Thursday Doors – More from Enniskillen

This week’s Thursday Doors is all about arts and crafts, alive and well in Enniskillen’s Buttermarket.


When it opened in 1835 for the trading of local dairy produce, the Buttermarket served the community well. As one of the oldest buildings in the town, it was a place I definitely wanted to look around. In the 1980’s it was about to become a car park when the Fermanagh District Council purchased it, recognizing the need to preserve it, thank goodness. It was tastefully restored to it’s former glory, having been used as a builders’ yard up until then. In the central area, where carts and stalls once stood, there now stands a craft and coffee shop and I can recommend the food – delicious.


Once it was fully restored, the Buttermarket was opened to the public in June of 1991 as a craft and design centre for the town. Twenty seven years on, it is still providing workshops where visitors can watch skilled people at work and purchase their crafts.

It really is an oasis of creativity right in the heart of the town. There was an art exhibition by local students the weekend we were there, along with a festival providing lots of fun activities for children (and young at heart adults) to participate in.

The standard was excellent. It’s wonderful to see so much support and encouragement provided by a town for the arts. An outdoor play was just about to start as we were leaving but we had run out of time and sadly missed out on that.



Well, I hope you haven’t grown tired of Enniskillen yet, as I have a couple more weeks of posts left to do on this town. Thanks for taking the tour and if you are ever in the area, it’s well worth a visit. Meanwhile there are lots of Thursday Doors to be seen over on Norm’s blog. Enjoy.

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Thursday Doors – Still in Enniskillen



This bright and cheerful building reminded me of a cake, for some reason. I think it looks good enough to eat – and it has a red door!


They have really good window cleaners in this town, lots of very clear reflections.


Just look at those scrumptious pillars. This is the prettiest church I’ve photographed yet.



Now for some ‘traditional’ looking churches, of which there is no shortage in Enniskillen.

I love how the the arrow on the road is strategically placed.

This next image is of Saint Michael’s Parish Centre.


I didn’t follow the arrow to the crypt but the arched alley looked interesting.

Some of these churches are on Church Street, others can be found on High Street.

More Thursday Doors from Enniskillen next week, thanks for stopping by, and if you’d like to carry on the ‘doorscursion’ follow the blue frog link at the end of Norm’s post.

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Thursday Doors – Enniskillen

I’m still in the lovely town of Enniskillen with it’s wonderful mix of old and modern Thursday Doors. One particular building deserves a post all of its own, a fabulous old pub that hasn’t changed much since its Victorian days.


Blake’s Bar still retains most of its lovely Victorian features with a snug on the left, just inside the main entrance.


I learned this fact when I mistakenly took it for the door to the main bar and opened it – to be greeted by a dozen or so men seated around a wooden table in a tiny wood paneled room. They raised their glasses to me and we had a laugh before pointing me in the right direction, which was directly opposite.


The Victorian tiles are a little the worse for wear but they are authentic and a lot of ‘soles’ have passed over them.


Now for the interesting bit. The reason I wanted to get inside the pub was not because I was parched and in dire need of a liquid refreshment (although I was tempted by the lovely cozy atmosphere of the interior). It was the sandwich board on the street that caught my eye.


But what is so unusual about this, apart from the fact that it’s one of the oldest and most famous pubs in Ireland? Well, the other side of the board explains it all.


During a particular nasty storm, some of the Dark Hedges’ trees were blown over and the wood from two of them was made into ten carved doors. Each one depicts a scene from the TV series Game of Thrones. They were distributed as gifts to places that are near some of the locations where the show was filmed, in Northern Ireland.


The door in Blake’s bar is an intricately carved scene depicting the Targaryen rise to power, you can see the dragons at the base of the door. The reason a premises in Enniskillen was chosen is because the town is close to The Marble Arch Caves, where the filming of Hollow Hill took place, featured in season three. If you would like to know where the remaining nine doors are situated, follow this link; Culture Trip

For an abundance of unusual doors, take a trip over to Norm’s blog and click the blue frog at the end of his post. Many thanks for stopping by. More Thursday Doors from Enniskillen next week.

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Thursday Doors this week features some of Enniskillen’s interesting business names, like the one above. Here’s another one I thought pretty clever, notice the tape measure at the foot of the building.

I wouldn’t mind having a meal at this restaurant, as long as they don’t ‘dictate’ what I should choose from the menu.

Franco’s rear is worth showing, too, with its interesting wheel pump. At least, that’s what I think it is.

My last and favourite door in this batch is Granny Annies. I’m definitely sampling their food next trip, maybe their liquid refreshments, too.

Thank you for joining me on my trip to Enniskillen this week. For a great selection of Thursday Doors, check out the blue link at the bottom of Norm’s post.

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Thursday Doors


I found some of this week’s Thursday Doors on an old photograph taken in Enniskillen, county Fermanagh, a medium sized town with a population of around 14,000. The image shows us what the premises on Church Street looked like in the past.


It really makes a difference when old photographs decorate shutters and walls, adding lots of character to what would have been a blank space.


