Thursday Doors

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The first of my Thursday Doors images is of a protected heritage building on our street. The Orange Hall was built in 1874.

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The Orange Order, is a Protestant fraternal order based for the most part in Northern Ireland but there are a few halls south of the border. This one is no longer in use by its original owners. For most of the year it stands empty but has been kept in good condition over the years. The next photo is of McDonald’s Bakery, next door to the Orange Hall.

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I’m not sure of its history but it must have been of some significance to warrant a plaque on its wall.

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Enough of the history, now for a bit of nature. Let’s take a walk over to Turbet Island. In a future post I’ll give you the low down on the island but for this week, let the trees speak to you themselves.

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This disused railway bridge is our usual route to the island, crossing over to the opposite bank of the River Erne, which cuts through the town of Belturbet in county Cavan.

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I took these shots in early summer, when the hawthorn trees were in bloom. There is an old wives tale about such splendid displays of hawthorn blossom – it’s supposed to mean a good summer is on the way. This year, that certainly came true, at times it felt as if we were living in Spain. Although we’ve been having rain these past few days, hot dry weather is forecast again for August, so I’m not complaining about a bit of much needed moisture descending upon us.

In Ireland the hawthorn is often referred to as a ‘fairy tree’ and some farmers to this day will not cut one down when clearing land. Thankfully, this is why we still have a lot of our hedgerows intact.

‘The name hawthorn comes from old English words which mean “thorny hedge”. In ancient times, it was the symbol of fertility and marriage. The healing powers of the hawthorn were invoked by leaving a token on the tree. It was believed that this would result in the disease remaining on the tree also. More specifically, herbalists claim the flowers, leaves and fruit can help with a number of heart problems. In Germany and some other countries, an extract of hawthorn leaves and flowers is available on prescription for mild heart failure.’ *

This footbridge brings us onto the island, which is covered in a mass of shrubs and trees.

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These are my two favourite chestnut trees, the first one close to Turbet Island and the second on one of the streets in town.

Well, I hope you are feeling energized and refreshed by all that beautiful greenery. At least, that’s how I feel whenever I take that trip around the island. Thanks for coming along. Norm is still on a break, so no link to other doors this week.

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Posted in Cavan, herbal medicine, Historical buildings, Ireland, nature, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors, Travel, wild plants | Tagged , , , , , | 19 Comments

Thursday Doors

On a drive through Cavan town today I snapped a few interesting Thursday Doors

This second one looks like a fun place. The door says it all.

I think this next one used to be a Chinese restaurant but doesn’t appear to be in business nowadays.

I love the stained glass window, the old light fightings and that first floor bay.

These are great names for the tattoo business and the Chinese restaurant next door. But it wasn’t only the doors and shop fronts that caught my eye.

Great display of flowers everywhere, well done to whoever chose these plants, they not only look good, they smell wonderful. Many thanks for stopping by for this week’s Thursday Doors. Have a lovely weekend.

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Thursday Doors

I’m back in the lovely City of Derry for this week’s Thursday Doors. Every time I visit, I pass this quaint old church and on my last trip I managed to take a few photographs of it.

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I’m sorry about the cars, it’s a busy road and I think I would have to go there in the middle of the night to find it free of traffic. I love participating in Thursday Doors but there’s a limit to the lengths I would go to for the perfect shot.

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This is a Methodist Church which opened in 1903 on the Carlisle Road. In the late 18th century, John Wesley visited the city on four occasions, bringing Methodism with him.

The building is noted for its flying buttresses and I’m told the interior is beautiful and spacious but unfortunately I didn’t have time to venture inside.

In 2012, a Drop-In Center for the homeless was established in the cellar of the church. There are so many wonderful old buildings in Derry with plenty of doors waiting to be added to my collection, I’ll do a proper ‘doorscursion’ on my next visit. Thanks for stopping by. Norm has a vast array of Thursday Doors from around the globe waiting for you on his blog. The Blue Frog Link at the bottom of his post will take you there.

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Thursday Doors

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This Thursday Door is set in a 400 year old house. I know it looks a bit shabby but the owner has great plans for it. You might even have an opportunity to stay there on vacation at some point in the future. Of course, it will have all the mod cons but in an authentic building and setting.

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There used to be a small, thriving agricultural community here in the past in what is called a clachan which is Gaelic for a village. You’ll be happy to hear the owner is going to restore these lovely old buildings and they will not go the way so many of our abandoned villages have gone.

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Our ancestors were very talented and skilled, building their homes with hand-cut stone and handmade bricks. My own grandparents extended their small house with bricks they made themselves, to accommodate a growing family.

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This is another wee house in the clachan and it has a ‘living’ roof, which is apparently holding it on. In strong winds an old roof is very vulnerable and that’s one of the reasons why many abandoned cottages lose theirs.

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Shall we take a peek? Let’s see the condition of the roof from the inside.

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Not too bad really, considering it’s age. I even got to meet descendants of some that put down roots here all those years ago.

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Plants, not people. I don’t know where the last inhabitants went to, they may have emigrated in search of work. But the native plants are still there, holding fast to stone walls cut by men long departed.

When this clachan beag or little village is restored to it’s former glory I’ll make a return trip and update you with some more photos. Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed this journey into the past. There are lots more doors to see over on Norm’s blog. This week, he has featured some beautiful old stone houses and bread ovens on his Thursday Doors post.

Posted in castles and ruins, Historical buildings, History, Ireland, nature, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors, wild plants | Tagged , , , , | 35 Comments

Thursday Doors

I was sent some lovely Thursday Doors this week.

