Latest Entries »

A drive across beautiful countryside and pretty villages bought us to the vibrant and bustling town of Tipperary

Friday 9th June. Day Eleven: St Mary’s Church. Tipperary: Tipperary was very vibrant and colourful; a busy bustling town with lots going on, lots to see and full of people. Before going to the church we had a walk along the high street, found a clasic no frills pub and had a lovely pub lunch. I always find it so refreshing in Ireland to discover and explore all the little independant shops, often full of local produce and craftmanship. I am sure there must be big retail areas somewhere, but the places we went to or drove through had all kept their own indentity and no sign at all, of the big boring retail shops that we have in England which make each town and city centre exactly the same – so bravo Ireland!

<click to view each photo>

Tipperary Town (Irish: Tiobraid Árann, meaning ‘well of the Ara’- a reference to the river Ara that flows through the town) is a town and civil parish in County Tipperary with a population of 4,979 at the 2016 census. The town gave its name to the County Tipperary. The town had a medieval foundation and became a population centre in the early 13th century. It’s ancient fortifications have disappeared, often dismantled to be reused in new buildings. It’s central area is characterized by a wide streets radiating from the principal thoroughfare of Main Street. Two historical monuments are located in the Main Street. One is a bronze statue of Charles Kickham (poet and patriot). The other is the Maid of Erin statue, erected to commemorate the Irish patriots, Allen, Larkin and O’Brien, who are collectively known as the Manchester Martyrs. The Maid of Erin is a freestanding monument; erected in 1907, it was relocated to a corner site on the main street in 2003. It is made of carved limestone. A woman stands on a base depicting the portraits of the three executed men. The portraits carry the names in Irish of each man. She is situated on stone-flagged pavement behind wrought-iron railings, with an information board. The choice of a female figure as the personification of Ireland for such a memorial was common at the time. It is a naturalistic and evocative piece of work, made all the more striking by the lifelike portraits of the executed men. (see photos above)

The town was the site of a large military barracks of the British Army in the 50 years before Irish Independence and served as a military hospital during World War I. During the War of Independence, these barracks were a base for the Black and Tans and on 30 September 2005, the newly refurbished Memorial Arch of the barracks was unveiled in a ceremony in the pressence of dignitaries. However, given the notoriety of the place in the folk memory, few townspeople attended. The Arch is the only remaining porch of what was the officers’ mess and has panels mounted bearing the names of fallen members of the Irish Defence Forces. The Arch was renovated and maintained by the Tipperary Remembrance Trust. We were later given a private tour of this area along with other important sites. (see photos to follow)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tipperary_(town)

St Mary’s Church: We did think that yet again, we would be unable to gain access to this church even though the doors were open allowing us to wandered inside, only to be met by the raised tones of the rector informing us that no, were were not allowed in, as he was having some sort of meeting in the church. So thus we had resigned ourselves to a stroll around the graveyard, where i did take some lovely shots of the old iron works depicting fleur-de-lys. It is the oldest graveyard in town with over 1000 recorded burials and the oldest landmark. The grave of Christopher Emmet grandfather of the Irish patriot Robert Emmet is located in the grounds as is the grave of Ellen O’Leary Poet, and sister of the Fenian John O’Leary is also located in the grounds. There has been a military connection with St Mary’s as far back as the 1780’s when it was a garrison church. There are nine Commonwealth war graves and 11 other military related graves dating 1880 – 1920. All very interesting but not really what we were there for, however a chance encounter at the church gates with the new rector, with a different mindset, assured us that yes, we could go in and that he would give us a personal tour of the church and of many interesting areas nearby. Sadly not a lot of info on the internet on the church, so i will let the photos speak for themselves….

http://homepage.eircom.net/~tipperaryfame/stmarys.htm

Although we were lucky and very kindly were shown some of the older and more interesting treasures within the church, they were not actually Craft related, but obvioulsy all well loved <click to view>

As mentioned above, we were very lucky to have been taken on a surprise private tour of relevant and historical sites around Tipperray, ending with a lovely visit to a very old ancient church site, complete with sacred well. But also on this occasion we were visited by one of the ‘watchers’, keeping tracks on us no doubt, for we are never alone, especially as Craft people and obviously our tracks and purpose on this earthly plain is always very closely monitored.

A military arch, old workhouse and barracks, bear tesitiment to different times. The Hills of Tipperary, keep a timeless watch holding onto their secrets and asignations from other times. An imposing modern statue, seems to hold silent court over the etherial essence of the glen. An ancient site and holy well, will keep the secrets of the day…. <click to view>

Grail Bloodline Connectios:

  • John Fordham. 1858 – 1932 Collooney, Sligo. He had a particular interest here. (3 x GGF)

St Mary’s Church. Blessington: So after a little drive, again through pretty towns and villages, past mountains and countryside we arrived at Blessington, which on this occasion would prove to be a very short visit. Sadly the church was shut with all gates locked and chained, so we could not even stroll around the graveyard. So i did the best i could in respect of photos…

Blessington: historically known as Ballycomeen (Irish: Baile Coimín, meaning ‘town of Comyn’, from the Irish surname Ó Coimín), is a town on the River Liffey in County Wicklow, near the border with County Kildare. Evidence of Bronze Age activity in the area is demonstrated by the spectacular Blessington gold lunula now in the British Museum. Blessington was previously called Munfine, and in the Medieval period was part of the lordship of Threecastles. Construction of Blessington House was begun in 1673 and afterwards St Mary’s Church in Blessington, which was completed in 1683. The main road of the town is an example of a planned improvement of towns and villages associated with estates in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Since the turn of the 21st century, Blessington’s population has increased substantially, more than doubling from 2,509 at the 2002 census, to 5,010 by the time of the 2011 census.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blessington

St Mary’s Church: is situated in Market Square, in the middle of the town. It was built around 1683, having been financed by Archbishop Boyle. While most of the church was rebuilt in the 19th Century, the tower of this old church remains at the west end. The original church, from 1683, was later altered to the design by Joseph Welland (transepts, north aisle). The church is well known in the bell-ringing community for housing the oldest complete set of bells in Ireland. The six bells date to 1682, and were cast by James Bartlet, who was the master founder of Whitechapel at that time. The money for these was also given by Archbishop Boyle. They are still rung twice a week, for Sunday morning service and on Saturday nights, for ringing practice. The cemetery is located within the grounds of St. Mary’s Church, Blessington and four of the graves are for the crew of an RAF Hampden bomber, whose plane crashed near Blessington in April 1941.

The church is a detached six-bay single-storey Church of Ireland Church, built c.1680 but extended in later years. The church is constructed in rubble granite. The three-stage bell and clock tower is finished in roughcast render and a has a castellated parapet with tall pinnacles. The sheeted front door has decorative strap hinges and is set within a small gabled porch projection to the north side of the tower. Window openings are generally pointed-arched and are frequently arranged in pairs; glazing is leaded. The pitched roof is finished in natural slate and has cast-iron rainwater goods. The church is slightly set back behind a low rubble wall with wrought-iron railings and matching gates. This well preserved early 19th-century church is set at approximately forty five degrees to the road; this dramatic siting adds much interest to the streetscape – and that is as much as I could garner from the internet for you all, seeings we could not really get near to the church.

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • King Niall, 342 AD. (46 x GGF) The beginning and origin of the Neville Surname.

More to come: A rainy last day awaited us as we left our Irish digs to return home, but on the road to the ferry many more adventures awaited…..

