Cathars | Cathartic.

Another, final post from wonderful Languedoc.  So many wondrous things to see and do; walking or boating the gorgeous Canal de Midi… …to exploring superb architecture… and extraordinary ecclesiastical art…. …to hillwalking the landscapes of mountain and dramatic, steep sided river valleys. But what makes Languedoc unique, and gives the area its extraordinary  atmosphere of mystery and… Read More Cathars | Cathartic.

Saint Patrick’s History, 4: Richard Boyle, earl of Cork, power, politics and intrigue in Elizabethan & Stuart Ireland.

In a series of three seperate earlier posts, we’ve looked at the history of Dublin’s cathedral of Saint Patrick’s, from the early Christaina era,  in one post, to the Viking ear in another, and finally to the Anglo-Normans, and “the story of the two cathedrals”. It’s all a long, immense, complex web of religious and… Read More Saint Patrick’s History, 4: Richard Boyle, earl of Cork, power, politics and intrigue in Elizabethan & Stuart Ireland.

The Origins of Saint Patricks cathedral – part one. 430AD to the early Celtic church.

Important Note 2:  Note on photography, maps, and image credits.  all photographs in this article are by the author, unless otherwise noted.  I’m not precious about it but if you wish to use an image please contact me and if I provide permission naturally I’d like to get a basic acknowledgement and credit and please provide a link… Read More The Origins of Saint Patricks cathedral – part one. 430AD to the early Celtic church.

Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, my favourite place in the world.

As an architecture and history obsessive, I often discuss with my students their favorite Dublin visits and “sights”.   The great medieval Cathedral of Saint Patrick’s came up in class conversation the other day.         I was a little mystified, not to say horrified,  when one of my students shrugged her shoulders, and said it was “so-so” !  … Read More Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, my favourite place in the world.

Part ii- Dublin to Concarneau and Carnac; a sailing voyage on the coasts of Brittany.

Part ii- Dublin to Concarneau and Carnac; a sailing voyage on the coasts of Brittany. Getting there:  (Part Two)  Day zero + 1.   North Wales to Plymouth.  We leave mid-morning to catch the train,  first leg Bangor to Birmingham.   Despite the continuing grey weather, the first part of this journey is quite nice,  with the… Read More Part ii- Dublin to Concarneau and Carnac; a sailing voyage on the coasts of Brittany.

St Brendan’s Cathedral & St Brendan Navigator.

a stone carving from a capital that adorns a column in Saint Brendan’s Cathedral, Loughrea, Co Galway. The Cathedral was designed by William Byrne and funded by the wonderful Edward Martyn,  Catholic land-owner, Humanist, scholar, patron, and playwright. Martyn was an absolutely vital figure in Ireland’s Gaelic Revival,  a hugely important benefactor to the arts.  Among his many… Read More St Brendan’s Cathedral & St Brendan Navigator.

Four details… four pictures from Dublin and around Ireland.

A small set of curious pictures,  just four today,  for readers to puzzle over.   In a break with tradition, these images are not all from the capital.  Two pictures are from Dublin, but the other two from elsewhere in Ireland, from much further afield.  Enjoy,  and please feel free to share with friends or colleagues.… Read More Four details… four pictures from Dublin and around Ireland.