The Stones That Remain

October 08, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

So here is another belated post with images that I made this past May 2017, while on my tour of the north of Ireland. Summer is now past and we are well into Autumn the season of color and nostalgia. The days grow shorter, the shadows longer and the quality of the light continues to change as the temperatures slide. It seems like an appropriate time to present some images that reflect on the recent and distant past. These photos are not only about the monuments, the physical reminders of past lives lived in Ireland, but they are also about the feeling of nostalgia, mystery, loss and the passage of time which a visit to these places can evoke. I chose to make this series using a Nikon D200 that I had converted to record only the infrared light illuminating the scene. I call it "the invisible light" since infrared is at one end of the light spectrum, positioned slightly beyond the light that can be perceived by our eyes. It seemed appropriate to use this technique as a way to record what I felt, more than what I saw as I stood before these stone monuments constructed by hands that lived so many years ago.


The 9th century high cross and round tower at Monasterboice, a monastery founded in the 6th century by Saint Brute. High crosses depicted biblical scenes and were used by the monks of the monastery as an educational tool for their followers. The round towers were built to provide protection in the event of a Viking raid which were common in that era. The chapel to the right was built in during the medieval era while the grave stones were added during the 18th through 20th centuries.

The 12th century King John's Castle over looks Carlingford Harbor in County Louth. It was built by Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath, shortly after the Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169. It acquired the name "King John's Castle" because the English king apparently stayed here for three days in 1210.

Bonamargy Friary, Ballycastle, County Antrim. It is believed to have been founded around 1500 by Rory McQuillan for the Franciscan Friers. In 1584 the church was burned when Irish and Scots attacked English troops quartered here. The church was rebuilt and the friers continued to use it throughout much of the 17th century.

  Bonamargy Friary, Ballycastle, County Antrim

Bonamargy Friary, Ballycastle, County Antrim

Dunluce Castle, County Antrim. Dunluce is one of Irelands most spectacularly situated castles, perched on a rock cliff overlooking the North Sea. The oldest parts of the castle are the south wall, at left, and the two eastern towers, on the right. It was first documented to be in the hands of the McQuillan family in 1513. The McQuillans were the Lords of The Route from the late 13th century until they were displaced by the MacDonnell clan from Scotland after losing two major battles against them during the mid- and late-16th century. Dunluce Castle served as the seat of the Earl of Antrim until the impoverishment of the MacDonnells in 1690, following the Battle of the Boyne. Since that time, the castle has been abandoned and is now a national monument.

Dunluce Castle, County Antrim.

Dunluce Castle, County Antrim.

Watchtower, Slieve League, County Donegal. This beautiful stone tower was built in the early years of the 19th century by the British to guard against a possible French invasion on their western flank by Napoleon.


Sligo Abbey, Sligo town, County Sligo. The site of a Dominican Friary founded in 1253 on the order of Maurice Fitzgerald, the Baron of Offaly. It was destroyed in 1414 by a fire, ravaged during the Nine Years' War in 1595 and once more in 1641 by Sir Fredrick Hamilton. during the Ulster Uprising. It was restored once again, but the friars eventually abandoned it in the 18th century.

Sligo Abbey, Sligo town, County Sligo.

Sligo Abbey, Sligo town, County Sligo.

Sligo Abbey, Sligo town, County Sligo.

Sligo Abbey, Sligo town, County Sligo.

 


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