“My truth makes perfect sense to me. It’s been a life time of knowledge, of journeying towards the truth, but what a fabulous journey it has been, and continues to be. The ‘road less travelled’ certainly, but a road that does reward the ‘brave’ of heart. A journey that will continue through other dimensions, with truths deposited forever within….
Nothing lasts forever in this realm and the truth is there for all to ‘see’, but there is always a guiding L.I.G.H.T. awaiting as The Grail gets ever closer…
Energies flow, energies dissapate, energies find their way home, find those whom will take them home. Nothing is too late to embrace, never too late to learn, never too late to find your way; faith & knowledge of the truth will always shine a LIGHT to those whom can ‘see’

“The Keeper of Scrolls” 25th November 2021

<moon.willow@ntlworld.com>

 

 

“It was day nine and we were on the road again. We travel many hundreds of miles on these quests, through many counties (even countries). Through changing scenery and variable weather – yet it all delights the senses and i have perfected the knack of taking photos on the move! So leaving the beauty of County Meath behind us; it was an early start for an epic journey and adventure. We travelled through misty mountains and rugged terrain, a landscape that has inspired inunarable poets and writers over the years. But our part in the annuals of the earthly plain was just begining, in respect of this part of our quest. For we were journying toward the magical and mysterious Achill Island, where time and tide really do keep their own council”

On the road through Ireland to Achill Island. An amazing adventure….

Day Nine: 7th July 2021: Achill Island (Co Mayo) (Irish: Acaill, Oileán Acla) is the largest and most magical (for many reasons) of the Irish isles and is situated off the west coast. It has a population of 2,594 covering an area of 57 sq miles). Achill is attached to the mainland by the Michael Davitt Bridge between the villages of Gob an Choire (Achill Sound) and Poll Raithní (Polranny). A bridge was first completed here in 1887. Other centres of population include the villages of Keel, Dooagh, Dumha Éige (Dooega), Dún Ibhir (Dooiver), and Duggort. Early human settlements are believed to have been established on Achill around 3000 BC. The parish of Achill consists of Achill Island, Achillbeg, Inishbiggle and the Corraun Penninsular. Roughly half of the island, including the villages of Achill Sound and Bunacurry are in the Gaeltacht (traditional Irish-speaking region) of Ireland, although the vast majority of the island’s population speaks  English as their daily language. It is believed that at the end of the Neolithic Period (around 4000 BC), Achill had a population of 500-1,000 people. The island would have been mostly forest until the Neolithic people began crop cultivation. Settlements increased during the Iron Age and the dispersal of small promontory around the coast indicate the warlike nature of the times. Megalithic tombs and forts can be seen at Slievemore, along the Atlantic Drive and on Achillbeg. Although the population has increased, Achill Island is still a very wild and rugged island with much of it’s very early history forever lost in time and legend…
St Dympna’s Church and Holy Well: Achill Island. When one enters into this graveyard by the shoreline, one can not help but notice the ‘energies’, for it feels almost ‘otherworldly’, dreamlike, between the worlds and with very good reason too…
The sense of ‘otherwordliness’ is extremely strong here; a feeling of being between the worlds permeates. Could it be the most profound and magical place in the world…?
St Dympna’s 17th century church is built on the south-east coast of Achill Island. An early church was founded here by St Dympna in the 7th century. The placename is derived from ‘Cill Damhnait’ meaning ‘ Church of Davnet (Dympna)’. After crossing the bridge from the Irish mainland onto Achill island, a most magical drive awaits you, as the forgotton history of these lands seeps into one’s veins. The roofless church is situated in Kildownet cemetery, about 250 metres north of Kilavnet Castle. Kildownet old cemetery is located near the southern tip of Achill Island, and about a quarter mile from Grace O’Malley’s 15th century castle. The Old Cemetery extends from the edge of the main road to the shore of the bay and encompasses the partially restored ruins of St Dympna’s Church, originally founded in the 7th century.There is a T-shaped altar at the eastern end of the church and an aumbry can be found in the north-east corner. Scattered around the graveyard are a number of medieval stone crosses, two of which have been cemented into the cemetery gate-posts. St Dympna’s Holy Well sits on the shoreline to the east of the church.In the graveyard are also some of the ‘famine graves’, very poingnant and sad to see, an echo of hard times once lived (and died) through. There is also a memorial to the thirty-two young people who died in the 1894 Clew Bay drowning tragedy, and buried in the cemetery, They had been heading across Clew Bay for the Steamer in Westport that was to take them to Scotland for potato picking, when their boat capsized in a sudden gust of wind. The tragedy is remembered in the song ‘Hills of Mayo’.
There are energies of a different kind here at St Dympna’s <click to enlarge>
Of course this is a Craft site and part of our quest,  so hence why we are here, but the energies here are very special; almost of another dimension, one gets a feeling of being outside of time here, not of the current timeline at all. It felt like looking through a mirror into the outside world, time moved at a slower, different pace in that graveyard. On a personal note, i also had some revelations there; experiences of a very metaphysical nature, peronal to me…
A sense of time and tide and ‘other lands’coming to the surface…. <click to enlarge>
Grail Bloodline Connection:
  • John Fordham 1823-1895 (Collooney, Sligo) Had a particular interest here (4 x GGF)

 

Achill Henge: Keel East: It was with a lot of sadness that i left St Dympna’s behind for i could have stayed and soaked those beautiful energies up all day…. but time and tide wait for no man (or lady), and so it was, into the car again and off on the road to find a modern-day henge. We drove along the shore line, but all the time, going up and up the high cliffs, almost tottering over the edge in some places – but the veiws were magificant! We eventually reached a point where we could drive no further, so walking up the boggy mountainside was the only option. It was hard going and my feet were saturated, frequently dissapearing into the boggy ground. Goodness only knows how the sculptor managed to get his henge up there!

What beautiful views over ancient lands that time and history have somehow lost sight of, maybe some of our ancient legends can provide answers…? <click to enlarge>

 

Achill-henge is a concrete modern structure on Achill Island off the northwest coast of Co Mayo. Achill-henge is over 4 metres (13 ft) high and 100 metres (330 ft) in circumference. It consists of a circle of 30 concrete columns topped by a ring of stone. It’s not a replica of any ancient structure and does not pretend to be. It does not pretend to be anything other than what it is and love it or hate it, it is certainly impresive and is a scuptoral huge feat. Achill-henge was constructed over a weekend in November 2011 by Joe McNamara, a property developer and convicted criminal. A team of workers hauled the large concrete slabs up the hill and sank them in the bog. Mayo County Council requested a court order to force McNamara to remove the edifice as it had been built without planning permission. McNamara claimed that the structure was exempt from planning rules as an “ornamental garden”. Theresa McDonald, Director of the Achill Archaeological Field School, also raised objections on the grounds that the structure may be less than 500 m (1,600 ft) from a Bronze-Age archaeological site. The High Court required McNamara to cease further work on the site, and, as he was found to be in breach of this, he was jailed for three days for contemp of court. The Court referred the planning decision toAn Bord Pleanala, which in July 2012 upheld the Council’s decision. Some local people have expressed admiration for the work as a feat of engineering, and a newspaper poll found a majority of locals in support of keeping the structure. On 8 January 2012, it was featured as part of the Prime Time programme on RTE 1 in Ireland.

Achill Henge is still standing as of August 2021.

