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4/16/2009

But, wait ....

What you see below is the ruins of an ancient church in the hills just above the sea, to the north and west of the village of Tully, Galway County, Ireland. This building is more than a thousand years old. The wall on the right is cut into the hillside. The wall at the rear and the wall on the left are freestanding. There is a small cemetery just a few yards away that overlooks the sea. In that cemetery is the grave of a Spanish Sailor who washed ashore after a storm. He was a member of the Spanish Armada that Admiral Nelson defeated. Some of those Spanish ships sailed up the English Channel and around the British Isles to the west, hoping to make it back to Spain. The storms they met sank many of their ships sending some of their sailors to the bottom and stranding yet others in a strange land among strange people.

Thus the source of many of the black haired, dark eyed, white skinned Irish.

 


The GRAVESTONE visible in the center of the church is from the 1800's. It was put there a long, long, time after the building itself was a ruin. I guess this one couldn't get space in one of the 'better' ruins - perhaps there was no association with the church which might have earned him a place in an abbey floor. For whatever reason, this lonely grave is the only one in the floor of this church. The altar is still there - you see it peeking around the edge of the gravestone. And the distinctive window of a church rises in the back wall above the altar. This building more than likely had a roof of thatch. the wood for that roof has long ago been taken away for a fire. Or perhaps to build a table. Or a bed. Somehow it seems right that the substance of this building, which brought such spiritual comfort to its members as a church, would serve to bring some sort of physical comfort to people in its demise.

Ndinombethe.

13 comments:

NicoleB said...

Desolate and yet so beautiful!

Jientje said...

What a mythical scenery. I would have loved taking pictures there as well ... It makes me wonder about the people that lived there, attended mass there, died there ... are buried there ...

moneythoughts said...

You have some great photos if you ever wanted to use them for inspiration to do a painting. Thanks for sharing.

Employee No. 3699 said...

You make me want to dash my remodeling plans and take a trip to Ireland.

Momisodes said...

The gravestone definitely seemed almost out of place when I first glanced. It's amazing how some of the ruins are still intact. The gravestone certainly reminds me of the hundreds of old cemeteries we have here in Massachusetts.

Joyce-Anne said...

For some reason I find it fascinating how the altar still stands. It's a shame the builders couldn't have made a stronger and better roof. I'm guessing they didn't have the technology or the resources to help the building survive some of the rougher weather conditions that affect the area.

Shadow said...

do they say who's grave it is???

Hyphen Mama said...

I love how you know so much about the actual history of your subjects. Every time I read these I think of my trip to Scotland, but for whatever reason, I have NO IDEA the history of much of what I photographed. Maybe I should have slowed down and taken more time at each stop. I'm glad YOU took the time to learn the history, because I'm enjoying this virtual tour of Ireland.

Cat said...

love the tour and the photo but that you know so much about it is a bonus to be sure!

Tara R. said...

Even the ruins there are ethereal. Thank you for sharing your photo and the history behind these amazing images.

angie said...

What a wonderful history lesson. THank you.

Loraine said...

I LOVE your pictures. Old cemeteries are beautiful, peaceful places. I like to visit them when I can.

LceeL said...

NicoleB: Hauntingly so.

Jientje: My ancestors came from Ireland - at least some of them did. I wonder about them, as well.

Moneythoughts: You're welcome, Fred. I HAVE been thinking about using them as source work for paintings.

Employee: Do both.

Momisodes: There's another, fallen stone in that church, right a the base of the standing marker. I wonder if it was a man and wife.

Joyce-Anne: No, the all stone buildings came later.

Shadow: The engraving was on the other side - and the building isn't safe to enter.

Hyphen Mama: When you go again - take tour time, and don't try to do too much.

Cat: I'm glad you think so.

Tara R: You are more than welcome.

Angie: You're welcome, as well.

Loraine: This old ruins are far from peaceful. There is a certain feeling of desolation there - not peace.