Visiting the Killamery High cross, I spied just to the south of the cross a striking gravestone, that of “William Costello, of the parish of Grangemocler”.
With a little bit of careful rubbing with paper and pencil (crayon not being to hand) I deciphered the inscription:
William Costello of the parish of Grangemocler
All you that pafs this woful Elegy
Your former sins repent and pray for me
Death has constrained my age at 33
A perfect warning to posterity
1807 III June he died
May his Soul in heaven be Ever Glorified.
Unfortunately getting a good view of the stone in the light with my phone camera proved tricky, so apologies for the quality of these images.
Along the Grange Crag Loop walk,near the village of Grange in the Slieveardagh Hills, one comes across an arresting monument built two hundred years ago. Almost unbelievably (when you contemplate the scale of the structure today) it was overgrown and only rediscovered in the 1990s. Here it is:
And here with a view of the more recently added spiral stairs that take one to a viewing platform:
From the Slieveardagh Website
The Wellington Monument
In 1817, Sir William Barker, the then landlord of Kilcooley Abbey estate caused a large structure to be erected in commemoration of the Duke of Wellington’s victory over Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo two years previously. The Wellington Monument has a finely carved dedication stone on its 15 foot high west or ´front end´. The south side is also impressive but the remaining side of the monument is half the ‘Light’ and clearly shows that the structure was designed to be viewed from the west and from Sir William’s manor house at Kilcooley a mile away. The monument – technically called a folly, became completely hidden by forestry in latter years and its reappearance in the early 1990’s, following Coillte’s clear felling was a pleasant surprise to all.
The site features some of the most impressive explicatory plaques I have seen anywhere (there is even more on the other side):
I didn’t know that Napoleon was of an average height for his time, and that British propaganda portrayed him as the short prototype of Small Man Syndrome. And while I had known that Wellington did not say “just because you are born in stable doesn’t make you a horse”, I didn’t know that in fact Daniel O’Connell said it, in modified form, of him.
There are magnificent views from the top:
The top was a little vertiginous. While the structure is reassuringly solid and I knew I was safe, I felt like I did on the Glasgow Tower. This distracted me a little from the excellent display explaining what one could see (and meant I didn’t take as many photos as I would have liked. And I did find the typo at the end of this description of Gortnahoe appropriate, for me at least:
I would like to re-iterate that this is a wonderful site to visit and that the structure is very solid and secure…my own reaction to heights is the issue. The local community deserves immense credit for its work and I highly recommend a visit here.
Walking in the Millennium Forest in Kilkenny I saw in the distance what seemed like an unbelievably considerate butterfly lying still on a tree trunk:
As I approached, it was suspiciously still and increasingly, well, plastic looking:
On closest inspection, it was indeed a plastic model someone had inserted onto the trunk:
I prodded it with a twig, just to make sure. Yep, my ability to distinguish a real butterfly from a plastic model remains undimmed by the passage of time.
This wasn’t there a week before. Someone has evidently placed it on this prominent tree beside a bench (possibly the single most prominent tree in the forest)
There seems to be something of an underground trend of what could be called guerrilla forest modification (I am sure there is a better term than that) I’ve posted before about a seemingly spontaneous sign proclaiming a spring in Wilderness Gorge in Clonmel a “Holy Well.” While the popular fairy trail concept is generally an officially sanctioned one, I have seen unheralded Fairies and Fairy Doors in Castledermot Co. Kildare and also on a recent visit to St Berrihert’s Kyle (in a grove of trees beside the Kyle itself)
While one can imagine This Kind of Thing going a bit far, it is a pleasingly spontaneous artistic intervention, one that seemingly has occurred without official sanction or the need for some kind of proposal to be written.
Brittasdryland (Bhriotás an Drílinnigh) – “Briotás” a borrowing from Anglo-French “bretesche”, wooden stronghold from “big oak tree” (see here and here) and “Dreeling”
Lousybush (Sceach na Míol):
And my favourite, Mortgagefields which sounds like a possible title for a Martin Amis-ish dystopian take on post-crash Ireland – and whose Irish name Na Morgáistí does mean “the mortgages”