Thursday, 22 September 2016

Ireland - first two days

Arrived safely at Dublin airport at midday. After negotiating with the car hire company who tried to give me a manual car I was given a BMW. You may think that was wonderful but as the controls were European - on the opposite side to AUS it took some working out I can tell you.

My hire car at CArlingford
Stayed at a great B & B in Carlingford Co Louth  - the Belvedere B & B - for the first two nights see the view from my room below

This shows the ppub across the road and the top of Taafe's Castle.

Fortified town houses were a popular form of residence amongst the merchant cloasses of medieval Ireland. Taaffe's Castle was situated on the old harbour front which suggests that the building was the residence and depot of an important member of this merchant class. Business was conducted in the bottom floor and the upper floors contained the living quarters. The architecture indicates two phases of construction, the main tower of early 16th century date and a later 16th century extension. The building derives its name from the Taaffe family who became Earls if Carlingford in 1661.
(Thanks to Carlingford Heritage Trust for this info)

Belveder B & B also has a beautiful restaruat attached - The Bay Tree - with the excellent chef Conor. Con & Kristina own the B & B and restaurant and have two delightful daughters, Lucy and Zoe.
Entrance to The Bay Tree

Zoe at the Bay Tree

Inside The Bay Tree with Kristina's decor
On Tuesday I drove to Ardee County Louth whwere my 4th great grandmother, Rosetta Johnson, was baptised. Interesting market town and quite busy. Rosetta lived at Ballygown just outside Ardee and there is nothing there really just some cottages. I drove on to Kells for lunch - found a quaint cafe and had delicious mushroom and tarragon soup with brown bread. See below.

Mushroom & Tarrogon soup & brown bread
Carlingford is an interesting village and must be so busy in summer - I am pleased it is September. The weather has been wonderful - cool at night but pleasant days.

King John's Castle
This early Noprman fortress was named after Kinmg John who visited CArlingford in 1210. The western portion of the castle predates this visit and was probably commissioned by Hugh de Lacy c 1190. A massive curtain wall divides the earlier western courtyard from the eastern wing which  contained the living quarters.  The eastern section was constructed in the niod 13th century and has alterations and additions dating from the 15th and 16th centuries. The castle commanded an important defensive position on the Lough but by the 16th century it was described as being in a wretched condition and remained so until the O.P.W. undertook conservation work onit in the 1950s.
(Thanks to Carlingford Heritage Trust for this info) 

Left Carlingofrd about 10 am on Wednesday to drive to Ennis - staying at the conference venue for the next four nights. More later.


  1. Are you touring or just visiting places related to your family , Helen? Weather is good down here in Waterford today so I hope it's the same up there :-)

    1. Thanks Tony. I am visiting mostly locations of my ancestors but doing a bit of touring as well.