St Declan’s Cathedral, Ardmore, County Waterford

St Declan's Cathedral

St Declan’s Cathedral

After traipsing through church ruins, muddy paths and centuries-old graveyards, as well as the history lessons, I decided that I wanted to explore more of the same. So, Sunday I loaded up and headed towards Ardmore.

The big decision is the best way to get there. The most direct route is through the Knockmealdown Mountains. There are about three primarary routes through the mountains: the ‘Vee’ (which we drove twice last summer), the route that I took to Lismore, or the more easterly route. So … East is was. The only problem is that I ended up on a less-than-local road. I never ended up on dirt, but there was a period of time I was seriously wondering what I was thinking. I was thankful that the one vehicle that I met was a tractor. I pulled as far to the side as possible; he moved up and over (wider tires … Amen!) and then I snuck around him.

High Tower

High Tower

I was looking for another local road … An unmarked one, at that, to take to a regional road. I actually found it and then was rewarded with a wider-than-normal regional road!

I had considered going to Dungarvan first, but decided on the way to bypass it and head across the bay. I ended up in a fishing village called Helvic. I had read a little about it, but I didn’t stick with me until I drove into the village … All of the signs are in Irish Gaelic! It drove home that I need to learn so Gaelic, not only to speak the basics, but to be able to read it.

From Halvic, I was back on the road to Ardmore. A other village located on the cost, it is positioned between Waterford and Cork. Ardmore is known for its origins. It is said that St Declan landed here and brought Christianity to Ireland; a few years ahead of St Patrick.

Once I located the church site (built on St Declan’s original monastery grounds) and found a place to park, it was up the hill. The first thing that I saw were the reliefs on the church wall of the ruins. There were three sets; the first two are shaped in a half circle and your eyes are drawn to them. After you digest the scenes, you then notice a series of squares telling a story. Upon research, the left relief is the Fall of Adam & Eve and the second relief is of Solomon’s Judgement & The Adoration of the Magi. The series of thirteen panels, nine can still be seen are of different figures. The church was built in the 13th century.

From there, it is off to explore the ‘high tower, located on the grounds. Standing over 90 ft tall, it dominates the horizon. They estimate that it was built in the 12th century.

Exploring the inside of the church, I was drawn to the Ogham stones. There are two of them; one has very clear markings. Ogham stones, about 300 have been found in Ireland, was the earliest form of Irish writing. Megalithic.com has a translation for the pillar-stones.

Also on the grounds, is St Declan’s Oratory. It is believed that the date may date to the 8th century and reputed to be the burial place of St Declan.

Here’s are some pictures of the day….

The Fall of Adam & Eve

The Fall of Adam & Eve

Solomon's Judgement (top) & The Adoration of the Magi(bottom)

Solomon’s Judgement (top) & The Adoration of the Magi(bottom)

Thirteen Panels :: Set 1

Thirteen Panels :: Set 1

Thirteen Panels :: Set 2

Thirteen Panels :: Set 2

Thirteen Panels :: Set 3

Thirteen Panels :: Set 3

Inside the cathedral

Inside the cathedral

Inside the cathedral

Inside the cathedral

Filled in windows of the cathedral

Filled in windows of the cathedral

Ogham Stone 1

Ogham Stone 1

Ogham Stone 3

Ogham Stone 3


Location via Google Maps:

Newbridge Silverware, Newbridge, County Kildare

Three days left and I am back to this summer’s dilemma … No gifts. In fact, I was planning on completing some Christmas shopping. As of this moment, I have my sweater and socks. I also bought three skeins of yarn; it allowed me to buy something to bring home.

Newbridge Silverware :: Welcome Elves

Newbridge Silverware :: Welcome Elves

So which direction? South to Blarney Woolen Stores in Blarney, County Cork or north to Newbridge, County Kildare. Since I had spotted a watch on the Newbridge Silverware website last fall … I decided to go North. It was also a damp, rainy day. Stuck in a car for four to five hours wouldn’t be a sacrifice.

Staying with my theme, I had another stop a further northwest of Newbridge. I was still looking for Irish linen on a bolt. But with my continued luck with shopping, they were closed. I was hopeful for Newbridge.

Finally, a shop is open! And, it is busy! My luck is changing. There is one parking space next to the front door and it has my name written all over it.

Oh, what a store it is! Every piece of jewelry available from Newbridge is on display. But the service! I was met by an staff member … Can I help you? Yes … I am looking for this watch. (I had a product number.). She wrote it down and said she would be back. A couple of minutes later, she was back with the watch, nicely packaged in a Newbridge box.