A shame the henge wasn’t being very well looked after and is now covered in graffitti, a sad sign of our times. Of course it had been a place of power, of immense energy (pyramid energy) and even had a connection to the metaphysical realms; hence why we were there…

As always on these quests, it is what lies beneath that is important

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achill-henge

Grail Bloodline Connection:

  • John Fordham (1823 – 1895) (Collooney. Sligo) Had a particular interest (4 x GGF)

 

Dooega: Dumha Éige (anglicised Dooega) is an old fishing village in the south west of Achill Island on the west coast of Ireland in County Mayo. It is in the Gaeltacht and is the home of  Colaiste Acla. The scenic area is part of the Achill Atlantic Drive. Dumha Éige/Dooega has a Blue Flag beach, a church, a pub and a guest house. We were there to round off the day and to relax before our long drive to our next digs. Dooega Beach is a small and sheltered beach set in a small coastal inlet at the south west tip of the Minnaun cliffs, located on the south side of Achill Island and is perfect for summer sunbathing due to its south facing location. It is within the Keel Machair/Minaun cliffs Special Area of Conservation. The beach and surrounding area is habitat rich in birds, plants and insects and is a special area for protection and conservation. The beach backs onto low grasslands and the old fishing village of Dooega, one of the last native language speaking villages on Achill; its a lovely bay with a very ‘old fashioned’ feel to it. Going way back in time it was home to one of the very first settlements of mankind on this planet.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dooega

Chilling out before our big drive to our next digs, but sad to leave this special island, forever wondering as to what could be under those waves…

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • John Fordham (1823 – 1895) (Collooney. Sligo) He had a particular interest (4 x GGF)

 

Day Ten: 8th July: Galway Cathedral. Galway: (or it’s rather lovely full name of Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St Nicholas, Galway). (Irish language: Ard-Eaglais Mhaighdean na Deastógála agus Naomh Nioclás), commonly known as Galway Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic cathedral and one of the largest and most impressive buildings in the city of Galway, although in the past not always liked by everyone.

Galway is a very vibrant lively city, full of street art, resturants, pubs and lots of old interesting streets – and of course the magificant cathedral. It is in the West of Ireland in the province of Connacht. It lies on the River Corrib between Lough Corrib and Galway bay, with a population at the 2016 Census of 79,934. Located near an earlier settlement, Galway grew around a fortification built by the King of Connacht in 1124. A municipal charter, received in 1484, allowed for the citizens of the then walled city to form a council and mayoralty. Controlled largely by a group of merchant families, the Tribes of Galway, the city grew into a trading port. Following a period of decline, as of the 21st century, the city is a tourist destination and is known for hosting numerous festivals, celebrations and events.

The city’s name comes from the Irish name Gaillimh, which formed the western boundary of the earliest settlement, Dún Gaillimhe “Fort Gaillimh”. (Mythical and alternative derivations of the name are given in History of Galway. Historically, the name was Anglicised as Galliv or Gallive, closer to the Irish pronunciation. The city’s name in Latin is Galvia. Residents of the city are referred to as Galwegians. The city also bears the nickname “City of the Tribes” (Irish: Cathair na dTreabh) because of the fourteen merchant families called the “tribes of Galway”who led the city in its Hiberno-Norman period.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galway

Construction of the cathedral began in 1958 on the site of the old city prison. It was completed in 1965, making it the last great stone cathedral to be built in Europe. It was dedicated, jointly, to Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and to St Nicholas. A very modern cathedral then, it was opened on 15 August 1965. The architect of the cathedral was John J. Robinson who had previously designed many churches in Dublin and around the country. The architecture of the cathedral draws on many influences. The dome and pillars reflect a Renaissance style. Other features, including the rose windows and mosiacs, echo the broad tradition of Christian art, yet not only christain art, the cathedral is full of deeply symbolic art, that not everyone would know the meanings too and one often has to look twice for hidden in the art are many significant meanings to true history on earth. The cathedral dome, at a height of 44.2 metres (145 ft), is a prominent landmark on the city skyline. The beautiful connemara marble was used in the construction of the cathedral, on the floors.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathedral_of_Our_Lady_Assumed_into_Heaven_and_St_Nicholas,_Galway

Travelling westwards to the wild beauty of the Atlantic ocean.

 

Day Seven: Mon 5th July: St James Church. Charlestown. County Mayo: Sadly we could not visit even though the church was open, not even the graveyard. Out of respect and caring we stayed our distance as a funeral was taking place. I managed to take one photo without being distracting to the mourners. The church was built in 1855, so not that old and apparently has some beautiful stained glass windows inside….

https://www.mayo-ireland.ie/en/towns-villages/charlestown/history/st-james-church.html

County Mayo  (Irish: Contae Mhaigh Eo, meaning “Plain of the yew trees”) is a county in the west of Ireland in the province of Connacht , it is named after the village of Mayo now generally known as Mayo Abbey. The population was 130,507 at the 2016 census. County Mayo is very historically interesting and has fascinating tales to tell – much of which we experienced on this epic quest – see link below:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/County_Mayo

It is bound on the north and west by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by County Galway. The east by County Roscommon and the northeast by County Sligo. It is one of three counties which claims to have the longest coastline in Ireland. There is a distinct geological difference between the west and the east of the county and interestingly Ireland’s largest island, Achill Island, lies off Mayo’s west coast. (much more to come on Achill Ireland)

The beautiful and wild Atlantic Ocean, over on the west coast

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • John Fordham (1823-1895) Colloney, Sligo. He had a perticular interest (4 x GGF)

St Pauls Church:  Colooney. County Sligo: It had turned out to be a bit of a damp old day by the time we arrived here, but never undetered by weather or the fact that the church was closed, we were in for a few surprises. Wet weather always provides more interesting photos though.

St Pauls church gleaming in the rain…. <click to enlarge>

Collooney (Coloony): (Irish Cúil Mhuine, meaning ‘nook of the thicket’) is a town in  County Sligo, Ireland, but also suggested by a Reverend Terrence O’Rorke that Culmaine, as Collooney is designated this way, in such works as the Four Masters, Dudley M’Firlis and O’Flaherty’s “Chrorographical description of West Connaught” and he further suggests “Angle of the Whirlpool” from the confluence of the Uncion and Owenmore as the most likely origin of the name. The settlement was also at times previously termed Cashel, KillinBridge or even Cowlowney.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collooney

Sadly i dont have a great deal of info on the church; it was built in 1837, so not that old really, the architect being Sir John Benson, but as we could not get inside i cant really comment further, but a stroll around the graveyard proved to be very interesting, especially to Karl, whom managed to discover solid proof of his relative buried there. This type of revelation always makes our quests very tangible and provides reiteration and proof as to why we are doing them…

St Pauls Church graveyard. On a rainly day Karl reafirms his ancestor line… <click to enlarge>

Grail Bloodline Connection:

  • Albert John Fordham. (07/10/1928-20/08/1987) Collooney, Sligo Ireland & Tottenham, London. England. (GF)
  • William Henry Fordham. (1888-03/1961) Collooney, Sligo Ireland & Hackney, London. England. (GGF)
  • John Fordham. (1858-03/1961) Collooney, Sligo Ireland (2 x GGF)
  • John Fordham. (1823-1895) Collooney, Sligo Ireland & Ballysadare, Sligo, Ireland (3xGGF)

Church of the Assumption: Rinn Lough, County Sligo. Sadly no historical information to share here, but i do have lots of good photos and video from inside with lots of information there. The church was situated in a very quiet rural area, almost in the middle of nowhere – so we were very surprised to find it was open. It was stunning inside, almost like a tardis, for we were not in the least bit expecting what we saw there, and it was very lovingly looked after too, both inside and out. The white exterior was sparkling in the sunlight!

