Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

irish history

The Winter Solstice Live Stream 2017 – Newgrange Ireland

Today I just want to share this You tube link !

For the first time tomorrow morning the website “Ireland ancient east” are sharing the great events that have been taking place at Newgrange for over 5000 year. This is usually a private by invention only event but now the world can share the moment that the sun light travels down the passage tomb opening and falls on the wall at the back of the tomb,

If you can please log on it would be great if as many people as possible can share this Ancient event …..

https://www.irelandsancienteast.com/wintersolstice

Every year, the Winter Solstice at Newgrange, Ireland, attracts crowds to witness the solstice sun illuminate the ancient tomb’s passage and chamber. At dawn, from December 19th to 23rd, a narrow beam of light penetrates the roof-box and reaches the floor of the chamber, gradually extending to the rear of the chamber. As the sun rises higher, the beam widens within the chamber so that the whole room becomes dramatically illuminated. This event lasts for 17 minutes, beginning around 9am.


The week of the winter solstice – Ardgroom Stone Circle, County Cork, Ireland

Ardgroom Stone Circle, County Cork,
Ireland
Nigel Borrington

Ardgroom Stone Circle, County Cork, Ireland

The Ardgroomon stone circle is located on the Beautiful Beara Peninsula, county cork. It has to be one of the most magical of all the Irish stone circle, it also has the best of locations and views, sitting about the Atlantic ocean. There is something so exciting and mysterious about visiting a stone circle. The Ardgroomon circle is located in an area were there is an abundance of these historic sites, as well as wedge tombs, ring forts, boulder burials and fulachta fiadhs.

As well as being used for the Solar Spring and summer Equinox’s along with the Summer and Winter Solstice, many of these stone circles would also log the Movement of the Moon, Planets and Stars as during the year they changed their positions along the horizon. The standing stones in a stone circle would have in combination with a feature on local hill sides, have been lined up with astronomical objects(Sun, moon, planets and Stars). This would have given an almost daily measurement for months of the year.

The reason that ancient peoples needed to log the movement of the heavens was mainly for practical reasons such as farming, they needed to know when to sow seeds, bring cattle down from the mountains and bring in the crops, also they needed to know how long their store of food had to last before the new growing season started, no imports in those days.


Reefert church, Glendalough, County Wicklow

Reefort, Glendalough Monastic City, Glendalough

Glendalough has one of the biggest collections of Monastic remains in Europe, one of the most beautiful simply has to be Reefort church, located in the ancient woodlands above the lough this little chapel and is small grave yard are such a perfect reminder of an age that has long past us by.

The remains of Reefert Church are situated in a oak woodland setting, on the south-eastern shore of the Upper Lake close to an Information Office. Reefert derives its name from the Irish ‘Righ Fearta’ meaning burial place of the kings (referring to the local rulers – the O’Toole family). It dates from the eleventh century and is likely to have been built on the site of an earlier church. The church and graveyard were originally surrounded by a stone wall enclosure known in Gaelic as a ‘caiseal’. Most of the present surrounding walls however are modern. The upper parts of the church walls were re-built over 100 years ago using the original stones.

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One hour sketch (Pencil on paper), Killamery church yard, county KIlkenny

One hour sketch Killamery church yard county kilkenny
Nigel Borrrington

The old church yard at Killamery county Kilkenny is most famous for its highcross pictured here at the bottom of the post. The old church and grave yard however are just as interesting, the history of the area includes it being the location of a very large monastic site covering what would have been many large building now completely lost in time.

My sketch here I hope helps capture a sense of this wonderful place located on the boarder between county kilkenny and county Tipperary.

Killamery High cross Nov 2014 Kilkenny landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

Killamery High cross Nov 2014
Kilkenny landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington


Kells priory, county Kilkenny, Art work and Photography.

Kells Priory
County Kilkenny
Pencil on Paper
Nigel Borrington

One of the location that I love to take both my camera and sketch book is Kells Priory, county Kilkenny. Its an amazing location to capture in many forms and I am very lucky to live only a few miles away. I have posted here on my blog about it many time, you can used the search box to find these post if you wish.

The above is a Pencil on Paper drawing I worked on from about two weeks ago and below is a photo taken earlier in the summer when there was many more visitors around the site.


Ancient Ireland : Poulnabrone Dolmen and Portal Tomb, Caherconnell, county Clare Ireland

Poulnabrone Portal tomb
County Clare
Ireland
Nigel Borrington

Poulnabrone Dolmen and Portal Tomb is one of the most Dramatic megalithic sites in Ireland, it has superb sculptured form and is easily access from the road.

During the summer months it must be one of the most visited dolmens in the country. The day I visited and took these pictures it was overcast and grey, so there was less visitors than I can imagine at other times. When the site was excavated in 1986 they found some human remains some 16 adults and children plus some of their artifacts, together they dated the tomb to around 3600 B C.

The entrance some 2 meters high faces north, The capstone is tilted at the usual angle for a Doland of this type, it measures about 3 1/2 metres long and some 2 metres wide.

