Thursday Doors – Trim

The title of this week’s Thursday Doors isn’t referring to a door trim but the town of Trim in County Meath. In Irish the name is Baile Atha Troim, meaning town at the ford of elderflowers. It is situated on the Boyne river and the elderberries growing along the riverbank were the juiciest I’ve ever tasted. Having featured our lovely accommodation on my last post I thought I would bring you on a wee tour of the town centre to give you a sense of its historic nature. I would be very tempted to book a few nights in the Bounty Bar (first image) judging from what I can see on the outside alone. Those shutters and the stonework go so well together. The flowers are the icing on the cake, for me.

We didn’t have enough time to give the Judge & Jury a trial but maybe on my next visit to the town I’ll investigate it and give my you my verdict. Sorry, I just couldn’t resist those puns. If you can come up with any more I’d love to hear them.

Hanging baskets and boxes featured everywhere in the town and they really brightened up the buildings.

Even a tiny shed peeking through some shrubbery had a couple of nice planters complimenting it. Some doors were only two dimensional, as you’ll see from the following images.

I thought the three women in the above photo had followed me back to my accommodation when I opened my bedroom door and saw these strange looking characters.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s post from Trim and if you carry on over to Dan’s blog you’ll find lots of links to interesting Thursday Doors from around the world.

Posted in Art, Blogging, Historical buildings, History, Humour, Ireland, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

Thursday Doors – September Weekend

In September I met up with my sisters and mother for a weekend get together and collected so many Thursday Doors shots it will keep me going till the end of the year, I think. We rented self-catering accommodation in the Knightsbrook Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort situated in the heritage town of Trim, County Meath. The Courtyard Homes consist of three en-suite bedrooms and sleep up to eight people. As there was only five of us we had plenty of room.*

Each house has a small private garden and we also had use of the hotel’s spa treatments and swimming pool. An added bonus was three days of sunshine. The morning dew lit up the cobwebs on some of the shrubbery and the details in their design was amazing.

We had a few unexpected surprises when we took a walk around the complex on our first night there.

I think my favourite has to be this little beauty. It was only half the size of the other cars with just enough room for the driver but maybe not the best vehicle to travel in on a rainy day.

Dan has some wonderful photographs of a beautiful railway museum over on his blog this week. My next Thursday Doors of our September weekend will continue with a tour of Trim town, hope to see you there.

Knightsbrook Hotel *

Posted in Blogging, Ireland, nature, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , , , | 18 Comments

Thursday Doors – Cootehill Finale

For the finale of Thursday Doors from Cootehill I’ve saved quite a mixed lot of buildings. This first one is a former Methodist church, built in 1870, which is now a Freemason’s Hall. It replaced an earlier Meeting House, dating from 1797. The founder of Methodism, John Wesley, visited the town many times. Just in behind the church is The Manse, seen through the trees and shrubs. It was built around the same time as the church and would have been occupied by the minister/clergy of the day.

I couldn’t find any information on the next row of buildings. They look like domestic or labourers homes attached to a coach house or stables, possibly part of a large estate house. Bellamont House is near the town and was built in the early 1700’s with similar stonework and redbrick trim.

The roof has fallen in on most of these buildings but the centre one is still intact.

It looks like someone is living in that one. I love the way it stands out from the rest, showing us how they must have all looked originally. Hopefully, the electricity supply has been upgraded.

I couldn’t find any information on the next building either. It looks historical but I can’t tell from what era. Maybe late Victorian?

Dan has a great selection of links over on his blog this week. Thanks for coming along on this grand finale of Cootehill Thursday Doors.

Posted in Cavan, Historical buildings, History, Ireland, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Thursday Doors – More from Cootehill

Nice wee gate lodge being renovated.

More from the County Cavan town of Cootehill on this week’s Thursday Doors. I’m sorry I’ve been absent most of this month, I’ve had a very busy September. The plus side of all the traveling I’ve done has been a nice collection of interesting Thursday Doors that I will share with you over the coming months.

The White Horse Hotel on the main street.

Opposite the hotel stands the town’s courthouse, which was built in 1833. In front of the building a peace garden has been installed with memorials to soldiers who died in both world wars and subsequent conflicts.