The outside of the lovingly looked after Church of the Assumption <click to enlarge>

 

Very meaninglful symbols on the windows here and elswhere (explained in the video – i shall transcibe the video here shortly) <click on an image to enlarge>

Grail Bloodline Connection:

  • Albert John Fordham. (07/10/1928-20/08/1987) Collooney, Sligo Ireland & Tottenham, London. England. (GF)
  • William Henry Fordham. (1888-03/1961) Collooney, Sligo Ireland & Hackney, London. England. (GGF)
  • John Fordham. (1858-03/1961) Collooney, Sligo Ireland (2 x GGF)
  • John Fordham. (1823-1895) Collooney, Sligo Ireland & Ballysadare, Sligo, Ireland (3xGGF)

And so at the end of the day a trip westwards to the shores of the Atlantic Coast, for food, retail therapy and simply to soak in the views…

 

Day Eight: Tues 6th July: Bru na Boinne: Glebe. County Meath: It was very damp underfoot, but not raining and i was very much looking forward to this day; a day in the country surrounded by the magnificant burial mounds, seeped in the history of Ireland, yet also and most importantly the history and heritage of Craft and of our quests. Brú na Bóinne; ‘Palace of the Boyne’ or more properly ‘Valley of the Boyne’) or Boyne valley tombs, is an area in County Meath, Ireland located in a bend of the River Boyne. It contains one of the world’s most important prehistoric landscapes dating from the Neolithic period, including the large Megalithic passage graves of Knowth, Newgrange and Dowth as well as some 90 additional monuments. The archaeological culture associated with these sites is called the “Boyne culture”. Since 1993, the site has been a World Heritage Site designated by UNESCO, known since 2013 as “Brú na Bóinne – Archaeological Ensemble of the Bend of the Boyne”. Although one cannot just ‘turn up’ to view the burial mounds here, one needs to go via the official visitor centre, buy a ticket and then pop onto the centre’s bumpy little bus, which takes one around the sites, being designated time slots to view, one will not be at all dissapointed. It is an amazing landscape and we had plenty of time to wander around and view all the mounds. It is a lot of walking but it is so fascinating, one just wants to soak it all up. It was a quiet time of year we were there, and i expect it is very crowded in the summer months.

The many magnicant mounds at Bru na Boinne; it is said that maybe a special ancient object is buried here – and of course we will never know…. <click to view>

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Br%C3%BA_na_B%C3%B3inne

The area has been a centre of human settlement for at least 6,000 years, but the major structures date to around 5,000 years ago, from the Neolithic period. The site is a complex of Neolithic mounds, chamber tombs, standing stones, henges and other prehistoric enclosures, some from as early as 35th century BC – 32nd century BC. The site thus predates the Egyptian pyramids and was built with sophistication and a knowledge of science and astronomy, which is most evident in the passage grave of Newgrange. Read much more here:-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Br%C3%BA_na_B%C3%B3inne

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • King Dian (1382 BC) Tara, Ireland (81 x GGF)

Newgrange Burial Mound: With joy I walked around this giant burial tomb at Newgrange, County Meath, Ireland, It was a damp and wet day and wonderful to be there. Everything felt nearer and nearer, deeper and deeper. everything has a time and a purpose… This is the mound that everyone is familiar with, and we arrived via the bumpy little bus, a short drive to this well know site.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newgrange

Newgrange is a prehistoric monument in County Meath, Ireland, 5 miles west of Drogheda on the north side of the River Boyne. It is an exceptionally grand passage tomb built during the Neolithic period, around 3200 BC, making it older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids. The site consists of a large circular mound with an inner stone passageway and chambers. Human bones and possible grave goods or votive offerings were found in these chambers. The mound has a retaining wall at the front, made mostly of white quartz cobblestones, and it is ringed by engraved kerbstones. Many of the larger stones of Newgrange are covered in megalithic art. The mound is also ringed by a stone circle. Some of the material that makes up the monument came from as far away as the Mournes and Wicklow mountains. The site is thought to have had religious significance. Its entrance is aligned with the rising sun on the winter solstice, when sunlight shines through a ‘roofbox’ located above the passage entrance and floods the inner chamber. Several other passage tombs in Ireland are aligned with solstices and equinoxes.  It is the most famous monument within the Neolithic Brú na Bóinne complex. There are many smaller archaeological sites such as henges, mounds and standing stones situated between Newgrange and the Boyne.

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • King Dian (1382 BC) Tara, Ireland (81 x GGF)

Hill of Tara: County Meath. We had been here before, so please read my previous write up, this time though the site was well and truly shut down; the energies had shifted and that which was, was now no more and that which was hidden shall always remain so. Everything has it’s place within time, and it’s time within the metaphysical mysteries. That which was given can be taken; that which was created will no longer come to exist…

The church and graveyeard at Tara; as far as we were permitted to travel this time… <click to enlarge>

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • From 1724 BC. High Kings of Ireland to the Neville Surname, in particular King Ulfheda 190 AD, 115th (53 x GGF)
“As it is, as i walk the path of my life through my earthly time, yet also see the road clearly ahead and know that the hand that guides me shows me the light and truth of existence.”

“The Keeper of Scrolls” 31st October 2021

<moon.willow@ntlworld.com>

Please note:  as my saved drafts keep dissapearing i will need to publish as i go along – whether finished or not! It can be a bit heartbreaking when hours of work just vanish….

The ‘Dragon’ at Loughcrew Cairns

After our lovely stay at the cottage near Newcastle and the beautiful Mourne Mountains, we once again ‘packed our bags’ and found ourselves ‘on the road’ again and travelling towards a new destination. The previous four days had been amazing with lots of adventures and new knowledge attained. Lots to digest and plenty to think about for sure, in the coming weeks….

Day Four: Sat 3rd July: Roscommon Castle. Roscommon. Traveling around Ireland on the way to different destinations, one is struck by all the colour and beauty of Ireland’s urban art and it’s stunning roadside sculptures, often reflecting the area in which they are situated. Here below are two pieces of art shot on the way to Roscommon, but one has to be quick to capture them!

  

Roscommon (Irish: Ros Comáin, meaning ‘Saint Coman’s wood’) is the county town and the largest town in County Roscommon, roughly in the centre of Ireland. The name Roscommon is derived from Coman mac Faelchon who built a monastery there in the 5th century. The woods near the monastery became known as Ros Comáin (St. Coman’s Wood). This was later anglicised to Roscommon. Its population at the 2016 census was 5,876. Roscommon was the homeland of the Connachta and of such surnames such as Ó Conchobhair, Mac Diarmada, Ó Ceallaigh, Ó Birn, Mac Donnchadha and Brennan (see the link for full details) The town is the location of a notable archaeological find in 1945 when a lunula, a gold necklace, and two discs were discovered. Both items are dated to the period 2300 and 1800 BC.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roscommon

Roscommon Castle is located on a hillside just outside the town, in a very pretty park complete with lake, for folks to enjoy. The day we were there, a very talented young lady was practising her ‘circus skills’ beside the lake. Now in ruins, the castle is quadrangular in shape, it had four corner D-shaped towers, three storeys high, and twin towers at its entrance gateway, one of which still retains its immensely sturdy vaulted roof. The entire castle was enclosed by a lofty curtain wall. It was built in 1269 by Robert de Ufford, Justiciar of Ireland, on lands he had seized from the Augustinian Priory. The castle has had a most interesting and chequered history. It was besieged by Connacht King Aodh Ó Conchobhair in 1272. Eight years later it was again in the hands of an English garrison, and fully repaired. By 1340 the O’Connor’s regained possession of it, and, except for a few brief intermissions, they held it for two centuries until 1569, when Sir Henry Sidney, Lord Deputy, seized it. It was granted to Sir Nicholas Malbie, Elizabethan Governor of Connaught in 1578. Two years later the interior was remodelled and large mullioned windows were inserted in the towers and curtain walls. Again, in 1641 the  Parliamentarian faction gained it until Confederate Catholics, under Preston captured it in 1645. It remained in Irish hands until 1652 when it was partially blown up by Cromwellian ‘Ironsides’ under Commissary Reynolds, who had all the fortifications dismantled. It was finally burned down in 1690, and, from the closing years of the 17th-century, it gradually fell into decay. A symmetrical moat some distance from the curtain walls surrounded the entire castle and safeguarded it.

