Kells Priory (Irish: Prióireacht Cheanannais) is one of the largest and most impressive medieval monuments in Ireland.
The Augustine priory at Kells, county Kilkenny is situated alongside King’s River beside the village of Kells, about 15 km south of the medieval city of Kilkenny. The priory is a National Monument and is in the guardianship of the (OPW)Office of Public Works. One of its most striking feature is a collection of medieval tower houses spaced at intervals along and within walls which enclose a site of just over 3 acres (12,000 m2). These give the priory the appearance more of a fortress than of a place of worship and from them comes its local name of “Seven Castles”.
4 km southeast of the priory on the R697 regional road is Kilree round tower and 9th century High Cross, said to be the burial place of Niall Caille Niall mac Áeda (died 917) who was a High King of Ireland.
The Priory has been undergoing a ten year long renovation project that is approaching its completion, the priory is looking amazing and has been secured for many years to come.
Here I post some new images taken during a very enjoyable visit last Sunday afternoon.
A History of Kells Priory
Kells Priory, Gallery
Summertime in County Kilkenny can bring some wonderful changes to the surrounding landscape and today I just want to share a gallery of images taken during the following months.
It a great time of year with so much to look forward to ……
County Kilkenny Landscape Gallery
Autumn through Kilkenny’s trees
Autumn is in full flight here in Kilkenny, I took these images yesterday while on a walk through one of our local woods.
The Gold of the Beach trees is just Wonderful.
On Saturday while walking through the woodlands above the River Barrow, Woodstock, Inistioge in county Kilkenny. At the back of a farm yard I came across these Mushrooms growing in the ground of the woodland.
At this time of year just as the Autumn is taking a hold the local woodlands come to life with all kinds of Mushrooms, I managed to get the below pictures and intend to go hunting for more during the week and next weekend.
The Image above is of Shaggy ink cap (Coprinus comatus) Mushrooms and below are Sulphur Tuft (Hypholoma fasciculare) mushrooms .
Irish wild mushrooms, Gallery
Studio photography sample’s
I have just finished working at selecting some studio images for a new web site gallery and just wanted to share these three sample.
They are all produced using studio flash both above and below glass, mounted on light box I constructed out of some hardboard.
I have very happy with these and I will post some more as I go through selecting them.
Out walking last night the sunset was just amazing, it had been raining all day but just as the last light of the day was leaving the clouds broke and the suns rays appeared over the top of the ridge I was walking below.
Just a wonderful end to a very wet day ……
Some weeks back I first noticed the images of Sharon K and her blog Sunearthsky , Sharon’s second post was called urban sentries and I loved this image a lot, the locations of old disused factories and industrial sites I find a geat subject for photographic imagery.
Its taken sometime for me here in county Kilkenny, without going looking just for this subject matter to find a location that matches. About two weeks ago however I came across this old quarry along the banks of the river Barrow. Its of a large scale consisting of both the quarry area and the building used to crush the stone and store it, It looks like all the stone was used to make blocks or for use in concrete or on the roads.
The following images are a Gallery that I hope gets across a sense of this place and I hope Sharon likes them as Much as I liked hers.
The river Nore, as it flows through Thomastown, county Kilkenny ….
Another Infra-red image from the Discovery park, Castlecomer, County Kilkenny.
Landscape Photographer : Nigel Borrington
Over the years since I came to live in Kilkenny I have spend many hours in the grounds of this Castle, the above images are from just some of the times I have taken a camera with me and taken a few shots.
If you do visit Kilkenny, the Castle and its grounds just have to be on your list of places to visit…
Kilkenny Castle (Irish: Caisleán Chill Chainnigh) is a castle in Kilkenny, Ireland built in 1195 by William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke to control a fording-point of the River Nore and the junction of several routeways. It was a symbol of Norman occupation and in its original thirteenth-century condition it would have formed an important element of the defences of the town with four large circular corner towers and a massive ditch, part of which can still be seen today on the Parade.
The property was transferred to the people of Kilkenny in 1967 for £50 and the castle and grounds are now managed by the Office of Public Works. The gardens and parkland adjoining the castle are open to the public. The Parade Tower is a conference venue. Awards and conferring ceremonies of the graduates of “Kilkenny Campus” of National University of Ireland, Maynooth have been held there since 2002.
