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The Royal Celtic Capital of Connacht: Tulsk, Co Roscommon

Covering over four square miles, at least 200 sites and monuments, and tracing through history from the earliest settlement (8,000 years ago) right through Stone Age, Iron Age, and Gaelic Kingship to the latest Medieval – this complex of sites is the ‘Celtic Royal Capital’ of Connacht, the western province of Ireland. Druids, Queen Maeve, […]

Visit Some of Ireland’s Oldest Monuments and Tombs at Lough Gur: Bruff, Co Limerick

Long before Ireland became the ‘Land of Saints and Scholars’, it was the land of Druids and Celts. Stone age, and later Bronze age, peoples who arrived on the verdant shores and found a place that called to them spiritually. Some of Ireland’s oldest monuments and tombs lie near Lough Gur. As far back as […]

Portumna Castle and Kitchen Garden: Portumna, County Galway

The Castle which was destroyed by an accidental fire in 1826 is currently undergoing extensive internal restoration. This semi fortified Manor House currently has only the lower floors of the building accessible at this time. There are information boards and a video giving details of the history and former owners with close links to the […]

The Jealous Wall… Ireland’s Largest Folly: Mullingar, Co. Westmeath

Built on the grounds of Belvedere House, The Jealous Wall was intentionally built to look like a ruin. This type of folly was a popular feature on estates in the mid-1700s. Also called a “sham ruin,” the Jealous Wall is the largest folly in Ireland. It was built by Earl Robert Rochfort, who always had […]

The “Lucky” Headless Child of Prague and the Secrets of Bunratty: Co Clare

Although a stop at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park won’t put you off-the-beaten-path, a few things in the park are definitely worthy of “offbeat” status. Inside J.J. Corry’s Pub, just above one of the doors, a headless Child of Prague statue stands over everyone who enters and leaves. How’d something like that miss inspection? Well, […]

President Grant Ancestral Home: Dungannon, Co Tyrone

The United States Civil War hero and 18th President of the US, Ulysses S. Grant’s has maternal roots that go back to the Simpson farm (that’s where he gets the “S” in his name) in County Tyrone. The cottage has been restored and is surrounded with 19th century items from farm life. Be sure to […]

The Mummified Cat and Rat of Christ Church Cathedral: Dublin, Co Dublin

Most people visit Christ Church Cathedral for its lofty interior, stained glass windows, colorful tile floor, the tomb of Strongbow, and the underground crypt, but it’s the two unexpected residents who catch many people’s attention. A cat and a rat were discovered in an organ pipe in the 1850s, and their mummified bodies are now […]

Touring Loophead Light House: Loop Head, Co Clare

Loophead. Open to the public again this year after last years trial. I had forgotten just how far away this is from our home, an hour down to Ennis and another hour down to the point. Definitely better to do this after the ferry crossing from Kerry but well worth it. The day was good […]

The World’s Oldest Operating Lighthouse: Hook Head, Co. Wexford

The lighthouse at Hook Head sits at the tip of a long low-lying peninsula guarding the entrance to Waterford Harbor. Across the water is Crook Castle, which some say coined the term “By Hook or by Crook”. Founded in the 5th century by Welsh monk St. Dubhain, the first beacon was merely a bonfire to […]

Castle Ward, Classical Gothic Fantasy: Strangford, Co. Down

  Castle Ward is an eccentric, historic 18th Century mansion overlooking Strangford Lough. Built by Bernard Ward 1st Viscount Bangor and his wife Anne, the battling spouses each wanted a different design. He wanted Palladian style with columns, pediments and clean lines. She adored the neo-Gothic genre that was the rage at the time. They […]

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