Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

Posts tagged “Kells

The Kings River, Kells, Kilkenny – In infrared …

Lumix GX80
17mm Olympus f1.8 lens
Urth R72 filter
F8 at 25 seconds exposure

Landscape Video, Underwater test shots , Kings River, Kells, Kilkenny

I have just started experimenting with some underwater video making using a Yi Action camera, here are my first two samples

The River – Poem by Kathleen Jessie Raine

The rivers flow
Kings river
County Kilkenny

The RiverPoem by Kathleen Jessie Raine

In my first sleep
I came to the river
And looked down
Through the clear water –
Only in dream
Water so pure,
Laced and undulant
Lines of flow
On its rocky bed
Water of life
Streaming for ever.

A house was there
Beside the river
And I, arrived,
An expected guest
About to explore
Old gardens and libraries –
But the car was waiting
To drive me away.

One last look
Into that bright stream –
Trout there were
And clear on the bottom
Monster form
Of the great crayfish
That crawls to the moon.
On its rocky bed
Living water
In whorls and ripples
Flowing unbended.

There was the car
To drive me away.
We crossed the river
Of living water –
I might not stay,
But must return
By the road too short
To the waiting day.

In my second dream
Pure I was and free
By the rapid stream,
My crystal house the sky,
The pure crystalline sky.

Into the stream I flung
A bottle of clear glass
That twirled and tossed and spun
In the water’s race
Flashing the morning sun.

Down that swift river
I saw it borne away,
My empty crystal form,
Exultant saw it caught
Into the current’s spin,
The flashing water’s run.
The River
Kathleen Jessie Raine

Landscape Videos : A Misty morning on the kings river, kells, county kilkenny

This morning on the Kings river as it flows through Kells County Kilkenny.

I have just started creating some landscape Videos to go with the Landscape Photography that I take and share here on my blog

So I felt what better way to start than filming an early frosty November morning on the Kings River, Kells, in this video you can hear the birds starting to sing and watch the Leaves fall onto the water. The mist created my the cold and frost was drifting down river.

Ghost House, Robert Frost, 1874 – 1963

Ghosts house 5

Ghost House
Robert Frost, 1874 – 1963

I dwell in a lonely house I know
That vanished many a summer ago,
And left no trace but the cellar walls,
And a cellar in which the daylight falls
And the purple-stemmed wild raspberries grow.

O’er ruined fences the grape-vines shield
The woods come back to the mowing field;
The orchard tree has grown one copse
Of new wood and old where the woodpecker chops;
The footpath down to the well is healed.

I dwell with a strangely aching heart
In that vanished abode there far apart
On that disused and forgotten road
That has no dust-bath now for the toad.
Night comes; the black bats tumble and dart;

The whippoorwill is coming to shout
And hush and cluck and flutter about:
I hear him begin far enough away
Full many a time to say his say
Before he arrives to say it out.

It is under the small, dim, summer star.
I know not who these mute folk are
Who share the unlit place with me—
Those stones out under the low-limbed tree
Doubtless bear names that the mosses mar.

They are tireless folk, but slow and sad—
Though two, close-keeping, are lass and lad,—
With none among them that ever sings,
And yet, in view of how many things,
As sweet companions as might be had

Ruin a Poem By S. A. J. Bradley

Kells Priory 100
Irish Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington


Wondrous the stone of these ancient walls, shattered by fate.
The districts of the city have crumbled.
The work of giants of old lies decayed.
Roofs are long tumbled down,
The lofty towers are in ruins.
Frost covers the mortar,
Tiles weathered and fallen, undermined by age.

The original builders are long in the earth’s cruel grip,
generations since have passed.
These broad walls, now reddened and lichen-aged, brown and gray:
once they withstood invading kingdoms.
Now, beneath countless seasons, they have fallen.
The rampart assembled by many, crumbles still,
Though hewn together with skill of sharpening and joining,
Strengthened ingeniously with chain and cabled rib-walls.

Kells Priory 102

In the town, urbane buildings, bathhouses, lofty rooftops,
a multitude gathered.
Many a hall filled with humans
until Fate inexorably changed everything.