Previous owners of the castle
Earls of Pembroke
Kilkenny Castle has been an important site since Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, commonly known as Strongbow constructed the first castle, probably a wooden structure, in the 12th century. The Anglo-Normans had established a castle in 1173, possibly on the site of an earlier residence of the Mac Giolla Phádraig kings of Osraighe. Kilkenny formed part of the lordship of Leinster, which was granted to Strongbow. Strongbow’s daughter and heiress, Isabel married William Marshall in 1189. The Earl Marshall owned large estates in Ireland, England, Wales and France and managed them effectively. He appointed Geoffrey fitz Robert as seneschal of Leinster and so began a major phase of development in Kilkenny, including the construction of Kilkenny Castle and the agreement of rents and privileges with burgesses or citizens of the borough. The first stone castle on the site, was completed in 1213. This was a square-shaped castle with towers at each corner; three of these original four towers survive to this day
James Butler, 3rd Earl of Ormonde, bought the castle in 1391 and established himself as ruler of the area. The Butler dynasty then ruled the surrounding area for centuries. They were Earls, Marquesses and Dukes of Ormonde and lived in the castle for over five hundred years. Among the many notable, Lady Margaret Butler (c. 1454 or 1465–1539) the Irish noblewoman, the daughter Thomas Butler, 7th Earl of Ormond. Lady Margret Butler was born in Kilkenny Castle. She married Sir William Boleyn and was the paternal grandmother of Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII of England.
The Castle became the seat to the very powerful family, the Butlers of Ormonde or Butler family, who lived there until 1935.
Kilkenny castle was the venue for the meeting of the General Assembly, or parliament, of the Confederate Ireland government in the 1640s.
The Irish State
The last member of the Butler family sold the castle to the local Castle Restoration Committee in the middle of the 20th century for £50. Shortly afterward it was handed over to the State, and has since been refurbished and is open to visitors. There are ornamental gardens on the city side of the castle, and extensive land and gardens to the front. It has become one of the most visited tourist sites in Ireland. Now a property in state care. Part of the National Art Gallery is on display in the castle.
Richard de Clare (also known as Strongbow) and other Norman knights came to Kilkenny in 1172, the high ground beside the River Nore was as an ideal site on which to build a wooden tower. He built a wooden castle of the type known as motte-and-bailey.
This strategic site was where the local Kings of Osraige had their chief residence before the Norman invasion.
Twenty years later, de Clare’s son-in-law, William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, built the first stone castle on the site, of which three towers still remain.
The castle was owned by the seneschal of Kilkenny Sir Gilbert De Bohun who inherited the county of Kilkenny and castle from his mother in 1270, in 1300 he was outlawed by Edward I but was reinstated in 1303, he held the castle until his death in 1381. It was not granted to his heir Joan, but seized by the crown and sold to the Butler family.
Butlers of Ormond
The Castle became the seat to a very powerful family, the Butlers of Ormonde or Butler family. They were a remarkable family, resilient, politically astute and faithful to the crown and to Ireland. These loyalties determined their fortunes and career. The Butler family arrived in Ireland with the Norman invasion, and originally settled in Gowran. They changed their name from FitzWalter in 1185 to Butler. The family had become wealthy, and James Butler, 3rd Earl of Ormonde, bought the castle in 1391 and established himself as ruler of the area. The Butler dynasty then ruled the surrounding area for centuries.
By the 18th century, the castle had become run down, reflecting the failing fortunes of the Butler family. However, some restoration was carried out by Anne Wandesford of Castlecomer, who brought wealth back into the family upon marrying John Butler, 17th Earl of Ormonde.
In the 19th century, the Butlers then attempted to restore it to its original medieval appearance, also rebuilding the north wing and extending the south curtain wall. More extensions were added in 1854.
The Butler family remained living in the castle until 1935, when they sold its contents for £6,000, moved to London, and abandoned it for thirty years. The impact of rising taxes, death duties, economic depression and living costs had taken their toll. While the Ormondes had received £22,000 in rental income in the 1880s, investment income in the 1930s was in the region of £9,000 and by 1950 these investments yielded only £850. They disposed of the bulk of their tenanted estates in Tipperary and Kilkenny, 21,000 acres (85 km²), by 1915 for £240,000. Death duties and expenses following the death of James Butler, 3rd Marquess of Ormonde in 1919 amounted to £166,000.
Auction Catalogue, 1935
In 1967, Arthur Butler, 6th Marquess and 24th Earl of Ormonde, sold the abandoned and deteriorating castle to the Castle Restoration Committee for £50, with the statement: “The people of Kilkenny, as well as myself and my family, feel a great pride in the Castle, and we have not liked to see this deterioration. We determined that it should not be allowed to fall into ruins. There are already too many ruins in Ireland.” He also bought the land in front of the castle from the trustees “in order that it should never be built on and the castle would be seen in all its dignity and splendour”. Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull turned up at the castle hand over party, with Jagger telling the newspapers “We just came to loon about
I just wanted to share an image from a wedding I recently worked on and then delivered the album to the happy couple!
Thank you again, you two for being a pleasure to work with!
The National Asset Management Agency an artists comment.
I have stayed away from even attempting to cover the Irish recession in my photography and possibly this has been a mistake something I may be addressing. While I was looking for some landscape locations at the Quays, St Mullins Co Kilkenny, I came across this old mill shed that has been used by a local artist to make what I feel is the perfect statement about what has been taking place in Ireland over the last three or four years.
