Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

Posts tagged “pagan ireland

Lough Boora Parklands, County Offaly

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Lough Boora Parklands, County Offaly
Irish Landscape photography : Nigel Borrington

Lough Boora parklands, are one of the most interesting outdoor locations you could visit in Ireland. They cover up to 14 kilometres of scenic views and cycle routes, the parkland has many sculptures and art installations for you to view along with miles of walking routes. The location is also a nature reserve that is home to many rare birds such as lapwings. The first image in the below Gallery is of two Lapwing flying above the park.

Along with the great sculptures which I will cover in full in another post, some archaeology found at the site has completely changed the history of the country. The remains of a village that would have sat on the banks of one of the biggest lakes in Europe at the time. The findings date the people living in this area back some eight and a half thousand years, this is some two and a half thousand years older than previously thought.

It also pre dates the Christian history of Ireland by some seven thousand years.

The village itself was large and well established for its time, indicating that man must have lived here for sometime before reaching this level of culture. This would indicate that Man moved back into Ireland soon after the ending of the last Ice age some ten thousand years ago.

I have taken some images of the information boards on the site, you can find them below the following images.

Image Gallery

Boora bog parklands 1
Lapwing’s flying above the parklands.

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Dog’s are fully welcomed , restrictions when the birds are nesting.

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Many Installations and Sculpture’s.

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Wooden Teepee Sculpture.

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Bog Cotton, growing in the wetlands.

Information boards

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Boora bog parklands 9

Boora bog parklands 2

Boora bog parklands 3

Cahergall ring fort, County Kerry

Kerry Ring forts 3
All Images : Canon G1x
Irish ring forts, Co.Kerry
Irish Landscape photography : Nigel Borrington

Cahergall Ring fort

Cahergall stone fort

Following on from yesterdays post relating to Leacanabuile ring for in county Kerry, the area around the fort also contains more ring forts from the same period in Irish history.

Cahergall ring fort is a massive stone construction, built between 400BC and 500AD, It can be found close to Cahersiveen, County Kerry. Leacanabuaile feels very much more like a dwelling place for people to both live and keep themselves safe from the surrounding Environment. This included raiders and wild animals stealing cattle.

On approaching Cahergall, the scale of this fort is massive in comparison to Leacanabuaile, the walls rise some four to six meters from the ground, perfectly flat and sloping inwards from the ground towards the top. The fort is some twenty five meters wide and the walls some four meter thick.

Inside the fort the inner walls are stepped and consisting of three levels, each of these levels has a series of steps that take you the upper level. The top of the wall is full grassed and walkable. The views of the coastline and landscape around the fort is spectacular from here.

Although this fort is described as a living place, it is very different from other forts around, It has only one internal enclosure and this structure does not look like it could be lived in, at least not in the same way as the buildings within the other forts.

The semi-circular wall’s forming a circle in the center of the fort appear to be very much the focus point from the main walls, almost like this place was a ceremonial theater of some kind. You have to ask why the very different design for this place compared to the other forts and why it was built on such a grand scale. It is very much the focus point for the local community in the same way a church or public building would be today.

As to who these people where, Pat Flannery has some very interesting ideas and his views on Irish per-christian history is very interesting :

Cahergall Fort has been restored by the OPW and is owned by the Irish State.

Cahergall is well worth a visit if you are in the area and only short distance from Leacanabuaile Stone Fort.

Image Gallery

Kerry Ring forts 2

Kerry Ring forts 4

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Kerry Ring forts11

Kerry Ring forts12

Kerry Ring forts 1

St Patrick well

St Patrick’s well is located In Clonmel, County Tipperary.

St Patricks Well Clonmel

The Well pre-dates Christian times by a considerable period, clearly only being referred to as belonging to St Patrick since he or the local church converted the local people to Christianity.

The Celtic pre-Christian period.

There is a lot of evidence to show that in ancient Ireland well worship was widely practised. Many if not all of Ireland’s holy wells of later Christian times had been objects of pagan veneration, and regarded as sacred, centuries before the advent of Christianity. In fact many Irish place names which have their origins dating from pre-Christian times are derived from wells. One of those sacred springs Tipra Arann in the present Barony of Clanwilliam around Tipperary Town, gave its name to County Tipperary. In the Bronze Age there seems to have been no temples constructed for the purposes of worship. Pagan rites were performed in the open air. Those were places of popular assembly as well as centres for pagan worship and sacrifices.”

Sacrifices ? There is no evidence of this so I think the writer of the page is talking about offerings. Items of personal value placed into the well as a thank you to the water gods.

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“St Patrick and his disciples on their travels throughout the country took advantage of those assemblies to preach the Gospel and to baptise the new converts. To St. Patrick coming from lands within the former Roman Empire some of those Celtic customs must have appeared strange. Well worship was re-orientated and transformed into a Christian context. In due course, from being places where pagan rites had been performed, the wells became places of Christian worship. There was a tradition which has died out that people visited St Patrick’s Well before sunrise on the first day of May – a date which coincides with the Celtic Festival of Bealtaine.”

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I find the idea of Holy wells in the early Christian period to be fascinating, It appears, as covered above to be a clear attempt by the church to override the previous worship of water gods and to move this worship over to the new God that the modern christian church now worships.

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