All the inhabitants succumbed to pestilence.
Swept away are the great warriors.
Their towers and walls are deserted,
the desolate place crumbles away.
Who could repair any of it,
for they are long dead.

So the courtyards and gates have collapsed,
and the pavilion roofs of vaulted beams crumbled.
Here where once men in resplendent clothes, proud, gazed upon their gold and silver treasure,
their gems and precious stones,
upon their wealth, and property:
the bright city of a broad kingdom.

Stone courtyards ran streams of ample water, heating the great bathes,
conveniently flowing into the great stone vats …

The Waterwheel, by Jalaluddin Rumi

The Waterwheel 1
Nikon D300
The Waterwheel at kells, County Kilkenny
Irish landscape photography : Nigel Borrington

The Waterwheel

Stay together, friends.
Don’t scatter and sleep.

Our friendship is made
of being awake.

The waterwheel accepts water
and turns and gives it away,

That way it stays in the garden,
whereas another roundness rolls
through a dry riverbed looking
for what it thinks it wants.

Stay here, quivering with each moment
like a drop of mercury.

The Waterwheel 2

Kilree Round Tower, County KIlkenny

Kilree Round Tower Kilkenny 1
All image using a sigma SD15. 15-30mm lens
The Secret of Kells, Kilree Round Tower, County KIlkenny
Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington

The secrets of the Kells is at Kilree

Kells, county kilkenny is full of heritage from past and while most people are drawn immediately to Kells Priory, one of the largest and best preserved walled monastic sites in Europe, there is another just as important with a history stretching back longer than the Cistercian brotherhood of the priory.

At Kilree, there is a trio of treasures – A round tower, an ancient church and a high cross where a king may or may not be buried. And adding to the mystique is a fourth, natural phenomenon, a Ballaun stone going back to pre-historic times that was used by the first inhabitants of this island. to drink from an for pagan idolatry.

Historians and archaeologists may have got it wrong about Kilree on a number of levels. When you first view if coming from Kells village it reminds you of Freestone Hill – An ancient place used before Christianity. It has commanding views of the surrounding countryside and seems to be the highest spot in the area and therefore a natural stronghold. Looking from it, you take in Knockdrinnagh Wood, Ballygowan, Hugginstown and the high lands beyond it and around to the Slieveardagh Hills. It also boasts commanding views of Sliabh an mBan and the Comeraghs in the distance.

Kilree Round Tower Kilkenny 4

So it begs the question was the round tower of Kilree used as a look out with its bells when danger was imminent. Was it used by the monks who were for all intents and purposes living in a hollow by the King’s River and therefore had no idea of who or what was approaching them. It’s probably too simplistic a view but we are sure of one thing – the tower was built around the 11th century and would have been used as a defence against the maurauding Vikings who had a stronghold in Waterford.

It is said but not proven that the bones of a great king are buried under the high Cross at Kilree, just 40 yards from the round tower and the church of St Brigid that lies in ruins yet still has a strong association with the people of the area in both Kells and Stoneyford. Although it stands 90 feet high, Kilree Round tower is not easy to see because it is set amid a grove of trees. A fine slim building with a diameter inside of just 9 feet it must have been tight in there. With six different levels and a battlement area at the top as well as a belfry, it is little wonder that rope ladders were used here.

Like the other round towers in the county, its entrance faces the church and there is a long association between the two.

Kilree Round Tower Kilkenny 6

The round tower and church are enclosed in a grove of beautiful trees which seem to detract slightly from the height of the tower but once you enter this wonderful place you can feel the past coming at you. It’s sad that a sign in bold yellow at the entrance tells you to beware of the bull. What a lovely first impression for visitors. The land is extremely fertile and there is a rich covering of spring grass on the field and you can appreciate why a farmer would be so anxious to keep it so but the sign should be taken down when the bull is not there.

