Castlegrove House, County Galway

Feet snagged by ivy,
where once dancing shoes they tread.
A hall once for laughter,
now for trees to grow instead.
— Claire Loader

Castlegrove House, on the Tuam to Ballinrobe road, is like a forgotten secret, a piece of history given over to the forest. Walking up to the silent remains hidden in the green underbelly of the woods, you feel almost like an intruder - a tiny trespasser amidst the towering memories of the past. The walls looming like forgotten sentinels, keepers now to the trees.

You can find the location of this hidden gem and the many other places I’ve explored here.

Copyright © 2018 Claire Loader. All Rights Reserved.

Abbeyknockmoy Abbey, County Galway

A seat for kings, now for crows
A place for god, now for toes
To tread softly around the quiet stones
And wonder at the weight of time.
— Claire Loader

A dominating feature in the quiet village of Abbeyknockmoy, County Galway, this sprawling Cistercian abbey hides a number of beautiful stone carvings and one of the last remaining medieval frescoes in Ireland. Depicting the 15th century poem 'Three Living Three Dead', you cannot help but feel it almost echo around the empty walls as the crows watch and wait ... "We have been as you are, you will be as we are. Wealth, honor and power are of no value at the hour of your death."

This striking site and the many other places I’ve visited can be found here. Come explore with me…

Copyright © 2018 Claire Loader. All Rights Reserved.

Belclare Old Church, County Galway

Silent is the slow march,
yet we do not walk alone,
too heavy is the coffin,
to simply be of bone.

A coldness builds and lingers
with every keening knell,
as we gift you to the sodden earth,
the gaping maws of hell.
— Claire Loader

As a self-confessed taphophile I love a good cemetery, but this is one I won't be running back to. Sitting silently overlooking the small village of Belclare, just outside of Tuam, there is something oddly unnerving about the long walk up the slope to the waiting graves above, never mind the gaping hole sunk into the mountain at the back. It's not hard to imagine the reason for its replacement on the flat - if the steep incline didn't kill you before you got to the top, one false move thereafter would see you not return.

Find this eerie site along with the many other places I have visited here. Come explore with me…

Copyright © 2018 Claire Loader. All Rights Reserved.