The castle is now a national monument; take a look at the photos here <click on each photo to enlarge>

Grail Bloodline Connection:

  • John Fordham 1823-1895 Collooney, Sligo) Had a particular interest in the castle here. (4 x GGF)

War Memorial: Not a part of our quest as such, but very much a big part of the history of the area we were travelling through. We came across this memorial to ‘the troubles‘ as we were driving along a quiet, windswept and rainy road not far from Roscommon, so included it for its historical context with this whole area of Ireland…

Day Five: Sun 4th July: Kells Round Tower. Kells: Kells is a town in  County Meath, Ireland, 10 miles from Navan and 40 miles from Dublin. It is best known as the site of Kells Abbey, from which the Book of Kells takes its name. The settlement was originally known by the Irish name Ceannanas or Ceannanus, and it is suggested that the name ‘Kells’ developed from this. In 1929, Ceannanus Mór was made the town’s official name in both Irish and English. Following the creation of the Irish Free State, a number of towns were renamed likewise. Ceanannas has been the official Irish-language form of the place name since 1969. In 1993, Kells was re-adopted as the town’s official name in English.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kells,_County_Meath

Kells was founded as a monastic settlement by Saint Columba c. 550 on land that had been gifted to him by the King of Tara – Diarmait mac Cerbaill. Columba was exiled after the Battle of Cul Dreimhne (AD 561). The Abbey of Kells was refounded in the early 9th century by monks from Iona. The high crosses were erected in the 9th/10th century and the round tower in the 10th century. Like most round towers, it has lost its cap, possibly due to lightning strikes. The tower stands 85 ft high. The doorway originally stood about 12 ft above ground level and was reached by wooden steps or a ladder. Most round towers have four windows on the top level, one for each cardinal direction, but Kells has five, supposedly one facing each road into the town and each town gate.

There are five high crosses:

  • Cross of St Patrick and St Columba (South Cross): the earliest cross, erected in the 9th century. Carved scenes include Adam and Eve, and Cain and Abel.
  • West Cross (Ruined Cross): Adam and Eve, entry into the promised land, Baptism of Jesus. Supposedly the cross was damaged by soldiers of Oliver Cromwell.
  • East Cross (Unfinished Cross): incomplete; it gives an insight into how crosses were carved, with the details being added on site.
  • Market Cross: 11.0 ft: as well as religious scenes, there is depicted a deer hunt, birds, animals and centaurs.
  • North Cross: only the base remains.

Kells Tower or St Columba Tower and the high crosses; I am unsure if i have all of the actual ‘high crosses’ captured here but they are all from the burial ground and monastic site around the tower; from whence the Book of Kells takes it’s name. Sadly the Book of Kells (also known as the Book of Columba) is no longer there and currently resides in Dublin. The monks there were said to have had a metaphysical connection to G-d…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kells_Round_Tower

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  •  King Diarmait Mac Carbaill 523-565 AD ‘Last King to Tara’ (42 years) (43 x GGF)

St Columbus Church: Kells. Sadly we could not gain access, as the church was well and truly locked, strange for such an important site, but maybe it was because of covid, so we had a stroll around outside and took plenty of good photos. St Columba’s Church and Grounds mark the original site of the Monastary of Kells. St. Columba’s Church stands on one of the most important Church sites in Co. Meath. According to the ‘Book of Lismore’, King Diarmait or Dermot, High King of Ireland granted to Columba the Dun or Fort of Kells to establish a Religious Community. The ‘Annals of Ulster’ for the year 804CE show that the Columban community on the island of Iona transferred to Kells which then became the principal Irish Columban monastery. In 918, the monastery was plundered and the Church destroyed. In 1117, the Abbot and Community were killed in a raid by Aedh Ua Ruairc.

St Columba’s stands on the site of an earlier Mediaeval church, which lay in partial ruins and was restored in 1578. The sole remnant of the   church is the Bell Tower. The mediaeval church continued to be used, in whole or part, until the present church was built in 1778, altered in 1811 and altered again in 1858. The exterior is plain but not so the interior, which is rich Victorian Gothic. The stained glass is particularly noteworthy. In the old baptistry stands a facsimile of the Book of Kells. Following the Synod of Kells in 1152, Kells was granted Diocesan status and the old Church was elevated to the status of a Cathedral for the Diocese. In the early 13th. century the Diocese of Kells was absorbed into the newly created Diocese of Meath. The Church was altered in 1811, and again, in 1858, when the interior was re-ordered. In more recent times the Church roof was restored in 1965 and the interior re-decorated.

https://www.meath.ie/discover/heritage/heritage-sites/st-columbas-church-kells

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • King Diarmait Mac Carbaill 523-565 AD ‘Last King to Tara’ (42 years) (43 x GGF)

Loughcrew Cairns: County Meath: Loughcrew or Lough Crew (Irish: Loch Craobh, meaning ‘lake of the tree’) is an area of historical importance near Oldcastle, County Meath, It is home to a group of ancient tombs from the 4th millennium, some decorated with rare megalithic art, which sit on top of a range of hills. The hills and tombs are together known as Slieve na Calliagh, (Sliabh na Caillí) and are the highest point in Meath. It is one of the four main passage tomb cemeteries in Ireland and is a protected National Monument and home to the Loughcrew Estate, from which it is named.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loughcrew

https://www.discoverboynevalley.ie/boyne-valley-drive/heritage-sites/loughcrew-cairns

 

The stunningly beautiful area of the cairns – what a climb but well worth it! <click to enlarge>

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • King Irial Faidh (d.1671) 89 x GGF

The churches and sites visited on our mighty quests may at first appear to be random and often very out of the way, but of course by now we all know, if following the quests, that it is not the actual buldings we are visiting (important though they are for the clues they show us) but it is the reason why they were built where they were built in the very first place and as mentioned in that very first quest video we made, all those years ago now as ‘The Priory.’

‘as below, so above…’

 

“The Keeper of Scrolls” 27th October 2021

<moon.willow@ntlworld.com>

 

 

 

 

“Grounding and settling down in Ireland was a much quicker process than last time we were there; tuning into the energies, we quickly found our feet and indeed became energised by it all. With lovely realxing views from our accomadation, we swiftly settled in, full of anticipation into quest mode…”

Thursday 1st July: St Coleman’s Church: Newcastle: St Colemans Church is situated in a quiet area of Newcastle, in lovely spacious grounds with views all around. Newcastle is a small yet beautifully vibrant coastal resort in County Down, with a population of 7,672 at the 2011 Census. It lies within the Mourne Mountains district and is extremely popular. The name of the town is thought to derive from the castle built by Felix Magennis of the Magennis clan in 1588, which stood at the mouth of the Shimna River. This castle was demolished in 1830. The Mourne Mountains are the setting for many local myths and legends. There are stories of ‘The Blue Lady’, a woman abandoned by her husband whose ghost still haunts the mountains, and more recently the idea of a wild cat living in the Mournes. Many of the stories although having true origins are only folklore and give many of the towns attractions their names, such as Maggie’s Leap being named after a local girl called Maggie, who leapt over the impressive chasm to her death while fleeing soldiers with a basket of eggs. You can read much more via the link below:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newcastle,_County_Down

A peaceful site but little known about the church….

Sadly though, this little church was closed to us on this day: it was erected and opened in 1927, but the site would have been established long before that. There are some interesting artworks and pulpit to see inside, if we had been able to actually get inside. The parish graveyard adjoins St Colman’s. The churchyard is about 1 mile from the Church of Ireland Church, to which it belongs. It is therefore, technically a church cemetery as it is detached from the church. There are two Commonwealth burials of the 1914-1918 war here. One of which, in the South-West part, is the grave of an unidentified Naval rating whose body was sadly washed ashore in May,1918.