At the top of the main street, not far from the courthouse stands a detached Italianate two-storey bank, built in 1858 and designed by William Murray. It’s now privately owned and is being tastefully renovated, retaining much of its historic features.

I’ll finish off with a photo of a Church of Ireland building which dates from 1818. It looks down the main street of the town and is in very good condition. That blue sky should tell you what a beautiful day it was on my visit to Cootehill. Dan has some great links to interesting posts from around the world over on his blog this week. On next week’s Thursday Doors I’ll be posting the last of my photographs from Cootehill.

Posted in Blogging, Cavan, Historical buildings, Ireland, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Thursday Doors – Colourful Cootehill

Cootehill might have an interesting history but if it’s colourful Thursday Doors you’re looking for then you won’t be disappointed. I think the blue in this first image really compliments the pale red brick. Just up the street I found another door a similar colour but not quite so fresh.

However, the most popular colour seems to be red. It’s a good job I love red doors because in Cootehill I couldn’t escape from them. Here’s a small selection of what could be seen on the main street alone.

The first red door featured hasn’t been that colour for very long. It’s a former bank, built about 1890 and used to be dark blue with matching railings. The first floor was purpose built as the bank manager’s residence. Further up the street there’s another fresh looking red door.

The Belmont Arms in the above photograph was built originally as a private residence about 1800. It became a hotel in later years and more recently was in use as a pub. Nowadays, it seems to be permanently closed but still retains some of its charm in spite of the peeling paintwork.

Although I like colourful doors, it was a black one that stole the show for me on this street.

This door belongs to a Victorian house that was built around 1870 as a bank manager’s residence (no living above the office in this case). It was designed by architect, William Murray and is now in use as a private home.

Along with interesting doors, Cootehill has many lovely archways. Here are just two that caught my eye.

I’ll finish off with another red door set in an unusual facade. Many of the buildings on the main street date from 1800-1820 and the roof on this next one certainly looks that old.

No link to Dan’s blog this week as he’s on a short break. Thanks for stopping by and viewing this week’s colourful Thursday Doors, there’ll be more from Cootehill next week.

Posted in Blogging, Cavan, Historical buildings, Ireland, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

Thursday Doors – Cootehill

This week’s Thursday Doors comes from Cootehill in County Cavan. I have featured this historic market town before but it was a few years ago and highlighted only a small sample of what the town has to offer. The main street is wide and colourful, retaining many of the period features on its mostly well preserved buildings. Even the library, which is a recent addition, blends in well with the streetscape. I like the pillars and wood around the entrance and the beautiful clock suspended over the doorway.

In the early 1700s the Coote family, who had intermarried with the Hill family, created Cootehill as a linen-producing town. By the end of the eighteenth century it had become the major centre for the linen trade in Ireland. The history of the French weavers, spinners and flax growers in counties Cavan and Mayo is fascinating, so I’ll leave a link at the end of this post for anyone interested. * 

A large van was parked right in front of this pub so I had to stand very close to get take these photos.

Yes, that’s Elvis in the window of The West End Bar. Having spent far too long looking at the interesting collection on display I finally got round to taking a shot of the door. Some road works were taking place in the street, which explains the dust you can see on the shiny black paint.

Some buildings in the main street really stand out both in size and colour, like in the next image.

Others make a statement just by having an unusual design. The blue saloon type outer door and surround was painted a vibrant red last time I was in Cootehill.

The Irish phrase Tir na n-Og means Land of Youth, a reference to a mythical Celtic otherworld where nobody grows old and dies. I like the sign in the window – “We’re open when we’re here. We’re closed when we ain’t.”

I will have more from Cootehill over the coming weeks but in the meantime, Dan has a great selection of Thursday Doors over on his blog.

