On the 22 October 1914, the people of Lough Swilly woke up to find 40 ships of the Imperial Grand Fleet anchored in the channel. The day before a U Boat had penetrated the defences of Scapa Flow and Admiral Jellico decided to move the fleet to the safety of Lough Swilly, which was defended by 7 military forts along its length. They stayed for a month while defences were improved at Scapa Flow. A mechanical boom was strung across the lough from Neds Point fort north of Buncrana to Macamish on the other side.
Barney Big Dan's Cottage in Upper Annagh, Clonmany, is where we spent ten summers from 1974. Three rooms with no running water and chemical toilet in the barn at the bottom of the garden. It was dark but very warm and comfortable and with a fantastic view from the front door across the valley to Crockaughrim. A great base for family holidays.
The top of Bulbin overlooking Clonmany in Co.Donegal. Towering over the village, the mountain with its cross was a favourite destination during the ten summers our family spent in the area. Dad's rule was 'three days without rain' before a climb could be attempted. Some summers that never happened!
The cross was constructed by locals in the early 1930's to celebrate the Eucharistic Congress of Dublin in 1932. This was one of the largest eucharistic congresses held in the 20th century and an estimated quarter of the population of the island attended the last event - a mass in Dublin's Phoenix Park. It was a big deal. In Clonmany, material for the cross was transported by horse and cart as far as possible and then by hand up the remainder of the mountain. It was a true community effort,
This is a place we only visited on a few occasions but, because a photo was printed on page 116 of 'Twixt Foyle and Swilly' it was a place high on the list of potential days out. It is called the Giant's Den and located on Mouldy Hill to the south east of Buncrana Co Donegal.
Its been a great Christmas for walks. I have been on the Moville to Greencastle walk a few times. Each time the changing weather conditions made it feel like a new place. This is the changing room and former pool near the start of the walk. It was designed by the architect Liam McCormick in the 1940's and is one of a number of similar pavilions he designed along its route.
Visited Inch yesterday -A fantastic place. The castle is thought to date from the Fifteenth Century and was ruinous by 1600. It still has a vaulted ground floor chamber and steps within its thick walls which open onto the remains of the great hall, which has fantastic views out over Lough Swilly. Its a great place for a picnic. On the hill behind is Grianan of Ailech thought to date from the Iron Age and restored in the late nineteenth century, another place full of atmosphere.
Time to get out and blown about. I love Cooley above Moville in Co. Donegal. Early monastery, high cross, 'skull house' and fantastic views.
Looking forward to Conservation Without Frontiers, starting today with a look at Donegal's vernacular architecture
21. Georgian Courthouse – Lifford Courthouse.
Also of the style, but a little more assertive, is Lifford Courthouse. Designed by the architect Michael Priestly and completed in 1754 (he also designed Port Hall House near Lifford and Prehen House near Derry), this public building makes much of its oversized windows. Their alternating stepped surround is of a form popularised during the period by the London architect James Gibbs and reflects a developing professional class of architects and designers. At the same time Priestly was drawing up plans for the Earl of Abercorn to reorganise Strabane and build 300 houses.
13. New Settlers- Hansard Memorial, Lifford
After the war a new King, James I of England and VI of Scotland, allowed O’Neill and O’Donnell to return to their lands. But some places, like Lifford and Derry were given to former soldiers and English laws were increasingly introduced. This memorial of 1622 to Sir Richard Hansard and his wife Anne in Lifford church explains that he was originally from Lincolnshire, educated at Cambridge and then became a soldier. He served during the Nine Years War and became governor of Lifford at its end. James gave him permission to found a corporate town at Lifford as part of the Ulster Plantation in 1610.
Marks of Time
Sketches of buildings in the North West and further afield with a little information about their history.