I have recently been pondering the Abbey I was lucky enough to spend time visiting in Ireland a few years back. Could be inspired by the time I’ve spent recently, like countless others, glued to Masterpiece Theater waiting to see what’s next from “Downton Abbey”.
I still remember the hour I spent walking through Quin Abbey,in County Claire, on the drive to Shannon from Dublin. Her walls go back centuries as do the multiple grave markers seen in all directions.
Further investigation revealed the building remnants have seen turmoil for centuries as the sun has risen and set regardless of destruction, fire, or human based hostilities intertwined in generations of private ownership,a monastery and higher education. Oh, as I look back, knowing what I know now, I wish these walls could have talked that day.
All of the buildings were covered in beautiful green ivy seeming to add to the sense that the Abbey was communicating she is a survivor, and still standing. Still supporting life, if only that on a vine.
Some of the building remnants of the castle from years ago, exhibited walls that were several feet thick. This seems shockingly thick and a waste of material according to today’s standards. But we can barely comprehend the living conditions of the time compared to our multitudes of comforts.
Intertwined stone stairways led deceptively to open pits. This could be treacherous if you got lost in thought while meandering thru the natural light coming in through small openings where windows or even walls once existed. Even empty window frames still have remarkable level of details showing the skilled craftsmanship of the time.
I may never know if Quin Abbey was ever as drama ridden as the Abbey portrayed on TV. But I was lucky enough to visit this one, and am still mesmerized by what is still standing, after nearly a thousand years of cyclical destruction and restoration in its history.