I was amazed by the creative mind that could make great use of such a well visited and public location in Co.Kilkenny to make a clear comment.
The painting on the shed’s door and buildings end is very powerful and provocative let alone brilliantly painted.
However I think the use of the inside of the covered space at the side of the mill is the most powerful part of this work. It’s clearly reminds the viewer that a lot of people in Ireland have lost almost everything during these last years. The idea that this is a family’s living space in the remains of an old mill is not that far from the truth.
When I looked through the images at home something occurred to me, I don’t think that most people (living in or outside of Ireland) know what NAMA is, so let’s take a look at the official definition.
National Asset Management Agency
“The National Asset Management Agency (NAMA; Irish: Gníomhaireacht Náisiúnta um Bhainistíocht Sócmhainní) is a body created by the Government of Ireland in late 2009, in response to the Irish financial crisis and the deflation of the Irish property bubble.
NAMA functions as a bad bank, acquiring property development loans from Irish banks in return for government bonds, primarily with a view to improving the availability of credit in the Irish economy. The original book value of these loans was €77 billion (comprising €68bn for the original loans and €9bn rolled up interest) and the original asset values to which the loans related was €88bn with there being an average Loan To Value of 77% and the current market value is estimated at €47 billion. NAMA is controversial, with politicians (who were in opposition at the time of its formation) and some economists criticising the approach, including Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz who has said that the Irish government is “squandering” public money with its plan to bail out the banks.
One year after NAMA’s establishment the Irish government was compelled for other but similar reasons to seek an EU-IMF bailout in November 2010, the outcome of which will have considerable effects on NAMA’s future operations.
As a result of the collapse of the Irish property market, Irish banks have property development loan assets secured on property with a market value significantly below the amount owed. Many of the loans are now non-performing due to debtors experiencing acute financial difficulties. Both factors have led to a sharp drop in the value of these loan assets.
If the banks were to recognise the true value of these loans on their balance sheets, they would no longer meet their statutory capital requirements. The banks therefore need to raise further capital but, given the uncertainty around the true value of their assets, their stock is in too little demand for a general share issuance to be a viable option.
The banks are also suffering a liquidity crisis due, in part, to their lack of suitable collateral for European Central Bank repo loans. Along with their capital requirement problems, this is limiting the banks’ ability to offer credit to their customers and, in turn, contributing to the lack of growth in the Irish economy.
How NAMA will work
The National Asset Management Agency Bill present format, covers the six financial institutions which are covered by the Irish government’s deposit guarantee scheme. Those institutions are Bank of Ireland, Allied Irish Banks, Anglo Irish Bank, EBS, Irish Life and Permanent and Irish Nationwide. Other institutions, such as Ulster Bank, which are not covered may choose to join the scheme.
The Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan, said the banks would have to assume significant losses when the loans, largely made to property developers, are removed from their books. If such losses resulted in the banks needing more capital, then the government would insist on taking an equity stake in the lenders. Economist Peter Bacon, who was appointed by the government to advise on solutions to the banking crisis, said the new agency had potential to bring a better economic solution to the banking crisis and was preferable to nationalising the banks.
The assets will be purchased by using government bonds, which may lead to a significant increase in Ireland’s gross national debt.
The Bill provides that NAMA will be established on a statutory basis, as a separate body corporate with its own Board appointed by the Minister for Finance and with management services provided by the National Treasury Management Agency. 
The Bill envisages that NAMA will arrange and supervise the identification and valuation of property-backed loans on the books of qualifying financial institutions in Ireland, but will delegate the purchase and management of these loans to a separately created Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV). “
This is the key statement to me:
“The assets will be purchased by using government bonds, which may lead to a significant increase in Ireland’s gross national debt. ”
So people who didn’t have any debt, people who were careful enough not to along with kids who are just getting a start in life, have now taken on the debt that other people (Banks/Investors and developers) created.
In pure terms that’s it and the questions that remain after all this, they relate to personal/individual choices and freedoms.
Well if after spending a life time being careful with your time and money you still find yourself personally indebted, to a level you cannot even imagine, Debt created by the organisations and governments in which you placed your (trust, money and votes). You can very easily ask, what was the point of you being careful in the first place.
This is the amount that every person in Ireland is now in debt:
€390,969 Foreign debt per person in Ireland
How the hell did that happen?
Personally I worked on call, seven days a week for 30 years. Got married, Pay for a simple house, never used a credit card. I lived in a city and used the bus and train. I only purchased a car when I had saved up for one.
Why, when I am now involved up to my neck in €390.969 worth of debt?
Hay, Never mind – on and up!