Such a peaceful gravyard with some splendid memorials within. Many of the relevant churches upon this quest are shut do to covid and so i cannot show you any of the amazing artifacts and symbols that may be inside – instead some peaceful strolls around the grounds to soak up the enegies there… <click to enlarge>

It is written that St. Colman’s mother Queen Rhinagh, when in an advanced state of pregnancy in late 559 A.D., became the object of jealous hatred of her husband the King. The King had heard that according to a prophecy of authority his future son (St. Colman) was destined to surpass in greatness all the others of his illustrious lineage. Fearing the worst for her child still in her womb and for herself, Rhinagh was obliged to flee her husband’s company. She was nevertheless caught by the King’s men and cast with a heavy stone tied around her neck into the deepest portion of the Kiltartin river. Miraculously, Our Blessed Lord intervened, and in an instant, the heavy stone floated like a cork to the surface, bringing Rhinagh and her future offspring (St. Colman) safely to the river’s bank.

You can read more about St Coleman and his miraculour birth and life here:

http://www.stcolman.com/life_baptism.html

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • John Fordham 1883 Collooney, Sligo (1858 – 1932)  Karl’s 3 x GGF

Inch Abbey: Downpatrick: (from Irish Dún Pádraig,) meaning ‘Patrick’s stronghold’ is a small town about 21 miles south of Belfast in County Down, Northern Ireland. It has been an important site since ancient times and it’s cathedral is said to be the burial place of Saint Patrick. Downpatrick had a population of 10,822 according to the 2011 Census. It is known for it’s historical connection to St. Patrick; the town being named after him. It is believed during the 5th century he had lived in Downpatrick and is currently buried in Down Catherdral. An early Bronze Age site was excavated in Downpatrick, revealing two round houses and some archaeological evidence indicates a Neolithic settlement at the Cathedral Hill site.

Lots more to read here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Downpatrick

Inch Abbey, located on the north bank of the Quoile River, was founded by John de Courcy in atonement for his destruction of Erenagah Abbey. The buildings are mainly from the 12th and 13th centuries. The first monastery established on the northern banks of the river Quoile in 800 AD was known as Inis Cumhscraigh, but clearly the area was in use way before that, in order (from a Craft connection) for King Niall (see below) to have an interest in the area. Nothing remains of the early monastery, but traces of the Early Christian earthworks enclosure can be seen on aerial photographs. The setting is really beautiful, and you can see why the Anglo-Norman knight John de Courcy established the Cistercian abbey here in c.1180. It is believed the Abbey was founded as an act of repentance for his destruction of the Abbey at Erinagh three years earlier.

Layout of how Inch Abbey would have looked <click to enlarge>

The abbey was colonised with monks from Furness Abbey in England. It was built to a typical Cistercian layout, a large cruciform church with a low tower at the crossing of the north and south transept. The cloister garth is situated to the south of the church. Along the east of the cloister are the ruins of a vestry, chapter house, parlour and day room. To the south is the refectory and kitchen. There was a well and a bakehouse situated to the southwest of the cloister. The abbey, which retained a strong English influence refusing to accept Irish monks into the community, was remodelled in the 15th century, before being suppressed in 1541. It’s name is derived from the Irish word inis, meaning ‘island’, referring to the fact that the monastery was originally surrounded by the River Quoile. Interstingly another ‘Game of Thrones’ location.

Inch Abbey where time reveals the hidden and ancient energies reveal. Inch Abbey still has many secrets yet to be revealed, many buried underground, within time. Many secrets, of a kind not visible, only sensed, waiting hidden in time, maybe never revealed….  Ireland, whatever the weather, is a beautiful country full of surprises and interesting enenergies. <click to enlarge>

At the time of King Niall (Karl’s 46th GGF) there was also a lot of Danish influence in the area, which will be a story for another day, but the Vikings did plunder the settlement in 1149 AD and carried out a great deal of destruction, that later had to be rebuilt, so the abbey has always been under attack over the years. What is interesting is that it was almost ‘lost in time’, because of how the valley is situated and how the land lies, a lot of the valley area was covered up totally, and it was only through exavations, that what was hidden was revealed again and the abbey discovered underground. This does prove that there is so much history hidden underground, and still to this very day much lies hidden, Sometimes the history is only revealed when new bulidings or carparks etc are excavated, so much still hidden within the earth. But in a way this is similar to history and knowledge being buried within the minds of folks, especially Craft or spiritual folks; the knowledge is buried deep within but unlike the buildings, time will forever hide it, and the passing of a person, unlike the simple passing of time will never reveal the knowledge gained – unless of couse we of Craft, of these modern times can pass it on to true and willing students – the ball is in your court guys – do you or do you not wish to learn the ways and knowledge of Craft or shall it be forever hidden within time itself?

More words and pictures here: http://www.megalithicireland.com/Inch%20Abbey,%20Downpatrick.html

 Grail Bloodline Connections

  • King Niall 342 AD.  Karl’s 46 x GGF but with a big connection here to the Neville surname.

Ballee Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church. Downpatrick: This T-shaped meetinghouse has been at Ballee since 1721, originally a thatched building but at some point, later in the eighteenth century, a new roof was built from Memel pine. Later still the old box pews were removed and used to fit out new rooms in the church. But the walls are the same walls that have stood as silent witness for three hundred years. There’s no minister here and the church is amalgameted with a nearby church. We were very lucky to meet and chat to Lorna, who was very kind and made a special effort to get the key to let us in. So very lucky to get inside to take some good photos but sadly no video for we were escorted around on this occasion, not underestimating the kindness shown though.

Ballee Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church. Downpatrick <please click on the image to view>

There are some lovely artworks and plaques on the walls, a wonderful collection of vintage religious books; any antique book lover would be in a personal heaven here, as indeed i was after just a short glimpse at the archives here. Elaborate timbers/roof beams, imported from the far eastern end of the Baltic Sea, from trees 100’s of years old, from the lands that were once East Prussia, adorned the ceiling overhead. Trade links with the Baltic were already established at the time by the Presbyterian merchants in Belfast. The church inside is very well looked after, with lots of natural wood used and the flaming emblem of the non-subscribing church on the pulpit cloth and plaques are indeed very striking. I noticed the interesting barrel-shaped mausolea, mostly dating from the late eighteenth or early nineteenth centuries in the graveyard here and other graveyards in the area too. Downpatrick has a large number of what have been describes as being of ‘the barrel-vaulted variety, rather like a Nissen-hut ’.

Karl discovered some of his own family line here in the cemetry; the ‘Hill’ surname <click to enlarge>

Again a connection here to King Niall 342 AD; the name of which would later become the Neville surname, in time becoming the House of Neville, traced into Scotland, County Durham, Raby and Raby Castle itself (see previous quests), showing how fascinating it is, the migration and movement of names. Lovely energies, we saw what we needed to see.

https://velvethummingbee.com/category/ballee-non-subscribing-presbyterian-church/

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • King Niall 342 AD.  Karl’s 46 x GGF but with a big connection here to the Neville surname.
Castle Ward, Temple Lake and Audleys Castle, Downpatrick; home to the set of Winterfell, The Battle of Oxcross at Audleys Field from the ‘Game of Thrones’. The quest connection is to the High King of Ireland, King Connal and the Neville surname and to ‘those that are hidden in time’ A lovely day to be in Ireland amongst such magnificant scenery and compelling mysteries.

Castle Ward National Trust: Strangford Downpatrick: ‘The very popular ‘Game of Thrones’ is based in this area, where lots of filming has taken place, and this is certainly what many folks tune into, but these two questers here have never seen it. It certainly is a stunning area, all the countryside around is magnificant. The unique 18th-century mansion, famed for its mixture of architectural styles with its gothic and classical style collide at Castle Ward, rests on rolling hillsides, looking out over the tranquil waters of Strangford Lough. One can walk or cycle along the Lough trail or through the sheltered woodlands and spot butterflies, rabbits, ducks, and swans. One can step into a fantasy world of castles and dragons, when exploring the Georgian farmyard, the lough shore, and film locations for Game of Thrones. The restored Victorian  sunken gardens are a gardeners delight. There is a lot of walking, but even though very beautiful, not really suitable unless one is very fit.

