Archive for November, 2021


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

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