Tuesday, July 23, 2019

The Crush; not as you might Expect.

When Turnip House moved up to the Dromara Hills, we found ourselves in the remains of what was once a thriving family farm in the County Down Heartlands.

Abandoned around 1977, the magnificent house and outbuildings had fallen into disuse and collapse.

We loved it!

The back-to-back cow byre was just the perfect place for a Gallery tea room, and eight years on, it's at the heart of what we do.

Out on the Mournes-facing 'terrace' (as we would now call it!), is a small space, bounded by concrete walls, we think this would have served as an agricultural 'crush', where the livestock could be corralled for inspection or treatment. 

We kept it, adding and amending in places. 

It retains it's character, but has new purpose.

Now, for us and our visitors, it's the perfect place to take in the evening sun, the atmosphere and Spirit up here in the Dromara Hills.

Here's some pics I took this evening.

It's yours to share every day this Summer, up to the end of the August Bank Holiday.

We're also open every weekend throughout the year.

lichens on the wall, shadows of Aquilegia seed heads

Feverfew, self sown in the cracks

seed heads

iron, stone, plant

planting softens the walls

evening sunshine

one of Charlie's favourite spots!

and always, The Majestic Mournes

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Drumgooland Church and Graveyard, and High Cross?

We are surrounded by the past.

Not far from us, at Dechomet is an old graveyard, linked with an ancient Church, now gone, and possibly a Medieval High Cross, mysterious in it's provenance.

Recently a fabulous new access path has been made, and as I was nearby, (at Turley's Builder's Merchants) and the sun was shining, I took a look:

the fabulous new access path

an historic artefact in it's own right:
a 19th century flax mill chimney 

the base of the chimney

graveyard entrance

some of the remaining gravestones

still active

most of the upstanding stones were 'savagely' cleared in the 1970's and now line an edge of the site

inscription on the obelisk, marking the enclosure of the site by Arthur, Viscount of Dungannon in 1853

obelisk, and chimney

some amazing inscriptions

the line of gravestones

an overview of the site, after it's savage 'tidying' in the 1970's

beautiful brickwork, and recent repointing

Dechomet village and Mountain,
with School, Turley's Bar, Flax Restaurant, and Turley's builders Merchants

Overview on the Historic Environment map
satellite view

notes about the cross, and the tidying
 There is much more detail here on the Department for Communities website.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Yarnbomb! SOMA, Castlewellan, July 2018

Being textile people at heart, we always keep a weather eye out for yarn related activities in the World.

We were delighted therefore to see the great yarnbomb of the SOMA festival in Castlewellan this year.

It's a great spectacle, and a worthy contribution to this great, growing festival

Well done to all those talented dedicated people who created it - some of them not too far afield!

Friday, June 22, 2018

Summer Solstice 2018

It being Ireland, there are not too many fine dry Solstice days. 

I can recall about in and around ten in the thirty three years we have been back!

This 21st June 2018 is a noteworthy exception, absolutely beautiful, if a bit breezy.

Here are some pictures from the day:

Charlie on his lawn

the shrubbery!

the view from the lawn, with our three 'significant trees'

Elaine and Charlie, in a shady nook by the purlin seat

one of the small paths heads into the woods

the cross path below the woods

at the bottom of the garden

fuchsia, hit hard by the late frosts, but flowering early!

the willow tunnel
the view from the far seat

looking down to the far seat

massive skies

Friday, June 08, 2018

High Summer

A friend once said to me that in this part of the world there are two seasons:

May,  and Winter!

Well, this year May has been kind enough to offer some of it's cracking weather to the first week of June.

The days are warm and sultry, and as the evening sun approaches the Solstice on the 21st, the light on The Mournes is spectacular

Slieve Bernagh

The sun catches the Mourne Wall at the Hare's Gap

The view from the Picnic Lawn - stupendous!