The whole area is connected to the High King of Ireland, King Conaill, 409 AD, in the Ulster area, which folks may know from the ‘red hand’ of the flag, seen in many places and buildings in Ireland.  The Neville house or line has always had a big connection/obsession with the colours of Red, White and Black which featured very prominently in the early degrees of Craft, so there still may be some connections there, yet to be discovered.

The sunken gardens at Castle Ward and the view looking over towards ‘Winterfell’

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_Ward

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • High King of Ireland, King Conaill (409 AD, Ulster) The Neville surname lineage. Karl’s 45 x GGF

Temple Water: Downpatrick: This very picturesque beauty spot is part of the Castle Ward estate and of course a part of our quest too. On foot a lot of walking needed to be carried out to get there but we did get some wonderful views overlooking this artificial, yet stunning lake. There are various trails and walks that take one around the lake, upon the shores. The whole arera is rather focussed on family activities these days.

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • ‘Those that are hidden in time’….. clues hidden under this manmade lake maybe…..

Audley’s Castle: Portloughan Downpatrick: Again another ‘Game of Thrones’ location and one can certainly see why, but long before that of course and much more important is it’s connection to our quests. One can park quite near, just a short walk up a gentle slope with wonderful views or one can, if up to it, drive up the very ‘off the beaten track’ way. It is a spendid building, what remains of it, with wonderful views overlooking the Temple Lake and it has a small courtyard area alonside it, where one can sit on the wall and admire the view. As a castle in it’s heyday it would have commaded an excellent position. It is 15th-century, located 1 mile north-east of Strangford, County Down on a rocky height overlooking Strangford Lough. It is a three-storey tower house, named after its 16th century owner, John Audley, of an Anglo-Norman family who held land in the area in the 13th century. There are thousands of small stone towers similar to Audley’s Castle in the Irish countryside, made for the lesser lords and gentry. Most were built in the late Middle Ages (roughly 1350–1550). Audley’s was built towards the end of this period. It was sold, with the surrounding estate, to the Ward family in 1646 and used in 1738 as an eye-catching focus of the long vista along Castle Ward’s artificial lake, Temple Water. The site has a number of paths to allow you to get to the Castle.

But also a connection here to King King Conaill, 409 AD, Ulster and of the Neville lineage.

Audley Castle and Temple Lake <click to enlarge>

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audley%27s_Castle

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • High King of Ireland, King Conaill (409 AD, Ulster) The Neville surname lineage. Karl’s 45 x GGF

Friday 2nd July: St Mary’s Church, Lordship: Riverstown: So the first church of the day and to our delight we were able to get inside. However there is not a lot on the internet about the area or the church. The Parish of Riverstown incorporating Sooey and Gleann is located just off the N4, 15 minutes outside Sligo town. Riverstown, historically called Ballyederdaowen (Irish: Baile idir dhá Abhainn, meaning ‘town between two rivers’), is a village in County Sligo, known for its musical traditions.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riverstown

St Mary’s Church, Lordship: Riverstown; some noce symbolic items and windows here…

St Mary’s Church, Lordship was immaculately kept, both inside and out and there were some beautiful windows and artworks to see inside. Sadly there was not a lot on the interent about it; just a simple word or two such as the fact that the OS 1835 survey shows a cruciform ‘R.C. Chapel’ here and present nameboard states ‘Erected 1834’. Remodelled or rebuilt 1858-74 by architect John Murray. This Catholic parish church in the Cooley Peninsula dates from 1834. It stands alongside the R173.

Some beautiful and symbolic artworks and windows <click to view>

As always on these quests, whether we gain entry or not to a particular church or site we are able to mark off the ‘trail’ of the ‘lines’ as they travelled around, back through time to the days (in this case) of the 1700’s and 1800’s.

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • John Fordham 1883. Collooney, Sligo (1858-1932) Karl’s 3 X GGF

Church of the Immaculate Conception: Lisaturrin: A stunning looking church, in the parish of Kingscourt, in a very elevated position with amazing views all around and happily again we were able to gain access. This time we managed to squeeze in before the start of a funeral, which at the time we was not aware was imminent. An interesting church with a connection to John Fordham 1883, we do know that the Fordhams were originally out of Colooney, south/east of Sligo and prior to that, they were in France (the Desposyni line) and because of the migrational patterns the Fordhams spent time in this area of Cavan County. The whole area is quite mountainous and one can easily get ‘off the beaten track’ and explore wherever the tracks may lead to, but we do have to stick to the main purpose that is at the heart of our quests.

An impressive Victorian Gothic-Revival church, embellished with fine stonework and stained glass, designed by Cavan architect William Hague (1836-1899), and built to replace an earlier chapel. The plan and elevation are reflective of a literal interpretation of medieval church plan and elevations. The colourful note added by the alternating slate and stone to the exterior are aesthetically pleasing, while the variety of stonework finishes to both interior and exterior exemplify local craftsmanship of the period. The retention of original detailing such as floor tiling and pews is also important. The building is of national artistic significance for its stained glass windows by the Dublin-born painter and stained glass artist Evie Hone (1894-1955), commissioned 1946, as well as windows from the studio of Harry Clarke, added c.1960. There are also some stuning Celtic crosses in the gravyard (see above) and you can read more about the stunning windows and interior from the link below.

A beautiful interior with many symbolic artworks and windows <click on image for close ups>

https://www.buildingsofireland.ie/buildings-search/building/40310009/church-of-the-immaculate-conception-hall-street-dunaree-kingscourt-cavan

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • John Fordham 1883. Collooney, Sligo (1858-1932) Karl’s 3 X GGF

Virginia Church: Virginia: Quite a large church in big grounds right in the heart of Virginia on a busy road junction. Again we could not get in but had a good look around before having a lovely lunch (outside because of covid) in a bistro across the road. Virginia (Irish: Achadh an Iúir, meaning ‘field of the yew) is a town in County Cavan, Ireland. Founded in the 17th century at  as a plantation town, it now holds both local industry and commuter housing. Founded at Aghanure it was named Virginia after Queen Elizabeth 1 of England, the “Virgin Queen.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia,_County_Cavan

Virginia Church, some lovely old Celtic crosses <click to enlarge>

The church serves as a symbolic focal point in this former plantation town, the church enjoys a monumental setting which is enhanced by its ample grounds and mature trees. The plan is simple but effective, placing the focus on the church tower and spire which can be seen from a distance. The building is a good example of a Board of First Fruits church with early nineteenth century ‘gothic’ style details such as the cusp mouldings in the windows and crenellated parapet buttresses serving more decorative than structural functions. Major alterations were made to the church following a storm on Christmas night in 1818 when the steeple fell and destroyed the roof, and after a fire which caused major damage in 1830. There are some attractive old Celtic crosses in the graveyard.

St Mary’s Church of Ireland: Dillonsland: It was a very fleeting visit to this church as we could not even get into the grounds for a wander around – so a few quick snaps from the roadside had to suffice! The modern Navan Parish is made up of five mediaeval parishes: Athlumney, Cannistown, Donaghmore, Dunmoe and Navan. Although cemeteries still survive in these locations, the churches were suppressed in the Penal Laws era, with many surviving simply as derelict buildings. St. Mary’s Church is named after the mediaeval Augustinian abbey which was located on the outskirts of the Parish called St. Mary’s. St. Mary’s Abbey and its associated granges were suppressed on the orders of King Henry VIII, the English monarch.

Just a few quick snaps from behind the railings!

