I went out to Cooley near Moville in Co Donegal this afternoon. It is a place full of atmosphere and with great views over Lough Foyle. Quite cold and blowy but a good place to start the New Year.
On to Greencastle and Northburg Castle. Construction was started in 1305 by Richard De Burgo, 2nd Earl of Ulster. This was the main Anglo Norman stronghold in the north west and was reputedly based upon the design of Caernarfon in Wales. A strong ‘curtain wall’ enclosed a lower and upper ward with a timber great hall. The power of the Normans in the area was fatally weakened by the campaign of Edward the Bruce of Scotland in 1315-18 however and De Burgo had lost control by 1322. To one side of the castle a tower house was constructed by the O'Doherty’s in the fifteenth century.
On a day like today, the shore walk between Moville and Greencastle is the place to be. This is the bathing shelter along that route designed by the architect Liam McCormick in the late 1940’s. This encapsulates the sprit of early twentieth century European Modernism which advocated pure white forms in light as an ‘International Style’. The building was badly damaged in storms last year and it is a credit to those involved that it has since been restored.
First to Eskaheen on the hillside overlooking Lough Foyle at the southern end of the peninsula. Translated as 'calm water’ reputedly because of a number of holy wells in the area, the ruined medieval church has a marble plaque on its gable. This records that it is the resting place of Eoghan -the prince who’s name is given to the peninsula. Tyrone - the land of Eoghan, was formerly the area eastwards, across the Foyle and south to the current county, but the closest part was incorporated in the new county of Londonderry at the time of the Ulster Plantation in the seventeenth century. His burial at this site is recorded in the Annals of the Four Masters.
Marks of Time
Sketches of buildings in the North West and further afield with a little information about their history.