Thursday, July 14, 2016

Day 19: Jerpoint Abbey

It is the 24th of May, 2016.  We are getting closer and closer to the end of our journey.  We decided to back-track and see some of the things Larry, from yesterday's Ferns Castle adventure, suggested.

Grennan Castle.
 Jerpoint Abbey was highly recommended.  We arrived to find out this is one of those places that is cash only.  We are near the end of the trip and really didn't want to withdraw from an ATM, so we scrounged up enough change to pay Margaret at the desk.  She was about to give a tour to an arriving bus of Americans.  We had such good luck with Larry, we decided to stick with Margaret for her tour.  We were not disappointed.  She was hilarious and kind and incredibly knowledgeable.
Many surviving carvings in this abbey.
 This is a 12th Century abbey that went through major changes through the centuries.  Margaret pointed out details of the architecture that dated changes and explained the changes in the ideas of the church that added certain types of things.
The ruins of Jerpoint Abbey.
 After we thanked Margaret, we were on our way to Dunbrody Abbey.  We parked and saw a sign on the gate that told us the key was in the gift shop.  We went into the gift shop, paid a small admission and took the key across the street and into the abbey all by ourselves. After such great tour guides, I truly missed them going into this abbey.  I bet there was some amazing history that made it right past us.
Pass the cows to the abbey.
Dunbrody from the inside.
We returned the key and went on to Ballyhack.  When we arrived, the big block structure did not look like much of a destination.  Larry had told us there was a man who worked here who knew EVERYTHING.  We walked around the corner and found steps that led into the big block structure into a brightly lit office area.  Cian met us at the door and immediately asked if we'd like a free tour.  without hesitation, I said YES!  Cian seemed younger and newer at this tour-guide sort of thing, but he warmed up to us and the jokes and information began pouring out.  We were first introduced to the "murder hole" which had intrigued us since reading about it in the tour guide.  Basically, it's just a hole above the entry way.  If the inhabitants of the castle don't like the visitors or intruders, they can drop hot oil or whatever they want down the murder hole.  I was too busy listening and talking to Cian to take a single photo.  Not a single one.  Maybe I left with a crush on the guy.

Onward we go to Tintern Abbey.  We set the GPS and it guided us to....  drum roll..... a LOCKED BACK GATE.  We could see the abbey from there and it was nearly time for them to close so I decided to leave the car and walk.  If we had not, we would never have seen this view.
Tintern Abbey from the back. GPS fail, or win?
We spent a short time looking around the abbey and then the sweet woman at the front desk offered to drive us back to the car.  I wish we would have said no...  it was a SHORT walk, but a long drive all the way around and down a very narrow tiny road.  And when we arrived, 2 other tourists were parked behind us.  We had to wait for them to come back and move.  It was lovely to spend a few minutes with this sweet woman anyway.

It wasn't long before the third tourist arrived back and backed down the tiny road.  We were free to go on to Hook Lighthouse which we arrived at just past closing.  These signs were my favorite part of the lighthouse area.  
I want to see the blow holes!!!!
We happened upon Templetown Church Abbey.  There was a narrow creepy stairway that led up into a room that had a small bit of roof.  This place needed some love.  I wanted to stay and clean it up.
The room up the creepy stairs.
Across the street was a pub.  Convenient.  I could stay at the abbey, taking care of it, and eat at a pub every day.  I would like to propose this to someone doing hiring for this sort of work.
Templetown from the pub.
To be continued....

No comments: