Lyrath Estate and Hotel , County Kilkenny
Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

Lyrath Estate and Hotel , County Kilkenny

I have shot a few wedding now at the Lyrath Estate and Hotel , County Kilkenny and got to know the grounds very well in that time. Its a wonderful estate that has the following history :

The history of Lyreth House dates back to the 16th and 17th century. During this time the lands were owned by the Shortall family of Rathardmore. The house was rented to Thomas Tobin until 1653 when they were evicted from the land by English republican Oliver Cromwell who was fighting against the English King ( Charles 1’st ), the Lyrath House being just one estate that Oliver Cromwell took control of.

The Tobin family history at Lyrath is as Follows :

The Tobins of Lyrath

The original townland of Lyrath, lay entirely within the parish of Blackrath (co. Kilkenny); so that it comprised but the western half of the modern townland of Lyrath, the eastern half being portion of Rathardmore. It belonged to the Tobin family, who held it at a certain rent of chiefry, from the Shortalls of Rathardmore. John Tobin, Rector of Callan, who died 1541-42, belonged to this family. Robert Tobin’s lands (of Lyrath), in the Barony of Gowran, were estimated at 5 pounds, about 1560. Thomas Tobin of Lyrath, was Constable of the Barony of Gowran, in 1608; he was still living in 1616. In 1653, Thomas Tobin forfeited Lyrath, containing 116 ac. and “a castle in repair.” Richard Tobin, of Lyrath, and 12 others, had certificates of Transplantation to Connaught signed for them in March 1653-54. Father James Tobin of Lyrath, founded the Poor House in Walkin Street, in 1682. By his last will, made at Lyrath, Oct. 29th, 1699, (with codicil of 10th of following month), and proved December 5th, 1700, he bequeaths his body to the earth, to be interred in his ancestors’ monument in St. John Evangelist’s Monastery in Kilkenny.

As I say this is a wonderful part of County Kilkenny and the estate makes a great visit on a sunny August afternoon.

Gallery

Lyrath House Estate  7

Lyrath House Estate  2

Lyrath House Estate  3

Lyrath House Estate  4

Lyrath House Estate  5

Lyrath House Estate  6

Lyrath House Estate  8

Sunday with Kilkenny’s ancient stones , Discovering nine megalithic Court Tombs

harristown Tomb 8
kilmogue portal Tomb , 6000 years old,
The Standing Stone and Tombs of County Kilkenny,
Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

Sunday with Kilkenny’s ancient stones and tombs

Earlier in the year I posted this article about the kilmogue portal Tomb , Located Near Harristown , County Kilkenny.

Sitting at the end of a short path near Harristown, county kilkenny, it is a 6000 year old tomb, know nationally at the Kilmogue Portal Tomb but locally as, “Leac an Scail” – stone of the warrior/hero in English.

This tomb however has become just the first of many ancient remains I feel I have found in this small area of County Kilkenny, since I posted the above post in April (2014).

Full woods labels

The above is a map of a wooded area located above the Kilmogue Portal Tomb, Harristown, Kilkenny.

When back in April when I re-visited the portal tomb, I took a good look at its surroundings, its a dairy farming area with some very defined field patterns, I had a very strong feeling that this tomb could not be the only local ancient remains, there just had to be more.

It took some weeks of walking the local roads and wood-lands to find what I was looking for and the above map shows clearly the amount of sites I feel I have now found (Ring forts, standing stones and Tombs), while walking through the above woods there are many different type of megalithic remains.

I visited the another of what I felt was a possible megalithic site last Sunday and this Sunday morning, a collection of Multiple tombs and wanted to share some of the pictures and feeling below.

To get to this location I had to navigate through the trees and get over a wall into the field but once in I was amazed at what I found. There are a total of nine tombs that could as important as the Kilmogue Portal Tomb, they are possible megalithic Court tombs or Portal tombs. I feel that to find so many Tombs in one field is very special and reflects on just how important an area this must have been to the people who lived here over a vast period of time.

I need to keep working on this location and study a lot more as to my possible findings but feel its very exciting to find such a large collection of Tombs in one place.

I did at first wonder if these tombs where just collections of rocks that a farmer in the past had cleared from his fields but on getting closer and spending sometime walking around them, as you can see in the pictures these rocks are very large and in the correct formation and organisation to be Tombs.

They have large rocks forming a boarder with a raised area in the centre, they have a single gap forming an entrance and what looks like smaller grave area inside the tombs themselves. These features fully match the definition of what are defined as court tombs.

You are welcome to have a good looks at the pictures below and form you own impression but for the moment I am very pleased to have found such an impressive ancient location.

The Tombs of Harristown, Kilkenny ; Gallery

Kilkenny court tombs 10

Kilkenny court tombs 1

Kilkenny court tombs 2

Kilkenny court tombs 3

Kilkenny court tombs 4

Kilkenny court tombs 5

Kilkenny court tombs 6

Kilkenny court tombs 7

Kilkenny court tombs 8

Kilkenny court tombs 9

Local Standing Stones : Gallery

The standing stone Kilkenny 2

Standing stones 6

Evening ghosts along the river, Images and Poem

Eveing river walk 2
River Barrow, County Kilkenny
Irish Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

Evening ghosts along the river

I could tell you how the river looks
sketched in evening light;
I know the smell of mist so fresh over the river,
and night air that parts like tired curtains,
with wet heat that sighs
and slaps the grass when you move on;

I’ve felt what a violin says
to the heart of the river ghosts
over waters edge,
and how an old man’s voice sounds best after smoking,
but a woman’s is best talking.

