I have visited Oak park in county Carlow many times over the years. The park is known for its native woodlands and its surrounding lakes and rivers but also for its wildlife including its swans.
The swans are to be found in the park all year round and as you can see from the first picture above I was lucky enough a couple of years ago in capturing one couple with many of their cygnets.
During one visit to the park last year, two very young swans approached me as I was standing on a bridge, there is a good chance that these two are from the same family group as in the top image, impossible to know but it would be a great thought !!!
Arriving at this great location of the Brownshill Dolmen, county Carlow on a typical overcast early autumn day in Ireland. I located the site of the largest Dolmen in this part of Europe very easily as there are plenty of road signs to help you.
There is a small walk through a field an up-to a preserved area containing the Dolmen itself, the information board is of great help and places this construction into it context.
It is the cap stone that is the most impressive part of this Dolmen.
Discover Ireland describes this monument as follows :
The Brownshill Dolmen is an unmistakable monument to the east of Carlow town dating back to pre-historic times.
Its date of construction has been estimated at between 4,900 and 5,500 years ago and it is thought that religious rites were performed here. Some authorities also suggest that it may have served as a form of border marker.
Whatever it’s original purpose, it represents a tangible link between the present and the past. The magnificent granite capstone, weighing about 103 tonnes, has excited the interest of many antiquarians and tourists for centuries.
Brownshill Dolmen, county Carlow : Gallery
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 Viaduct, Co Carlow, Ireland
Irish Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington
In January I visited the Viaduct in Borris, County Carlow.
The Viaduct is Located just north of the town and was an amazing construction for its day, back in the 1800’s this construction help link north county Carlow to county Wexford for both passenger transport and goods – daily , until 1947.
On the 1st January 1855 the first ground was cut near Borris, County Carlow, for what was to be the Bagenalstown County Carlow to Wexford, Railway.
However with expensive construction costs and difficult terrain the company only ever made it half way to Ballywilliam in county Wexford, shortly after going bankrupt with debts of £100,000.
After a period of failed ownerships the railway was sold for £24,000 by the board of works to GS&WR in 1876. Passenger services ceased on the 2nd Febuary 1931, a goods service remaining until 27th January 1947, CIE finally closed the line on the 1st January 1963, 108 years to the day after the first ground was cut near Borris.
Visiting the Location
The Viaduct is located on a farm and is used as a public foot-path, access is through the grounds of a local school. The path up to the level that the rail line would have been on is steep but easy to walk up.
The first thing you notice is that the walls each side of the Viaduct and the path are very low and are not fenced, so you feel that you want to walk down the centre of the path. It is a good few hundred meters to the end of the Viaduct itself but the walk is well worth it as the views of County Carlow from here are spectacular !!
Once you reach the end of the path the old rail line cuts through some trees, there are picnic areas offering some great views of the county, at the end of this wooded part of the walk is a small bridge with a well kept garden and another picnic area.
You get the feeling that this is a much love and well kept area for the town and a pleasure to visit.
If you are in county Carlow you simply have to pay it a visit.
A sense of place Ducketts grove, county Carlow
Ducketts grove is described in full on this link.
Here in this post however I just wanted to show a visual sense of this old Castle sitting in the middle of county Carlow, the photographs were taken during the winter of 2010. Its a wonderful place to visit on a late winters afternoon when the tree’s are all stripped of leafs and the ground is hard and cold.
The cold and snow of a winters day, seems to match so well this wonderful abandoned place.
Ducketts grove in twelve images : a Gallery