Glendalough Monastic Site – County Wicklow, Ireland

Glendalough (Gleann Dá Loch, meaning “Valley of two lakes”) is a glacial valley in County Wicklow, Ireland, renowned for an early 6th century monastic settlement founded by Saint Kevin. The area is absolutely stunning, and the monastic “city” was on our list of places to visit while in Ireland.

The ancient ruins of Glendalough include several churches and an impressive 30-meter-high round tower. The valley stretches for approximately 3km in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Glendalough’s Upper Lake was the original site of the monastic settlement and features Reefert Church, Temple-na-Skellig, Saint Kevin’s Cell, Saint Kevin’s Bed, the Caher, and several high crosses. ~discoverireland.ie

The most impressive building that could be seen for miles was the Round Tower

The most famous of all the landmarks in Glendalough is the Round Tower which stands 33 meters above the ground. It was built almost 1000 years ago by the monks of St. Kevin’s monastery. The conical roof had to be replaced in 1876 when it was struck by lightning. The towers were called “Cloigtheach”, meaning bell tower, suggesting their main use. The towers were sometimes used as a place of refuge for monks when the monastery was under attack. They also served as both as lookout posts and as beacons foe approaching monks and pilgrims. ~ visitwicklow.ie

St. Kevin’s Kitchen (Church)

St. Kevin’s Church better known as St. Kevin’s Kitchen is a nave-and-chancel church of the 12th century. It is called St Kevin’s kitchen because people believed that the bell tower was a chimney to a kitchen but really no food was ever cooked there. This stone-roofed building originally had a nave only, with entrance at the west end and a small round-headed window in the east gable. The belfry with its conical cap and four small windows rises from the west end of the stone roof in the form of a miniature round tower. ~ visitwicklow.ie

I wish we would have been able to stay longer in the area and hike in the glaciated valley… Maybe next time!

To view Dan’s post from this leg of out trip, click HERE

The Templar’s Church

As we made our way south from Duncannon, we stumbled upon this little gem… Ruins of a Templar’s Church. There are only scant remains of the original Templar Church, but the medieval tower is quite impressive. It stands four stories high and has crenellations on top. The old 19th century church has all of its walls standing but is completely roofless and is joined to the tower by an extension where the entrance door lies.

The Knights Templar first utilized this spot by building a wooden tower here. The current stone tower that can be seen was built after the Templar lands were given to their rivals the Knights Hospitaller. The more modern church building is the old Church of Ireland church that was used up until the newer St Mogues church in Fethard was built.

The Order of the Knights Templar were originally founded in 1119 with the responsibility of protecting pilgrims making the journey to Jerusalem. While the military arm of the order was battling in the Crusades many lands throughout Europe were given to the order to help fund their efforts.

Following the Anglo-Norman Invasion of Ireland King Henry II granted the lands to the south of a line drawn from Duncannon to Baginbun. Following the dissolution of the order on Friday 13th, 1307 the lands were given to their rival order, the Order of Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem, also known as the Knights Hospitalier. Three stone towers still stand from the time of the Hospitaliers, built on the same locations as those used by the Templars. One at Ballyhack, one at Killoggan and this one at Templetown. ~Hookpenisula.com

See you at our next stop; stay safe my friends!

To see Dan’s post from this lucky find, click HERE

County Waterford, Ireland

We started our day off at Colneen House B&B in Tramore just like every other morning in Ireland – BREAKFAST!

In avoiding major metropolitan areas as much as possible, we made our way towards a ferry town – Passage East through Crooke town. We stopped for coffee and noticed St. John’s Baptist Church and decided to take a closer look. After this brief stop for some morning coffee and a quick adventure, we hopped on the ferry and away we went! Our day was just beginning; see you at our next stop.

To see Dan’s post of this portion of our trip, click here

Killarney National Park, a Ladies View, and a Haunted Church

 

We continued our drive through Killarney National Park and found many treasures along the way. From a Ladies View, a haunted church, multiple leprechaun sightings, and of course, more sheep 😉

Ladies View

Ladies View is about 12 miles from Killarney on the N71 road as you go towards Kenmare. The view here is probably the best known of Killarney and is a major attraction for visitors. Queen Victoria’s ladies-in-waiting visited here during the royal visit in 1861. They were so taken with the view that it was named after them. The Irish Times ranked Ladies View as one of the most photographed places in Ireland

A Haunted Church

Derrycunnihy Church is 120-years old and sits about halfway between the famous tunnel and Ladies View on N71 in the heart of Killarney National Park. The old church has long since been abandoned but is currently going through renovations. Many years ago, a girl died when she was knocked off her bicycle outside the church on her way home.  It has been mentioned that a young girl dressed in white can still be seen wandering around outside the church late at night and if you ask the locals, they’ll tell you that she’s still trying to make her way home. There have also been many reports over the years that the ‘girl in white’ appears INSIDE passing cars. We did not meet this little girl, but we did manage to capture images of this stunning church.


Killarney National Park and Leprechaun Crossings

While hiking this area, we found quite a few breathtaking views which of course, included more sheep 😉

I hope you enjoyed the stop! I am thankful for my family and friends; stay safe everyone!

To visit Dan’s Blog about this area click –> here

County Donegal and the Old Dunlewey Church

After spending the morning hiking and taking in the sights of Glenveagh Castle and its grounds, we traveled the roads heading south to our next bed and breakfast and found many treasures along the way.

Not too far from Glenveugh National Park, near Gweedore in County Donegal lies a gem in ruins… The Old Church of Dunlewey. I could only imagine what beauty this church once held and would have loved to see the stained glass that adorned the windows. Constructed of white marble and blue quartzite, I am sure this building will stand for many years to come. It is a beautiful building and is a lasting memorial to a great love affair. That of James Russell, once the landlord of the Dunlewey estate in Donegal, and his wife Jane.

Nestled at the foot of Errigal (the hightest mountain in County Donegal) and overlooking the beautiful Poisoned Glen sits the beautiful ‘Old Church of Dunlewey’.

Jane Smith Russell had the church built as a memorial to her husband, James Russell, landlord of the Dunlewey Estate, who died on 2nd September 1848.  James Russell was laid to rest in a vault under the church floor.  The church was consecrated on 1st September 1853 as a Chapel of Ease to Tullaghabegley.  Tullaghabegley was the parish consisting of the present-day Gweedore and Cloughaneely parishes.

The church is built of white marble and blue quartzite which was quarried locally.  The supply of marble in the nearby quarry has now been depleted.  The red brick in the arches of the windows was produced locally.  Remnants of the brickfield are still visible near Oilean Ghrainne when the level of the lake is lowered.

Stop by and see Dan’s images if the Old Dunlewey Church: http://traun-photo.com/dan/dunlewey-church/

Our Saviors Church

Driving the backroads in and around your community does have its surprises like- this little gem.  Back in early 2014, Dan and I were out on a little trip with the girls (Tindra and Audrey) and stumbled across this charming country church.   Our Saviors Church, or the Historic Woodside Place, is an old wooden church built in the year 1888.  This church was moved to its new location at 2053 County Rd N, in Baldwin, Wisconsin after sitting vacant for years on a property about 1/2 mile west if its new location.  The new owners have done a wonderful job restoring this old beauty and offer the facility for weddings or other special occasions.

historic churchImage above provided by the Historic Woodside Place Facebook page

We enjoyed our day and found this country treasure just as the sun was passing the steeple.  Another reminder that there are wonders where you least expect it!

Have a great week!