The Grooms Brothers
A shot taken at a wedding I photographed in Langton House Hotel, Co Kilkenny
Kilkenny Landscape photography
By, Nigel Borrington
“I think that no matter how old or infirm I may become, I will always plant a large garden in the spring. Who can resist the feelings of hope and joy that one gets from participating in nature’s rebirth?” ~Edward Giobbi
So this photography thing then, what’s it all about?
If someone asks me what my favorite form of photography is and people do ask, I don’t always have an answer at hand. I feel that a camera can be used in so many different ways that it’s almost impossible to narrow things down.
I also think that overtime my choice of photography has evolved, it’s not the same now as it was when I was 25.
However if someone asked me today what my least favourite form of photography is I would have to answer, anything that’s not real. I feel that life in a small town like Kilkenny, Ireland is a little more limited in what people do and what they dress like.Even so I feel that photography should reflect the world around us all and that anything that is created outside of this world is faked.
So I guess the answer to what my most liked form of photography is, is anything that truly depicts and reflects the real world around us.
Some photographers pay to dress models in make-up and clothes that they would never dress in and live real lives in. Now, like I say this may have not been what I would have said at 25 years of age but it is what I feel today.
The world around us, is based on “what you see is what you get” and what you get may sometime appear to be a little ordinary but that’s what it is, it is ordinary. I think that the skill of any visual medium, when used correctly is to show you something a little different that you didn’t see first time.
My camera is for the real world not a fake one, one that only make-up can produce.
So then (Street, Landscape, Wedding and Sport photography) anything that really happens and people really do.
Kilkenny photographer: Nigel Borrington
Portrait of Kilkenny sculpture artist : Saturio Alonso
Outside KCAT art center Callan, Co.Kilkenny
Kilkenny Photographer: nigel borrington
Just after the New Year I decided to pick up a second hand Canon G1x as part of a project that I have been undertaking for some time, this being to replace a missing part of my camera kit.
Since the end of the 1990’s I have owned Nikon digital slr’s, having dumped film cameras and moved to digital in about 1999.
For a long time I worked with a Contax G2 film camera and have not owned a compact system since, so the aim was to fill this gap. The purchase of this camera is I hope the start and finish of this aim for some time to come.
This morning I put the camera in a bag and along with my dog headed to a place called Boats strand, Co. Waterford, the following images are some of the results.
These images have Canon G1x filter effects applied in camera.
I will be posting the others soon.
As for the Camera well, yes I think it’s going to be everything I expected. I had read that the autofocus system was a little slow, however it’s not that bad for a contrast based system and I would much prefer correct than lighting fast.
I will keep posting my G1x impressions and images.
This images was taken Just below Galways Bridge, Killarney. A very wet morning but this only helped with the slow shutter speed I wanted in order to capture the motion of the rivers water, flowing down towards the upper of two lake’s found above the town of Killarney below.
Kilkenny photographer : Nigel Borrington
Waterford Crystal Limited was, until March 2009, a subsidiary of Waterford Wedgwood plc, itself formed through the acquisition by the then Waterford Glass Group of the famous pottery manufacturer Josiah Wedgwood in 1986. The last chairman was Tony O’Reilly, and the CEO John Foley. The leading shareholders of the holding company were former billionaire O’Reilly and his family, joined in the last decade by O’Reilly’s brother-in-law, Greek shipping heir Peter Goulandris. Waterford Wedgwood was forced into receivership in early 2009. On 5 January 2009, news of the receivership of Waterford Wedgwood Ltd.
Jerpoint Glass studio’s. Co Kilkenny
“Jerpoint Glass Studio is a true family business. Established in 1979 by Keith and Kathleen Leadbetter, together they have built Jerpoint into an internationally recognised name.
Keith initially trained in pottery, mould making and throwing on the wheel. He also worked in laboratory glassblowing in North Staffordshire, England.
In the late 1960s he attended the prestigious Orrefors Glass School in Sweden, where he received his formal training. After travelling extensively throughout Europe to develop his skills in hot glass Keith returned to Ireland. Kathleen is a self-taught artist who is passionate about aesthetics and design, with a natural flair for business. Together they started Jerpoint Glass Studio from the converted Dutch barn at their home in Co. Kilkenny.
Their skill and passion for glass has now been passed onto their four children, who are all actively involved in the business. The Leadbetter Family have been making handmade glass from their studio for thirty years. With the unique Jerpoint colour palette, Jerpoint will make a welcome addition to any home.
“We feel sure that the more you use your Jerpoint Glass the more you will love and appreciate the softness and durability of the hand-finished rim.” (Keith Leadbetter)”
I have just finish installing a new Gallery section on the studio63 web site:
Link as follows : Studio63 Gallery
An image of a pool of clear water collecting in the Kings river, Callan, Co.Kilkenny
Kilkenny Photographer : Nigel Borrington
Kilkenny woodlands at sunset Feb 1st 2012.
Kilkenny Photographer, Nigel Borrington