Linen Trade History French Connection *

Posted in Cavan, Historical buildings, History, Ireland, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Thursday Doors – Bonamargy Friary

I’ve been wanting to feature Bonamargy Friary, in Ballycastle, County Antrim on Thursday Doors for a long time. The name comes from the Irish ‘Bun na Mairge’ meaning ‘the foot of the Margy’ which is a nearby river. I finally got to visit it on my last trip up north and it was well worth the wait. These are the ruins of an old Franciscan Friary dating from early in the 16th century but there was an earlier foundation laid there in 1485 by Rory MacQuillan. In 1500, a church was erected and in the following years residential extensions were added. Those that remain were built with stone but there may have been wooden structures, too. The friary was in use up until the mid 17th century. There are steps each side of the entrance wall but thankfully the gate was open so I didn’t have to climb them.

A short walk through some lovely old woodland brings you to a small gatehouse which was built about 1620.

Some very old headstones can be seen on the walk from the gate house to the main building of the friary. On many of them the words are badly eroded but I think this one, which has the name Rose on it, is dated 1740.

The next one is dated 1800 and is engraved with the names of Archibald and his son, William.

Some are very grand indeed, like the next one.

Between 1536 and 1541 King Henry VIII ordered all monasteries to be dissolved and many of the properties were sold off to fund his military campaigns. He had the power to do this because the Act of Supremacy was passed by Parliament in 1534, making him Supreme Head of the Church of England. However, Bonamargy Friary continued to function and was in the possession of the MacDonnells of Antrim until the Scottish branch of the clan attacked it in 1584, when it was set on fire and abandoned. In 1620 (the year the gate house was built) Randall MacDonnell repaired much of the ruins and added a private chapel for his family. Today, graves and headstones line the walls inside the old friary church.

The Black Nun, Julia McQuillan, known as a prophet and recluse, lived in the friary in the late 1600’s, when it was no longer in use. Her wish was to be buried near the entrance to the church. This was seen as a token of her humility, as worshippers would have to walk on her grave upon entering. The small round cross with a hole in the centre apparently marks her burial spot.

I was delighted to see some archways that were not closed off to the public.

Which meant it was safe to have a look inside.

You can see from the next photo that work is being carried out on part of the ruins.

Many of the entrances were gated and locked for public safety reasons.

A look through one of the grills shows some more work in progress. It’s lovely to see old ruins such as these being preserved for future generations and open to the public to explore at no charge.

Dan has lots of interesting international Thursday Doors over on his blog this week and if you like what you’ve seen of Bonamargy Friary, I’ve included a link to more of its history and photographs.*

History of Bonamargy Friary *

Posted in Antrim, castles and ruins, Historical buildings, History, Ireland, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , , , | 15 Comments

Thursday Doors – The Station Master’s House

This week’s Thursday Doors features two lovely old properties, one of which is The Station Master’s House. This has been beautifully restored and is available to rent as a holiday let. Let’s see how it looks from the rear.

The Belturbet railway station opened in 1885 and served as a junction for the Great Northern Railway Company of Ireland and the Cavan Leitrim line. Unfortunately, it closed in 1959, was sold at public auction and gradually fell into decline. Thankfully, the station complex was fully restored in 1995 and refitted again in 2014. The Station Master’s House is a grade one building of cut stone and forms part of the Heritage Railway Restoration project of the Belturbet Community. I’ll leave a link at the end of this post for more information and photographs, including historical images.

Another tastefully restored building on the complex is the Goods Store, which now serves as a facility for conferences and meetings.

The crane that serviced the goods yard is also preserved and still in its original position.

Examples of farm machinery from a bygone era are permanently on display around the station buildings as part of an interesting outdoor exhibition.

I like the way the old wheel has been flanked by colourful flower beds in this next one.

I hope you found this week’s post interesting and if you would like to see some photos of what the station looked like before restoration work began in 1995 the link below will take you there. Dan has some lovely photos over on his blog this week, with links to lots of interesting Thursday Doors around the world.

History and Old Images of Belturbet Station

Posted in Belturbet, Blogging, Cavan, Historical buildings, History, Ireland, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Thursday Doors – A Mixed Bag

This week’s Thursday Doors post is a bit of a mixed bag. July has been lovely with dry, sunny weather. Less travel restrictions have resulted in friends and families reuniting and a semblance of normality returning almost everywhere. Not too many international tourists about but plenty of the country’s own residents taking ‘staycations’ instead of holidaying abroad. One of our trips was to Blackrock in County Louth, which is where I took this shot of the sundial sculpture. I know I’ve featured it before on the blog but it’s in such a great setting, I couldn’t resist another capture.

