The weather has really been lovely the past week here in Ireland. It’s been sunny, warm and dry.  I can’t ask for more than that!  As I was driving home last night, the sun setting on our local historic structures made them look even more majestic than I find them on any given day.  So I decided to capture some of that beauty today with my camera.  Of course today was overcast and the view is not exactly the same, but I find it special none the less.

We have two interesting pieces of history in our little village called Louth Village, in County Louth.  The first is St. Mary’s Abbey.  The present structure dates back to 1312 when extensive rebuilding took place after a major fire. There were apparently findings to suggest a Romanesque church building existed and was built sometime in the 12th century. There is a stone wall surrounding the Abbey and graveyard.

The second interesting piece of history is St. Mochta’s House.  This structure is one of the few remaining connections left to testify to the early existence of a monastery of Irish monks founded by St. Mochta.  St. Mochta was a disciple of St. Patrick and there are stories of many meetings between the two which took place right in our village! There is thought that the current structure was possibly built in the 9th century.  It is a two-storey building for an oratory on the ground level and sleeping quarters above.  Legend claims that it was built in one night while St. Mochta slept!  He died in 543.  The surrounding wall was built in 1906 by the Louth County Council, and conservation work on the building took place in 1934 by the Office of Public Works.  I was glad to learn that there is an active effort currently going on to continue conservation work.

As an American living in Ireland, I find the history so intriguing!  I even took a picture in the graveyard of a Monument built in 1800 which was erected simply for James Carroll and his posterity. The slab was renewed by his great grandson (James Marmion Gilmor Carroll) in 1945.  All I have to say it “neat!”.

I finished up the pictures with some views of “the green” around St. Mary’s Abbey.  It’s maintained by our local Tidy Towns group of volunteers.  They really do a great job of beautifying the area. Tidy Towns is a very successful initiative to clean up local communities to make them a better place to live, work and visit.  (for more info on Tidy Towns, click here:  http://www.tidytowns.ie/interior.php?id=2 )

I hope you enjoyed the little tour of some of my village!  I’ll have to capture some more pictures when the sun is shining!

Dana

Two signs greet visitors to the Abbey.

A view of the graveyard and St. Mary’s Abbey.

This structure is within the walls of the graveyard at the Abbey.

What is left of the Abbey.

So much history.

Another view!

Monument in the graveyard.

This picture of one of my daughters at St. Mochta’s House was taken on a bright sunny day! (what a difference!)

St. Mochta’s House in the field, next to St. Mary’s Abbey.  Below are pictures of the green around the Abbey.

If you look closely you can see the Abbey in the background.

A lovely house below, looking onto the green.

These two friendly fellows came over to say hello while I was taking pictures!

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