Quin Abbey, County Clare

I ran my hands upon the walls
Fingers soft on stone
Walked like shadows through the halls
Through the ghosts that lingered still
Like the ivy on the towers
The moss upon the path
The rooks that sang of days long gone
Crumbling memories of the past
— Claire Loader

There is something quietly enchanting about a cloister, the soft footfalls of the past still reverberating around its walls.  A predominant feature of Franciscan Friaries, so few in the West are left intact.  But Quin, she is something special.  Walking around her vast halls you cannot help but be transported, whisked into the lilting rhythm of a long lost matins, reaching out from the very stone.

You can find the location of this imposing site and the many other places I’ve visited here. Come explore with me…

Copyright © 2019 Claire Loader. All Rights Reserved.

The Rock of Cashel, County Tipperary

We sought our riches in the sky
Where we thought they couldn’t touch us
Built our castle up on high
Closer there to God
But time and sword they came
Slinking in through stone
Taking until all was left
A hill of rock and bone
— Claire Loader

There are few things in life that are truly awe inspiring, that catch you in your throat, stop you in your tracks.  Towering over the rolling green plains of Tipperary, the Rock of Cashel is one of them.  Like something out of a dream, her towers reach impossibly towards the heavens, her walls nearly kissing the clouds, as they dance then with the sky.

You can find the location of this spectacular site and the many other places I’ve visited here. Come explore with me…

Copyright © 2018 Claire Loader. All Rights Reserved.

Kilmaine Abbey, County Mayo

I stood trembling in the long grass
Sunshine warm on stone
Tears falling softly
To the risen earth below

Yet I smiled as I watched
Tiny petals reach like towers
For I’ve not lost you to the earth
Simply to the flowers
— Claire Loader

It's easy to drive by Kilmaine Abbey, nestled as it is between house and shop. And I did, many times, until one sunny day a spree of colour caught my eye and I stopped to go in. Situated on the site of the biggest of St Patrick's three churches, a modest abbey in her winter garb, she is simply a thing of beauty in bloom.

You can find the location of this delightful site and the many other places I’ve visited here. Come explore with me…

Copyright © 2018 Claire Loader. All Rights Reserved.