Detached church, built c.1815, with three-bay side elevation to nave, having single-bay chancel attached to east. Earlier three-stage pinnacled tower, built 1762, attached to west. Set behind railings in graveyard. Double-pitched and hipped roofs, natural slates, dentil eaves course, cast iron gutters. Uncoursed rubble limestone walls with ashlar trims signal and diagonal pinnacled buttresses at corners and west wall – some pinnacles removed. Perpendicular-style openings with stone frames and timber tracery, dark coloured glass, 1870’s east window. Surrounded by graveyard with graves dating from mid 18th century, ashlar gate piers and cast iron railings and gates c.1870.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Mary%27s_Church%2C_Navan

https://www.buildingsofireland.ie/buildings-search/building/14009410/st-marys-church-of-ireland-church-church-hill-townparks-navan-county-meath

http://www.navanhistory.ie/index.php?page=st-mary-s-church-of-ireland

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • John Fordham 1883. Collooney, Sligo (1858-1932) Karl’s 3 X GGF

See our video on the first few days of our adventure!

Karls Comments on the First Few Days

The Purpose of the Quests from Karl: “The purpose of what the quests are really about, and what we do on these quests is to ‘sign off’ or ‘tie off’ some of the churches that we know from the past, which will of course mean different things to different people. What we are trying to do is to establish the past in order to try and understand the future, and of course we have the Grail in that line there, along the way. As i have said so many times before – what is the Grail? It is a mystery and perhaps it will always remain a mystery, perhaps it is meant to, but what’s interesting is, there are different messages that our forefathers, our ancestors left for us in different places, and these churches often have the signs, and symbols and codes that will allow us to see and know which direction the path is following in. Will we ever find the Grail – who knows, perhaps the Grail has been with us all the time, who knows that?  At the end of the day though the Grail means something, and it’s a pathway to follow”

 

Ireland is a beautiful place and we hope it stays that way for many years to come……

‘The Keeper of Scrolls’ August 2021

<moon.willow@ntlworld..com>

 

“After about 18 months of trying to get to Ireland on this mighty long awaited quest because of covid, we were full of happiness and anticipation to have finally made it. The journey to the Liverpool ferry was of course part of the quest itself, visiting two beautiful churches along the way and for those who have been following our quests you will have picked up maybe, the reason why we visit the sites we do. Altogether it turned out to be at least a 2000 mile round trip where we travelled from coast to caost of both the north an south of Ireland; a truly amazing adventure!”

Day One: Tuesday 29th July 2021: Saint Savours Church: Aston-by-Stone, Stone. Set in a gorgeous part of the English countryside, in a ‘middle of nowhere’ peaceful setting, this church really did look a picture postcard, with beautifully maintained gardens and flowers everywhere. An interesting little church but sadly closed. Yet when one looked closely a few surprises with a little ‘secret’ around the back….

Aston-by-Stone: Staffordshire: The pretty silhouette of the spire of St Saviour’s Church is what folks see at first, yet there is also the Catholic Church of St Michael in the grounds of Aston Hall, now run by a small group of nuns who care for sick and aging clergy. The relics of St Chad were rediscovered in the chapel at Aston Hall in 1838, where they had been hidden during the Reformation. Legend has it that a cross on the Hall’s boundary wall marks the spot where a monk was killed by lightning. There is a large pond and old osier bed, reflecting the connection to the potteries, that require baskets for transporting their products. A stream runs down to the pool at Aston Farm, which at one time provided the power for a waterwheel. This wheel still exists and was used to grind corn, and earlier this century to power a milking machine.

The name Aston is probably derived from the Anglo-Saxon for ‘Ashtown’ and was recorded in the Domesday book as Estone. It is an ancient crossing point, and a ford or bridge has existed there since the 15th century, and pre-dates the bridge in Stone. The main road from Stafford to Stone crossed the Trent in Aston until the Stafford-Stone turnpike was opened in 1761. The former is now a quiet lane, with a narrow humped-backed canal bridge on a bend and the banks are rich in wildflowers. There is an old wharf at Mill Farm, the site of a water-powered flint mill. Ground flints were also required by the Potteries.

St Savours Church: Situated in Church Lane, Aston, the church serves the area of Aston, and Little Stoke. 1846, the architect was James Trubsham, the steeple was added in 1870 by J R Botham. It is Gothic style and an A grade 2 listed building, with a stone with slate roof, nave, chancel, and north-west tower with broach steeple. It has a good east window by C A Gibbs and a WW2 memorial plaque. The parish church was built in the Early English style during the 1840s by local landowners, the Parker-Jervis family. As it was closed due to covid (i guess) there was no chance of getting inside to take any photos. It is recorded that the church has records from about 1870 circa, however there are older records going back to 625 AD, from the very foundation of the church, which clearly there had to be, as Karl’s 49 x Great Grandfather was there in his own time up until 494 AD.

Upon the church building are carvings of geometric pyramid shapes (meaningful in Craft) and a Lord and Lady take guard over the entrance, while round the back of the church a secret path leads to a treasured building with an angel keeping a silent watch… <click to enlarge>

Symbols in stone, an angel guards a secret path to a building unspoken of, and the Lord and Lady stay silent…..

After doing some research on the internet it seems that the mysterious building is the Parker Jervis Mausoleum, which sadly gives the appearance of being very unattended, but maybe it is meant to look that way? It is a Grade 2 listed building built in 1864 by John Wood for the Parker Jervis family of Aston Hall, made from Hollington sandstone ashlar. It is rectangular on the plan with walls having a pronounced batter with roll moulded cornice in the Doric style. <interestingly a few masonic references here> A blocking course conceals a flat roof of stone,with a straight head doorway on the short side, with plain lintel and a plank door with wrought-iron hinges. The mausoleum is sunk into the ground of the churchyard with roughly hewn sandstone retaining walls. It was erected at the expense of the Honourable Edward Swinfen Parker Jervis of Little Aston Hall and his son Edward John Parker Jervis of Aston House, Aston by Stone, and consecrated on 9th April 1864. I do not know whom Parker Jervis was, apart from being a prominent person in his day, or if anyone (or anything for that matter) is still lain inside the mausoleum, but it is a fascinating and secretive building hidden away as it is, and one cannot but wonder why? Maybe more rresearch for another day…..

http://www.mmtrust.org.uk/mausolea/view/491/Parker_Jervis_Mausoleum

Grail Bloodline Connections:

  • Nascien Desposyni, the name of which later became the Fordham line/surname. He visited the area in 466AD (lived 450-494 Sommant, France) and is Karl’s 49 x GGF.

Day One: Tuesday 29th July 2021: Our Lady & Saint Nicholas Church: Liverpool. The Anglican Parish Church of Liverpool is on a site said to have been a place of worship since at least the 1250s. The church is situated close to the River Mersey near the Pier Head and controls a prominent view. One would have thought it to be easy to locate, right on the river front as such, but what with all the road-works in the area and placement of the windows and other things within the car, we ended up driving around for a bit before finally seeing it! Of course Liverpool is a very vibrant and busy city with lots of regeneration going on, especially in the waterfront area where we were.

A sailors church overlooks the quayside, the old resides amongst the new, symbols set in stone and wood, past memories cherished in time….

The Chapel of St Nicholas (Patron Saint of Sailors) was built on the site of St May del Quay, which in 1355 was determined to be too small for the growing borough of Liverpool. It is recorded as a designated Grade II listed building and was constructed between 1811 – 1852 from designs by architect’s Edward C Butler and Thomas Harrison. It is an active parish church in the diocese of Liverpool, ye sadly although folks were around there, we were still not allowed in to do our research – so maybe not that active then in respect of visitors traveling from afar?

The church was once the tallest building in Liverpool at 53 metres from 1813–1868 when surpassed by the Welsh Presbyterian Church in Toxteth. The church stands in the heart of Liverpool Business District and is one the city’s oldest and most historic churches. There was a nice peaceful energy there and some very symbolic pieces in the gardens and upon the church exterior walls.