It is important to appreciate the work done by researchers over the years on Kilree and the rest of the county none more so that Canon Carrigan in his History of the Diocese of Ossory; the wonderful parish history of Dunnamaggin by Richard Lahart which provides us with so much detail but it is the findings of Ireland’s great antiquarian scholar from Slieverue in South Kilkenny, that is most revealing. The research by John O’Donovan on place names and on sites like Kilree for the Ordance Survey is invaluable in deepening our knowledge of our past.

Up to the middle of the 19th century it was claimed that King Niall Caille was buried here in 844AD and that his bones lay under the high Cross which is uninscribed. It seems now that the high cross was erected significantly before this date and we learn from different researchers that these kind of crosses were commemorative and not built to cover the dead. He upset a lot of people when he said the real ancient Irish name for the site was not actually Kilree which up to them was meant to be the church of the king but Cill Freach after a female saint, Freach. Canon Corrigan also studied this and felt that Kilree was a corruption of the name Cill Ruiddchi, the church of St Ruiddchi. While it is hard to go past the original name of Cill Bride as the name for the church, named after St Brigid, we do know from local people and from Richard Lahart that the well at Kilree was also named in honour of St Brigid and that goes back over 1,000 years. It is hard to see past Cill An Ri and of course it is still known locally by people as The Steeple, a reference to the bell tower on top of the round tower.

Kilree Round Tower Kilkenny 5

Inside the church,tombs of local people remain. The poorer people would have bee buried furthest away from the church. From Norman times the Howlings, Holdens or Howels are associated with the site and for some reason these are the same people as the Walsh’s of the Mountain (I don’t understand that). From medieval times, the Comerfords were closely associated with Kilree along with the Izod family, Flemings, Ryans, St Legers and of course in recent times, the Goreys.

Again the lack of signposts for such an amazing place is sad. The only sign coming from Kilkenny city is at Kells Priory and those in charge of the site, have done a good job in keeping it quiet.

But what stands out most about Kilree is that it is still used as a graveyard and the ancient burial ground is well looked after by the people iving in the area..

Kilree is also home to a Ballaun Stone located 250 yards north of the round tower in the corner of a field of heavily weathered limestone and is marked on the Ordance survey map for the area. A bullaun is the term used for the depression in a stone which is often water filled.

Local folklore often attaches religious or magical significance to bullaun stones, such as the belief that the rainwater collecting in a stone’s hollow has healing properties. Ritual use of some bullaun stones continued well into the Christian period and many are found in association with early churches like Kilree or should that be St Brigids or St Freach’s or St Ruiddchi’s/ take your pick.

Published in the kilkenny people. 2012

Image Gallery

Kilree Round Tower Kilkenny 6

Kilree Round Tower Kilkenny 5

Kilree Round Tower Kilkenny 4

Kilree Round Tower Kilkenny 3

Kilree Round Tower Kilkenny 2

Kilree Round Tower Kilkenny 1

Tails from the river bank

I told you it was great in here…

Molly out 1

I know I left it here someplace, maybe right at the bottom – hang on

Molly out 2

Found it

Molly out 3

now for a good old run around

Molly out 5

followed by sunning my belly…

Molly out 7

So are you going to stop sitting in front of that Laptop after breakfast or what?

Kilkenny wildlife

Heron on the kings river, Kells, Co.KIlkenny

With the June bank holiday over, I got moving very early this morning to find this young Heron looking for her first fish of the day.

Kings river, kells, Co Kilkenny

Heron with Mallards, Kings river,Kells, Co KIlkenny

I walked along the Kings river for about half an hour and by the time I returned to the same location as the first photograph she was still looking, the Mallards in the foreground however looked like they had already eaten.

Kilkenny photography by Kilkenny photographer, Nigel Borrington.

Kilkenny rivers

Kings river, Kells, Co.Kilkenny

The Kings river at Kells, Co.Kilkenny.

Kilkenny photography series, by kilkenny photographer Nigel Borrington.

Water is not something Kilkenny or Ireland is short of.

Average Rain fall for Co.KIlkenny :

Kilkenny rainfall averages


Poppies, Kells Co.Kilkenny

Poppies, Kells Co.Kilkenny

Poppies, Kells Co.Kilkenny

Nigel Borrington 2011,
Kilkenny photorgaphy series.