Newbridge Silverware :: Showroom

Newbridge Silverware :: Showroom

Needless to say, I spent a little bit more time there then anticipated. I mean, with the long drive, I might as well make my time in the car worth it! Plus, I managed to do a little bit of Christmas shopping while I was there.

You can buy Newbridge jewerly throughout the country in shops. However, this place was the pinnacle! I would highly suggest a stop; even if for only a half an hour. For those that want to stay longer, they do have a museum on site, as well as a cafeteria. This is definitely on my ‘must return to’ list.

Adare, County Limerick

Adare :: Park

Adare :: Park

New Year’s Day was spent with a drive through the country to Adare. When we were here in June, we drove through Adare on our way to Dingle Peninsula. We were fighting the time, so we only stopped long enough to gas up.

Adare draws tourists and is one of the top places to visit when you look at tour books. It is known as the most ‘picturesque’ village in Ireland.

My first stop was wandering though the Adare Town Park. While January 1st is a national or bank holiday in Ireland, people out walking around; many parents with children playing the park.

Adare :: Thatched Houses

Adare :: Thatched Houses

Next, along the main drive there is a series of thatched cottages. Most are occupied by merchants, but there are a few vacant … Although I did not see a ‘For Sale’ sign anywhere. Although, one shop was open. I felt that I hit the lottery many gift shops have been closed.

Across from the cottages is the Trinitarian Abbey. Very well taken care of and a large church. There were additional buildings to back.

Finally, I walked through the downtown area. Since it was getting close to 1pm, foot traffic was picking up. It was a perfect opportunity to photograph some unique doors. What I really enjoyed was seeing the stacks of kegs/barrels. Every pub had a stack … Or two. They are set outside for pickup by they suppliers. Bottom line … They did some serious celebrating on New Year’s Eve!

Photos of the day ….

Adare :: Wishing Pool

Adare :: Wishing Pool

Adare :: Wishing Pool

Adare :: Wishing Pool

Adare :: Thatched Shops

Adare :: Thatched Shops

Adare :: Trinitarian Church

Adare :: Trinitarian Church

Adare :: Trinitarian Abbey

Adare :: Trinitarian Abbey

Adare :: Trinitarian Abbey Complex

Adare :: Trinitarian Abbey Complex

Adare :: Pub's New Year's Eve Leftovers

Adare :: Pub’s New Year’s Eve Leftovers

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Location via Google Maps:

High Crosses, Ahenny, County Tipperary

Ahenny’s high crosses are located on a monastic site called Kilclispeen. The two crosses, simply referred to as the North Cross and South Cross are beautiful. Both have ‘caps’ or ‘bishop mitres’, excellent Celtic knot work, and spiral patterns.

It is thought that high crosses were a place to meet for religious ceremonies; or it could be something a simple as a means to mark a land boundary.

Ahenny :: North Cross

Ahenny :: North Cross

Ahenny :: South Cross

Ahenny :: South Cross

Ahenny High Crosses :: Knots

Ahenny High Crosses :: Knots


Ahenny High Crosses :: Spirals

Ahenny High Crosses :: Spirals

Ahenny High Crosses :: Knotwork

Ahenny High Crosses :: Knotwork

Ahenny High Crosses :: Capstone

Ahenny High Crosses :: Capstone

Location via Google Maps:

High Crosses, Kilkieran, County Kilkenny

Information Sign

Information Sign

High crosses (sometimes referred to as standing crosses) are dated back to Irish and British origins. At Kilkieran, County Kilkenny, three of the earliest high crosses can be found. It is said that they date to the 9th century; two of them are ringed ‘Celtic crosses’ and have a capstone. The third is unique; it is very thin and is lacking a ‘ring.’ The crosses are located at Kilkieran Cemetery, north of Carrick-on-Suir.

Kilkieran :: West Cross

Kilkieran :: West Cross

Kilkieran :: West Cross Up Close

Kilkieran :: West Cross Up Close

Kilkieran :: West Cross Knotwork

Kilkieran :: West Cross Knotwork

Kilkieran :: Plain Cross

Kilkieran :: Plain Cross

Kilkieran :: North Cross

Kilkieran :: North Cross

Kilkieran :: North Cross

Kilkieran :: North Cross


Also onsite, was a holy well dedicated to St Kieran.

Kilkieran :: Holy Well

Kilkieran :: Holy Well

Kilkieran :: Holy Well Water

Kilkieran :: Holy Well Water

Kilkieran :: Holy Well Up Close

Kilkieran :: Holy Well Up Close


Location via Google Maps:

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