Eveing river walk 1

There are ghosts on these paths,
but they don’t hunger anymore;
hunger is for the living
not satisfied
with morning light.

The Voyages of Bran, A nine year voyage .

The Voyages of Bran and St Brendan 01
Brandon Bay, County Kerry
Irish Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

The Voyage of Brendan

The Voyage of Bran (Immram Brain) is a tale of a man’s journey across the sea to avenge his father’s murder. The content derives from Irish Mythology, but was written in the 8th Century.

Although there are many earlier references to the tale, one of the earliest preserved written versions of the legend is the 12th century Des Reis van Sint Brandaen (Dutch). Scholars believe it derived from a now lost middle High German text and combines Christian and fairy tale elements. It describes how a monk from Galway voyages for nine years, encountering the wonders and horrors of the world, such as Judas frozen on one side and burning on the other, people with swine heads, dog legs and wolf teeth carrying bows and arrows, and an enormous fish that encircles the ship by holding its tail in its mouth. The English poem Life of Saint Brandan is a later English derivative of the Dutch version.

The Voyages of Bran and St Brendan 02

As a genre, The Voyage of St. Brendan fits in with a then-popular form of literature, peculiar to Ireland, called an immram, which describes a hero’s series of adventures in a boat. For example, there appear to be similarities with The Voyage of Bran, written much earlier. The most commonly illustrated episode is his landing on an island that turns out to be a giant sea monster called Jasconius or Jascon. This too, has its parallels in other stories, not only in Irish mythology (Saint Brendan’s contemporary Saint Columba also met one) but in other traditions, from Sinbad the Sailor to Pinocchio. This style of storytelling meshed with a religious ascetic tradition whereby Irish monks would travel alone in boats, the same way their desert brothers used to isolate themselves in caves.

While it is generally assumed that the story is a religious allegory, there has been considerable ink spilled over the question of whether some parts of the story could have really happened. Christopher Columbus relied on the St. Brendan legends as part of his argument that it was indeed possible to travel to Asia by crossing the Atlantic. There is a St. Brendan Society that celebrates the belief that Brendan was the first European to “discover” America.

Brandon Point 02

The Voyage of Bran

The Voyage of Bran (Immram Brain) is a tale of a man’s journey across the sea to avenge his father’s murder. The content derives from Irish Mythology, but was written in the C8th. Some Old Irish storyteller’s lists categorize the tale as an Echtra, or “Adventure”, but it contains the essential elements of an Immram, or “Voyage”. It may have influenced the story of Saint Brendan’s voyage later on.

See THE VOYAGE OF BRAN

In 1976, explorer Tim Severin built an ox leather curragh and over two summers sailed her from Ireland via the Hebrides, Faroe Islands and Iceland to Newfoundland to demonstrate that the saint’s purported voyage was feasible. On his voyage, he encountered various sights such as icebergs and sea animals such as whales and porpoises, which he suggests are factual counterparts to the fantastic sights from the legends of Brendan. See The Brendan Voyage, ISBN 0-349-10707-6.

Kilkenny Photography – Nature images

Butter Cap Fungi 1
Butter Cap Fungi
Nature Photography : Nigel Borrington

While I was out walking on Sunday , I noticed the first mushrooms growing in our local woodlands so I took these images.

These Mushrooms are Butter cap Fungi as described below.

We are still in summer time but heading quickly towards the late months of the season, it was great to look ahead to the forests coming to life with all kinds of Fungi.

Distribution

Very common and widespread across Britain and Ireland as well as throughout mainland Europe, the Butter Cap is also found in the USA, where it is sometimes referred to as the Buttery Collybia, and in many other parts of the world.

Sometimes found in deciduous woodland, Rhodocollybia butyraceae is mainly associated with coniferous forests on acid soils, where it grows in large numbers beneath even the darkest of canopies.

Kilkenny Photography – Nature Gallery

Butter Cap Fungi 5

Butter Cap Fungi 2

Butter Cap Fungi 3

Butter Cap Fungi 4

Walking with Harris hawks. Kingdom Falconry , Castle-island, Co. Kerry

Harris Hawks 1
Walking with Harris hawks.
Kingdom Falconry , Castleisland, Co. Kerry
Photography : Nigel Borrington

Kingdom Falconry is based and located at Crag caves, Castle-island, Co. Kerry, 2km from the Town.

They offer you the unique opportunity to get up close and personal with a variety of very majestic and awe-inspiring birds of prey.

The photos here are of a pair of Harris hawks.

I had a chance to get a private viewing of these Hawks and to take them on a “Hawk walk” around the grounds at Crag caves.

Harris Hawks 3

It was a fantastic experience and one I will not forget for a long time, just to get close to these birds of prey and learn lots about them and get to know their unique nature was very special.

Kingdom Falconry can be contacted from this link.

If you are in county Kerry and near Castle-island and have sometime , I would very much recommend dropping in to meet these birds.

Harris Hawks 2

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