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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Irish ruins


In Ireland/Patricia Leslie

Scattered throughout Ireland are many remnants like these which date from the 12th and 13th centuries following the Norman invasion of Ireland around 1168.
In Ireland/Patricia Leslie
The ruins are common along country roads where one cannot drive more than a few miles without spotting ancient castles and towers, many which stand close to roadways.

In Ireland/Patricia Leslie
Like huge grave markers spread over vast cemeteries, the gray buildings pay tribute to past occupants and, like cemeteries, they are generally ignored by residents who lack the esteem Americans hold for them, structures this old, non-existent in the U.S. In Ireland most of the remains are unprotected and shrouded by years of nature's growth.
In Ireland/Patricia Leslie
A search of several websites reveals their anonymity.
In Ireland/Patricia Leslie
Noted Irish history scholar Richard Roche writes in his The Norman Invasion of Ireland:
What eventually occurred in Ireland in the late 12th and early 13th century was a change from acquiring lordship over men to colonising land. The Cambro-Norman invasion resulted in the founding of walled borough towns, numerous castles and churches, the importing of tenants and the increase in agriculture and commerce, among many permanent changes brought by the Norman invasion and occupation of Ireland.

In Ireland/Patricia Leslie
The church was busy, too:  Between 1172 and 1348, hundreds of new parishes were constructed.

In Ireland/Patricia Leslie

In Ireland/Patricia Leslie

In Ireland/Patricia Leslie

Wikipedia describes several famous structures and places:

Rock of Cashel: Legend associates the Rock of Cashel with St. Patrick, but the name comes from Caiseal, meaning "stone fort." Excavations have revealed some evidence of burials and church buildings from the 9th or 10th century, but it was in the early 12th century that the Rock began to be developed into a major Christian center.

The Rock of Cashel/Patricia Leslie
In 1101, Muirchertach O Briain, king of Munster, gave the Rock of Cashel to the church, and shortly thereafter, a round tower, which still stands, was erected. In 1111 Cashel became the seat of an archbishop. The present cathedral was erected in the 13th century.

In 1647, during the Irish Confederate Wars, Cashel was sacked by English Parliamentarian troops under Murrough O'Brien, 1st Earl of Inchiquin.  His men looted or destroyed many important religious artifacts, and massacred Irish Confederates and the Roman Catholic clergy.

The oldest and tallest of the buildings is the round tower which dates from c.1100
Other accounts at Wikipedia describe local mythology: The Rock of Cashel originated in the Devil's Bit, a mountain 20 miles north of Cashel when St. Patrick banished Satan from a cave, resulting in the Rock's landing in Cashel which is said to be the site in the fifth century of the conversion of the King of Munster by St. Patrick.

In Ireland/Patricia Leslie
The Rock of Cashel was the traditional seat of the kings of Munster for several hundred years before the Norman invasion, and claims to have one of Europe's finest collections of Celtic art and medieval architecture. Little remains of early structures. 

The Monastery of Skellig Michael was a Christian monastery founded on an island in the Atlantic Ocean between the sixth and eighth centuries and continuously occupied until its abandonment in the late 12th century.  It's located about seven miles from the Ring of Kerry, and its remains and most of the island were included on the 1996 UNESCO World Heritage List.

Skellig Michael/Patricia Leslie


In Scotland/Patricia Leslie

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