'Irish Inheritance'- Glendalough, monastic remains in County Wicklow
After a short break over the holiday season, I’m featuring again some of the places that appear in
my soon to be published new novel ‘Irish Inheritance’. Today we're
visiting Glendalough in County Wicklow, which Jenna and Guy visited on their
trip across from County Galway to the east coast of Ireland.
Image from Glendalough Visitor Guide
The monstery at Glendalough was founded by St. Kevin in the
7th century, and became an important monastic community until it was destroyed
(by the English) at the end of the 14th century. The church remained as a place
of worship and pilgrimage, and the buildings which survive probably date from
about the 11th and 12th centuries.
The Round Tower, probably the most famous round tower in
Ireland, is about 90 feet high, with an entrance about 10 feet from the base.
Towers like this may have been built as bell towers, but also served as storehouses and
sometimes as places of refuge.
The Cathedral is the largest and most imposing building at
Glendalough and dates from the late 12th/early 13th century. This photo shows
the square headed west doorway, and you can see the remains of the chancel arch,
and the east window.
Nearby, St. Kevin’s Church has a steep stone roof, formed of
overlapping stones and supported by semi-circular vault. The belfry, with four
small windows, rises from the eastern end of the roof.
There are several other churches at Glendalough, and further
up the valley with its two lakes, are the foundations of St. Kevin’s cell,
which was about 10 feet in diameter, and probably had a bee-hive type of roof.
I'm sure that Guy, my hero, being American, would have been as impressed by these ruins as my Canadian friends were when I took them to Glendalough a few years ago!