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To make it easier to read about our trip to Ireland, I have made a page that is just for that. There is a tab above for Ireland Trip 2014 or click on the Home tab to read my other posts. I have also created a new page for My Weight Loss Journey if you are interested in that, click on the tab above.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Ireland #23 Eiobhan and Bird Poop

We woke to a pretty dreary day, rainy and a little on the cool side.
We decided it was a good day to visit Parke Castle.
This isn't a big huge castle, but one of the smaller ones.
More like a big house.
It is located Lough Gill.
I love the entrance with it's long entry way and 
wrought iron gates.
Here is the "courtyard" you'll notice the outline of stone in the
center.  I believe this used to be the site of another building.
I'm not sure what it was meant for.
Here are a couple out buildings and the well.
Notice the ground is very uneven and the stones are not
placed down in flat.
One of the reasons for this is, because there would be animals
in the courtyard as well as people and wagons etc.
All the debris would end up down between the stones
and as the people walked over the top of the stones
they would not be walking in the excrement from the animals.
When it would rain the debris would be washed away.
Looking though the gates at the outbuildings. 
The well that supplied the water for the castle.
There was a tunnel from inside the castle walls leading out to the lake.
This could be used for a quick escape via boat.
This is our guide.  Her name on her tag said "Eiobhan"
when she introduced herself she said her name is 
"Eileen"  thus we learned another Irish word.
I would have never guessed that this was how her name would
be pronounced.
That turret in the corner had an interesting story.
Here is a picture looking up into the turret
This became the nesting place for lots of pigeons over 
the years.
And looking down at the floor, you can see that.
Yes, I did take a picture of bird poop. 
There was a reason for that, I needed to take the picture 
to remind myself that this turret and it's pigeons and
their poop, played a big part in the life of the castle.
The bird poop was collected and they used it to make
gun powder.
Who'd a thunk!?!?!
We also had quite a lesson in thatched roofing.
Inside this building, which was used to make horseshoes,
there was a huge bellows that was used to start and keep the fire
going for the forging.
To the left side you can see the thatch that was used for
the roofing.

These pictures show the roof of the building from the inside.
Buildings that are used to live in, would have this all covered
and in fact most of the buildings would, but they left this open
to show how it was made.

This was used to hold the thatching in place.
It was sort of like a giant hair pin.
The thatch would be layered and then this "pin" would
be shoved down into the thatch to hold it in place.
There are several different kinds of thatch as well
as different grades.  Obviously some are better than others.
Layer after layer would be applied to the roof.
Some buildings would have "chicken wire" covering the thatch on the
outside of the building, this can keep birds and animals from burrowing into
it.  There are some buildings that also attach large rocks
to the roof, with ropes.  This keeps the roof from blowing off in 
high winds.
There was one young boy in our group, so he was 
the lucky one to get the chance of going into this
small room. The rest of us would have had to crawl in.
This was in essence a sauna.
They would build a fire and it would get hot inside the room
and it would be relaxing to go inside and sit for a bit.

Here is a view of the lake from the top of the castle
where there is a walkway to look out over the land and lake.

We also toured inside the castle. 
Below are some pictures from that tour.
Unfortunately, I didn't write down the stories she told us
and my memory isn't so great for the details.
I do remember that this straw "outfit" had something to 
do with marriage customs.
Don't ask me what, I just remember that it had 
something to do with dressing up and visiting the 
newly weds.
But then again, I could be confused on that point.
Sorry about that!
The piece of furniture that she is sitting on is a bed of sorts.
The seat lifts up and the front folds down and turns into
a bed when needed.  This could also be used for storage.
Sorry for the reflection in this picture.
There was a room set up with renditions of the family that lived
in this castle.  This is the wife and mother, that circle in blue is a 
table where she was making lace.
The ever popular spiral staircase.  Pretty much every castle
has some spiral staircases.  
This does not make me happy, I really hate going 
up and down them.
And last but now least, one of the fireplaces.
Can't imagine doing any cooking over one of these.

Thanks for stopping by to read a little more about Ireland.
Next post I'll tell you about some Celtic crosses and place 
W.B. Yeats is buried.

1 comment:

rebecca @ older and wisor said...

I have a feeling that "bird poop collector" wasn't considered a desirable job :)