Because there is no longer a name over the door, I reckon the business has either relocated or closed down but to me the premises doesn’t have an empty, vacant appearance, due to its interesting shutters.


These are closer shots of the tower you can see at the end of the street in the old image. It is part of the town hall, which was erected in 1900 and houses the registry office. What a lovely building to hold a wedding ceremony in.



From as early as 1618 a building has been on this spot, originally a market house. The present structure, the town hall, is in the Renaissance style and was designed by architect William Scott of Drogheda in 1900. The cornices, columns and figures are made from Dungannon cream coloured sandstone, which makes them stand out against the Carrickreagh dark limestone on the rest of the building. The tower is 6 stories high, topped with a copper dome, and the two figures represent the two regiments raised by the town in 1688 – the Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards and the Fusiliers.

Enniskillen has an interesting history and I managed to capture some of it in my hunt for Thursday Doors, which I’ll be featuring on this blog over the next few weeks. In the meantime, if you’d like to find out what was written about the town in the past, here’s a link to what was recorded in A Topographical History of Ireland 1837 Enniskillen History and Culture.

As always, thanks for stopping by and if you’d like to view a collection of international Thursday Doors, have a look at what’s on offer over on the ‘blue frog’ link on Norm’s Blog.






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Thursday Doors

This week’s Thursday Doors comes from Limerick City, Ireland. Our youngest started college there and it was a good opportunity to have a quick look around the city. On our next trip I’ll have more time to scout out the area, there are some great doors waiting to be photographed, like this one;


Or some of the old churches around the city, like this one;


But for now, I have some lovely red doors to show you.


This the Limerick School of Art and Design (LSAD) and I love the facade of the building, it’s windows, glazed entrance and, of course, the red doors.


This one below is my favourite, with curved steps leading up to it.


Directly across the road from the college is a lovely park, a great place to eat your lunch on a fine day.



Entrance to LSAD

The art and design school is part of Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) and is the longest established part of the Institute, tracing its history back to 1852.

Today LSAD offers an attractive option to students of art and design. Its significant history and reputation make it an appealing choice for students. The long history of student success in national and international art and design competitions shows the high creative standards of the student body. These competitions include the Smirnoff Fashion Awards, Persil Fashion Awards, Gillette Venus Awards, the Graphic Design Business Association (GDBA) Award, The Irish Times Award, The AIB Fashion Bursary and The Institute of Designers in Ireland Graduate Design Awards.*

Among their past graduates are designers Joanne Hynes, Natalie B. Coleman, Kevin Finn, Karen Morgan and Danielle Romeril, also artists John Shinnors, Sean Lynch, Donald Teskey, Michael Canning, Diana Copperwhite and Anne Ryan.

If you know anyone interest in attending an art and design college (international students welcome) here’s a link to their website; LSAD

Thanks for stopping by. This link will bring you to a fine selection of interesting Thursday Doors from around the world.

Source *






Posted in Art, castles and ruins, Historical buildings, Ireland, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors | Tagged , , , , , | 15 Comments

Thursday Doors

Sorry I haven’t been around much lately, I’ve been trying to get some work done on my latest book, so my poor old blog has been neglected and so have my Thursday Doors posts. However, I didn’t neglect my door hunting and managed to capture a few nice specimens on a recent trip to the west of Ireland.


This is the door leading into O’Brien’s Castle which is nestled in Dromore Woods, County Clare. Unfortunately, it was locked and public access is denied, possibly for safety reasons. It’s one of Ireland’s many historic buildings that can be found dotted all over the countryside. On my mother’s side we would be considered part of the O’Brien clan but unfortunately none of us have inherited any castles.


If you are wondering why there are so few windows on the front, take a look at the view out back. That’s where I would have placed most of my windows if I’d built this castle.

Now for the exciting part – the history; DROMORE CASTLE was probably built in the early sixteenth century and was later extended and repaired by Teige O’Brien in the 1600’s, as the records of the castle predate Teige. The inscription over the door with the obliterated date would then be accounted for: “This castle was built by Teige, second son to Connor, third Earle of Thomond and by Slaney O’Brien, wife to the said Teige Anno D”. The castle and lands of Dromore were granted to Teige’s father at an inquisition in Ennis in 1579. Teige’s son, Dermot, was an influential man during the Confederate Wars and took an active part in the siege of Ballyalla Castle. His sister, Sarah O’Brien, earned herself an unenviable reputation for cruelty during the same period. The castle was once a most impressive, spacious tower house, built on the shores of the lake and surrounded on three sides by water. Today, only the building housing the staircase and small chambers remains. There is a wide circular staircase to the right of the door, a small guardroom to the left and a magnificent stone fireplace in the left-hand chamber of the first floor. There is a circular shot hole cut into the stairs between the first and second floors through which defenders could fire if the ground floor was invaded by attackers. The roof houses a wall walk around the gables, a high rectangular chimney crowned with two diamond-shaped flues and corbels which once supported a corner bartizan. The last O’Brien to live here, Conor, left Clare in 1689. The castle fell into ruin in the eighteenth century.*

Like many of us Thursday ‘Doorers’ are inclined to do, I took a big risk in photographing the small guardroom to the left of the entrance. I stuck my arm through the bars and took a shot with my phone, in spite of my friend warning me that I might drop it – she knows how clumsy I can be.

That’s as close as I could get but if you’d like a bird’s eye view of the castle and surrounding woodland, here’s a fabulous video shot by John Meyler Photography.** You should have a look at the rest of his work on his website, beautiful images – I’ve put a link to it at the end of this post.

I took some more photos as we walked through the woods on our way back to the car.


When we got to the other side of this footbridge I turned back and what I saw reminded me of a mini version of The Dark Hedges in County Antrim (from Game of Thrones).


Okay, that’s a big stretch of the imagination but I still see a mini Dark Hedges every time I look at it. Thanks for stopping by and if you would like to view a selection of interesting Thursday Doors from around the world, click the blue froggy link on Joey’s blog, at the bottom of her post. You can even add your own door images to the lineup.

Source * Clare Library

Source ** John Meyler Photography


Posted in castles and ruins, Historical buildings, History, Ireland, nature, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , | 33 Comments

Thursday Doors


This week’s Thursday Doors post continues on from last week’s tour of the Slieve Russell Hotel gardens. The grounds also contain a golf course and a looped walk through the surrounding woodland. Even though the hotel was built in 1990, with modern doors and windows, I think it captures the look of an old estate house pretty well, especially with the ivy adorning it’s white exterior.


The grounds are tastefully landscaped using some of my favourite plants; agapanthus, hostas, hydrangea (particularly the white variety) and what looked like a purple baby’s breath. If you are wondering who designed these beautiful gardens, we found the answer on a plaque at the beginning of one of the covered walkways. You also get a selfie of the photographer thrown in for a bonus – or a penalty.

When I came across this little bridge I was pleasantly surprised.


It wasn’t the bridge that caused me to stop in my tracks, it was what I could see while standing on it. What looked like an old ruin stood nestled in the shrubbery.


I had to have a closer look, purely in the interests of Thursday Doors, of course.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any information online about this ‘ruin’ but I think it may have been constructed as part of the landscaping. However, there is another very old structure located in the hotel grounds that has a lot of history attached to it, both ancient and modern. It’s a 4,000 year old megalithic structure known as The Aughrim Wedge Tomb, named after the townland it originally stood on. To locals, it’s known as Giant’s Grave. Megaliths in Europe are generally structures erected during the Neolithic or late stone age and Chalcolithic or Copper Age (4500–1500 BC)

The Aughrim Wedge Tomb

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The owner of the hotel in the 1990’s was one of Ireland’s wealthiest men in his day. He also owned a nearby quarry and cement works, which he wanted to expand. However, the wedge tomb was in the way, so he obtained permission from the Office of Public Works to relocate it, stone by stone, to the grounds of his hotel, the Slieve Russell, in 1992. Prior to the removal of the tomb, a full excavation of the site took place and some bones were found, many of them burnt, along with Early Bronze Age pottery.

Some people felt it was wrong to move the tomb and that it would bring bad luck to the person responsible. With the banking fiasco and recession here in Ireland, this man suffered great financial losses and eventually became bankrupt. He lost a number of hotels, one of which was the Slieve Russell, the cement works and a host of other businesses, including his multi-billion euro fortune. Bad luck or bad decisions?

It was a wonderful feeling to touch stones that were carved by people 4,000 years ago, although it would have been even nicer to do so in their original setting. At least the tomb has been preserved and will hopefully still be there 4,000 years from now.

Thanks for coming along with me on this week’s Thursday Doors trail. If you’d like to see what Norm and some other door enthusiasts have to offer, carry on over to his blog and click the blue froggy link at the end of his post.


Posted in castles and ruins, Cavan, History, nature, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Thursday Doors

Sorry I’ve not posted any Thursday Doors these past few weeks, my phone signal has been very erratic lately and we don’t have internet in the house. yet. I hope this post will make up for it, though.

The Slieve Russell Hotel is set in the most wonderful grounds you could imagine. For this week’s post I’ll take you on a walk around some of the gardens. Let’s start with the fountain that greets you at the entrance.

Then move on to one of the many walkways that take you through a well laid out landscape.

These steps lead you to a covered pathway.

You will find a bench at the end, where you can relax, surrounded by beautiful shrubs and foliage.

This is where we stumbled across another door, on a little cabin. Not sure what it is used for but it’s in a lovely setting.

Next week, we can continue our tour of these beautiful grounds and learn some of the history of the area. Thanks for your company and if you’d like to see more Thursday Doors, have a look at Norm’s blog

Posted in Cavan, Ireland, nature, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged | 35 Comments

Thursday Doors


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


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.


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



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.


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.


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.


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.

Source *

Posted in Cavan, herbal medicine, Historical buildings, Ireland, nature, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors, Travel, wild plants | Tagged , , , , , | 21 Comments