They were taken by Carol and Darren on a visit to Tallinn, Estonia. Thanks guys for the great photographs, I love those decorative arches. For a nice selection of international doors, check out Norm’s blog.

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Thursday Doors – Irish Bears

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You might be wondering what on earth an Irish bear is and I don’t blame you – they’ve been extinct for a long time – and what have they got to do with Thursday Doors? The furry animal in the photograph is a replica of a bear cub and the skeleton is that of a mother bear surrounded by some smaller bones, possibly that of her cubs. These were found in the Marble Arch Caves, which are part of a Global Geopark. What makes Geoparks different from designations such as World Heritage Sites is that Geoparks have a commitment to benefit the local economy, through the attraction of visitors to the area and the subsequent creation of jobs and businesses.

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These doors lead to the Marble Arch Caves visitor center and from there we can take a tour of one of Europe’s finest showcaves.

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Let’s have a closer look at those two men suspended over the cafeteria. One of them is definitely dressed for some cave exploring but the other one looks a bit out of place.

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The first one is wearing modern day apparel and equipment but the second one is Frenchman, Edouard Alfred Martel, who was considered in his day to be the world’s leading expert on caves. Modern technology has certainly made it a bit safer and a lot more comfortable to be a cave explorer.

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By now, you must be eagerly anticipating that tour of the caves. We started off in a boat on one of the underground rivers that flow through the caves but I was afraid to take a photo in case I dropped my phone into the water. As soon as I reached solid ground again, I whipped my phone from my bag. Unfortunately, my camera could not do justice to the beauty and awesomeness of my surroundings.

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But to make up for that, I’ve posted this video from Fermanagh Lakelands.

 

You can find out more about the history of these amazing caves at Marble Arch Caves and Geopark.

I feel so privileged to have such an area of natural beauty right on my doorstep. If you get a chance to visit, don’t pass it up – it’s well worth the trip. For a variety of Thursday Door posts from around the globe, head on over to Norm’s Blog and see what’s on offer.

 

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Thursday Doors

My Thursday Doors this week features this lovely little stone cottage that is about 200 years old. The setting is idyllic and the views are amazing.

Sitting among the buttercups and daisies on the grass in front of the cottage is an old plough, giving you that feeling of stepping back in time.

There isn’t a red door in sight but I think the black and white colour scheme really suits this particular cottage.

One of the gable ends has been left free of paint, exposing the stonework. It has the tiniest sash window I’ve ever seen.

Would you like to have a look inside?

Come on in, the door is unlocked and we have the owners’ permission.

As I stood outside taking in the beautiful scenery I had the strangest feeling of being watched.

I’m so glad I was able to show you the inside of a typical old Irish cottage. Although this one hasn’t been lived in for a long time, it’s being kept in pretty good condition. There are a lot more Thursday Doors to see over on Norm’s blog, just click the blue link at the bottom of his post.

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Thursday Doors

 

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There was a time when it was against the law to drink Potcheen (Poitin) in Ireland but now you can. The only person who could legally taste it, without swallowing it, was the guy who made it at the distillery in Bunratty in county Clare. Only those leaving the country could purchase it in duty free and drink it once they had left. Now it can be legally consumed here, like it says on the bottle.

 

If you’ve enjoyed these red Thursday Doors this week, have a look at some more of various shapes and colours over on Norm’s blog.
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Thursday Doors

I spotted this lovely gate lodge on a recent trip into the countryside and was jealous of whoever lived there.

Of course, I had to stop the car and take a shot for Thursday Doors but I wasn’t sure if anyone was home. There were no cars to be seen and for good reason.

Upon closer inspection, it was obvious nobody lived there.

Those windows and door might be fake but the house (and cobwebs) are real. It’s a little gem in a truly beautiful setting.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you liked this little glimpse into the Cavan countryside. If you’d like to view some more Thursday Doors, check out Norm’s blog, where you’ll find a link to an international selection of unusual doors.

Posted in Cavan, Ireland, nature, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , | 28 Comments

Thursday Doors

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Well, I’m still in Killeshandra for this week’s Thursday Doors. The name Killeshandra is the phonetic pronunciation of ‘Cill na Seanratha’ the Gaelic words meaning Church of the Old Fort. Rath is the Irish for a fort and I featured the Rath Church , with it’s Jacobean pillars in a blogpost a couple of weeks ago. It’s amazing how such a small town can have so much history in it – I think the population is just a little over a thousand people. The ornate gates above lead to two lovely old buildings, the first one being a freestanding, Gothic Revival Church of Ireland structure, built in 1842.

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It was designed by William Farrell (d.1851), a noted Dublin architect. This church replaced The Church of the Rath, which was recorded in 1837 as being in a very ancient, dilapidated state.

Next to it, in the same courtyard, stands the Arthur Martin Memorial Hall, a detached Jacobean Revival style double-height memorial hall. Built 1898, its Jacobean style was influenced by the Arts-and-Crafts movement of the late nineteenth century, most likely in reference to the former Church of Ireland church of 1688 in Killeshandra, with which the Martin family were associated.

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The gated entrance is lovely, as are the doors.

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It has a red side door and tall arched windows.

This building is of particular social interest due to its history as a parish hall. I’ll revisit the town again at some point and take some shots of the rectory, gate lodge and old school house, for a future post.

Thanks for joining me in Killeshandra, county Cavan. Why not check out the amazing Thursday Doors Norm has to offer on his blog this week?

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