The name Poulnabrone means ‘ the hole of the sorrows’ There are many other interesting sites near poulnabrone including the Wedge tomb at Gleninsheen and Baur South and the Stone Fort at Caherconnell.

Situated on Karst limestone, in a field east of the Ballyvaughan – Corrofin Road the Poulnabrone Dolmen is one of Irelands more accessable megalithic structures.


Ireland’s Ancient East , Knockroe Passage Tomb, County Kilkenny

Knockroe Passage Tomb, County Kilkenny
Nigel Borrington

Knockroe Passage Tomb, County Kilkenny

Knockroe Passage tomb is located in a picturesque setting on the slopes above the Lingaun River and old slate quarries which were abandoned in the early 1900’s. The site dates to around 3,000 BC and has many similarities to the far more famous examples such as Newgrange and Knowth in the Brú na Bóinne complex in County Meath.

Originally Knockroe would have been a similar tomb to Newgrange, albeit on a smaller scale. It is likely that it too would have had an earthen mound surrounded by large kerbstones. However unlike Newgrange, Knockroe has two burial chambers, located at the eastern and western sides of the feature. These tombs are exposed, and had long ago lost their earthen cover. Many of the stones lining the passageways of these tombs at Knockroe are highly decorated with megalithic art such as spirals, hollowed ‘cup marks’, and zig-zags. You can still find them in their original locations, and when you see them it is impossible not to wonder about the possible meaning of the decorations – was it purely decorative or did it have a deeper symbolism, and what messages may be in that symbolism? You can also still see the quartz which possibly would have formed a wall around the entrance to the passageways.

Also like Newgrange, Knockroe is aligned with the Winter Solstice. Every year around the 21st December people gather at Knockroe to witness the sun setting in perfect alignment with the length of western tomb.

Knockroe is one of a group of tombs located in this region, all of which are aligned with the large
mound on the summit of Slievenamon in County Tipperary. Knockroe is one of those wonderful sites that you can’t help to keep thinking about long after your visit, without being encumbered with its earthen mound, Knockroe is like the stony skeleton of a Neolithic passage tomb.

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Loop Head Lighthouse, county Clare, Ireland


Loop Head Lighthouse,
September 2017,
county Clare, Ireland
Nigel Borrington

Loop Head Lighthouse, county Clare, Ireland

I have just spent a few days visiting County Clare, west Ireland, finishing with a visit to the great Loophead lighhouse. As you can see the day was very typical for a Septembers day here in Ireland, wet and windy.

It was still possible to visit the top of the lighthouse however which was great fun in the strong breeze.

I have very much enjoyed visiting some of Ireland’s lighthouses over the years from the north coast down to Hookhead, on the south coast, these remote location with their lighthouse keepers buildings that would have been both a place of work and a home, all year around and in all weather conditions, are a great reminder of the past.

A past that has almost gone but can in places like these still be felt very strongly.

Sometime back I found this video and have shared it before with other lighthouse posts, its still very much worth sharing again however as it reflects on the family life’s of Ireland’s lighthouse keepers …..

Here is a little history of the Loophead lighthouse

History

The first lighthouse on Loophead was one of four known Irish stone vaulted cottage type lights built about 1670. These cottages accommodated the lightkeeper and his family in two or three rooms and had an internal stone stairway between two of the rooms leading up to a platform on the roof where a coal burning brazier or chauffer was positioned. Part of the old cottage with its battered outside wall can still be seen near the lightkeepers’ dwellings.

The light must have fallen into disuse towards the end of the 17th century because it was re-established in 1720 after aldermen and merchants of Limerick petitioned the Irish Parliament in 1717 for a light on the Head.

The cottage-lighthouse with its coal fire was replaced in 1802 by a more conventional lighthouse, built by Thomas Rogers, who was also the contractor. The tower was about the same height as the present tower with four rooms and a lantern. The ground floor room was an oil store and access to the first floor or entrance room by an outside staircase of 19 steps. An internal spiral staircase connected the other two rooms and lantern. The twelve-foot diameter lantern contained twelve oil lamps, each with its own concave parabolic reflector. The reflected light shone through a 22″ diameter convex lens of solid glass, not unlike the ‘bottle glass’ or “bulls-eye” fitted into windows of modern psuedo-Georgian houses.

By 1811 the keeper was living in an adjoining cottage, rather than in the tower.

More …..

Loop Head Lighthouse, county Clare, Ireland , Gallery


Images without words, Father Ted’s House, county Clare

Father Ted


Sense of place : Cullahill Chapel and castle in County Laois, Ireland

Cullahill castle and chapel
County Laois
Ireland
Nigel Borrington

The village of Cullahill, county Laois is located just over the boarder from county Kilkenny. It is home to some great old castle tower home and village chapel remains. Cullahill Castle was the principal stronghold of the MacGillapatricks of Upper Ossory built around 1425 and destroyed around 1650.

There are many places like this in the Irish republic, that have retained the remains of long lost times, this small village located on the R369 just north of Johnstown county kilkenny, is a perfect example of the way most small Irish villages would have been in the 1400’s. this small place is well worth a visit just to get a sense of old Ireland.


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