Feartagar Castle, County Galway

A gentle summer wind
kissed the waking stone
slipped among the ruins
whispered over bone.

It gathered then the echoes
that hid amidst the trees
and took them to the sky
to dance above the leas.
— Claire Loader

Feartagar Castle is a beautifully preserved tower house nestled within the trees of the old Castlegrove Estate, just outside of Tuam. If you catch it on a good day, it feels like the sun slides right across the fields just to light up the main entrance and bath it in gold.

Find this site and many more here. Come explore with me…

Copyright © 2018 Claire Loader. All Rights Reserved.

Clonfert Cathedral, County Galway

They say we are barbarians,
the harp our only grace,
yet I dare all those who see her,
to say no god dwells in this place.
— Claire Loader

Nothing can really prepare you for the wonder that awaits at Clonfert Cathedral.  Peeking through the gates of this now quiet ecclesiastical site, the eyes take a while to adjust - like stepping out of a dark room into sunlight - but my, when they do.  One of the finest examples of Hyberno-Romanesque architecture in Ireland, the door of Clonfert is simply spellbinding.  Had it been built before Brendan the Navigator was planning his adventures from that very spot, he would indeed have been hard pressed to leave it.

Find this gorgeous site and many more of my favourite places here. Come explore with me…

Copyright © 2018 Claire Loader. All Rights Reserved.

Ballinrobe Priory, County Mayo

Come to me in the deepest night
and rouse me from my slumber,
from the shackles of my dreams
where pain and pleasure lurk.

Come wake me into daylight
to face what I have forgotten,
all the things I run from
each time I close my eyes.
— Claire Loader

If Ballinrobe Priory had a star sign, it would certainly be Gemini – the Abbey of the Two Faces.  Desolate in her winter garb, the earth damp with long forgotten grief, she comes alive then in summer, flowers blooming in alcoves, life within the stone.

Winter or summer, you choose. - you can find its location here. Come explore with me…

Copyright © 2018 Claire Loader. All Rights Reserved.