One of the many lakes in County Cavan is Lough Ramor in Virginia. This bench is perfectly situated for taking in the beautiful view, except for the fact that the seat is missing.

Close to the ‘seatless’ bench there was a tree that had tied itself in knots, as if stating that it wasn’t going to provide any straight planks of wood to replace that seat.

On another walk in a different woods I came across this lovely mushroom specimen. I’m sure it’s a Dryad’s Saddle, which is edible. So I took a small piece to bring home and sample but after only a short time frying in butter it was very rubbery in texture. I’ll have to get there earlier next year and harvest some at the right time.

Living in county Cavan, I don’t have to travel too far to enjoy a summer in the countryside. The water level in the Erne river that runs through Belturbet is very low at the moment and on most days is so still it looks like a mirror, as you can see from this image of the old railway bridge.

I was recently told of an interesting feature in one of old stone walls that once surrounded the military barracks in Belturbet. I usually walk on the other side of this wall because it runs along the marina and that’s why I’ve been missing it.

I think it came from an older barracks that was built in the 17th century, on the other side of the river. It refers to William of Orange or King Billy, as some would say. Another engraved stone is one of many road and way markers that are dotted around the countryside.

I think this one may have something to do with the river, as it’s a bit different from the usual old road marker. I know this is a pretty mixed bag of photos for this week’s blog but it was fun collecting them. No links to other blogs this week as our host is taking a short break at the moment. But in keeping with the title of this post, here’s a door I’ve never featured before.

This is the door to our local Men’s Shed. If you’ve never heard of it before it’s a community based project that was started in Australia in the 1980s where men meet up to learn, share skills and often make long-lasting friendships. The movement has spread to many countries and in Ireland we have the most sheds per capita with over 450 of them being visited by at least 10,000 men every week. Most sheds engage in woodwork, gardening, carpentry and community work. But some also focus on music, fishing and other special interests. In Belturbet they are involved in the restoration of an old railway carriage.

Thanks for joining me for this week’s mixed bag of Thursday Doors from various parts of the country.

Posted in Belturbet, Blackrock, Blogging, Cavan, Ireland, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Thursday Doors – Outdoors

The weather has been so hot here in Ireland lately that I’ve spent most of my time outdoors in the shade, so this week’s Thursday Doors post is all about nature. July has been extremely warm and dry, which isn’t a typical Irish summer. Temperatures have been ranging from 28 C (82.4 F) to 31 C (87.8 F) depending on which part of the country you’re in. I tried to conserve water as much as possible by using basins of dishwater to quench my vegetables’ thirst but some of the salad greens still bolted with all that sunshine. The runner beans and herbs loved it, though.

The grass was beginning to suffer so I watered it after a particularly hot day and who should come bounding out of his home in the red brick labyrinth only Bowie the frog. He does have his own dipping pool but seemed to enjoy soaking up the moisture from the warm grass while I was hosing the garden. Look at that big smile on his face.

Some of our family rented a holiday home for a week and brought a kayak with them so we spent most of the time cooling down in one of the hundreds of lakes in County Cavan. A few of them have beaches too, which made the youngest grandchild very happy. It was the first time I’ve been swimming in a lake for many years and it was wonderful. I’ll have to do that more often.

The holiday home at River Run was very spacious and bright with lovely views over the river and countryside.

There was a nice bit of space between the houses and the children had lots of room to run around outside during the cooler parts of the day.

The sunsets were gorgeous. You can see a small marina in the distance to the right of the next image. That was where we moored our boat, when we had one, and enjoyed the beautiful landscape surrounding this part of the River Erne, just outside Belturbet, County Cavan.

This week, the rain has returned and nobody is complaining. A little bit of respite from the hot sun is a nice change but I don’t think it will stay grey and wet for too long, as August is expected to be a mixed weather month. Hopefully we’ll have a few sunny days to enjoy before the season ends. I’ll keep you posted on that. Thanks for stopping by for this week’s Thursday Doors from the great outdoors.

Posted in Belturbet, Blogging, boats, Cavan, Ireland, nature, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments