Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Kearney Visit

I've spent a glorious day at the National Trust's 19th century fishing village of Kearney, County Down.

It is not far from the tip of the Ards Peninsula.

Portaferry, due west, is the closest town.

The sun shone all day and temperatures must surely have been close to 20c.

There were about ten of us today.

We were painting traditional County Down gates.

At lunch-time we settled at a pleasant spot on the shore and basked in the sunshine.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Judicial Appointment

THE QUEEN has been pleased to approve that the honour of Knighthood be conferred upon Adrian George Patrick Colton, QC, on his appointment as a Justice of the High Court.

The Hon Mr Justice Colton was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 1983, and took Silk in 2006.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Mystery House

Do any readers recognize this house?

The image shows a wedding party with members of the Silcock family.

The Silcock residence was once Marybrook House, near Crossgar, County Down.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Warrenpoint House

Do any readers recognize this house?

It is or was located near Warrenpoint, County Down.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

McCutcheon's Field Day

Groomsport from McCutcheon's Field

I've spent the day with other National Trust volunteers at a place known as McCutcheon's Field.

This comprises several acres of coastline at Brigg's Rocks, close to Sandeel Bay, in north County Down.

There's a static caravan park here called Windsor Holiday Park.

This field is close to Groomsport.

Today we were gathering gorse bushes and burning them.

There were about eight of us today.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Graymount Visit

As part of the Heritage Open Days weekend, today I visited Graymount House, Greencastle, County Antrim (on the outskirts of Belfast).

I've already written an article about Graymount here.

ON the way home I drove via Belfast's Titanic Quarter, where I stopped at the old light cruiser HMS Caroline.

Ostensibly there is little sign of restoration being undertaken, though perhaps it's more likely that work is progressing on the interior of the historic vessel.

A very large super-tanker, Santa Regina, was berthed across the harbour.

Connswater Progress

Work is continuing along the river Conn's Water, which runs through the heart of east Belfast.

These images were taken at King George V playing-field, adjacent to The Oval, Glentoran Football Club's pitch, and Victoria Park.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Horse Island II

We returned to Horse Island today for another bash at the ragwort.

We managed to uproot virtually all of it, which was very satisfactory.

I have a small rucksack where I keep my Thermos flask, food, waterproof garments, thermal gloves, woolly hat, first aid kit, whistle, Swiss Army knife etc.

Later, at the old schoolhouse, we collected our new National Trust gear, including fleece jackets, waterproof trousers, and safety wellington boots.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Decanal Installation

I attended the installation of my old school pal, The Very Rev Nigel Crossey, as Dean of Kilmore and Rector of Ballintemple last night at Kilmore Cathedral, County Cavan.

The service was well attended.

This was my first visit to the Cathedral.

Nigel now lives at Danesfort, the deanery, near by.

The Bishop of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh, the Right Rev Ferran Glenfield, officiated at the ceremony, assisted by the Archdeacon of Kilmore, the Ven Craig McCauley.

Afterwards we were all cordially invited to tea and refreshments at the parish hall, which was the original cathedral.

The tables heaved with sandwiches, cakes, buns and other delightful food.

The Bishop now resides at the new see house, within eyesight of the parish hall.

The old episcopal palace still stands in its own demesne across the road.

Farnham: II

Fortified with a substantial breakfast this morning, I drove back to Kilmore Cathedral, where I had another amble.

The former episcopal palace or see house seems to be empty now.

counted three storeys over a basement. The episcopal coat-of-arms emblazons the apex of the entrance front.

I wonder when the Church of Ireland sold it.

Thereafter I motored into the town of Cavan, County Cavan, for a stroll.

There's a statue of one of the Barons Farnham outside the library and tourist office. 

It might once have been in a more prominent position, though it's fairly discreet in its present location.

THE village of Cootehill has a wide Main Street which leads ultimately to the handsome little parish church.

The church is on the edge of Bellamont Forest. Indeed, Bellamont's main entrance is a few yards beyond the church.

The mansion house is private, though the woods are accessible for walkers. There are deer in the forest.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Farnham: I

I arrived in County Cavan about midday and made a beeline for Farnham Estate, now a country house hotel.

The old mansion house still stands and is integrated into a modern building behind it, connected by a massive glass structure.

The portico of the mansion house is therefore indoors now.

Several function rooms and the bridal suite are located in the mansion house.

I lunched in the new section. I had a rather tasty bowl of potato and squash soup with wheaten bread (€6).

After lunch I drive the shirt distance to my guesthouse, which is in the surrounding countryside.

My room overlooks forest and woodland on the edge of Farnham estate.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Horse Island

I had a great day with seven other National Trust volunteers at Horse Island on the Ards Peninsula.

This island is a mile south of the village of Kircubbin, County Down.

Today we were uprooting ragwort and "strimming" rushes.

We picked two truck-loads of the ragwort.

The mechanical strimmer is a powerful implement, cutting through course vegetation like a hot knife through butter.

In the middle of the field there is a derelict cottage. It has two rooms.

The National Trust has erected a provisional iron roof on the building in order to prevent further deterioration.

Apparently it was last inhabited in the early 1980s.