April 2010.

Friday, 30th April, 2010:  A while ago I announced a new section covering a limited number of sites abroad.  While I haven't abandoned this idea it has been pushed back indefinitely.  There is simply too much in Ireland to cover.  There are now over 130 sites uploaded and I have the same again to get put up. I'm visiting new sites all of the time so I am just going to continue uploading sites and expanding into other counties.  There's a long way to go yet.

Sunday, 25th April, 2010:  What a day!  Managed to pack a lot in down in Limerick today.  In the city there is a small pre-Normal church located in the middle of the modern housing estate.  The church is very nice but I think I would have enjoyed it more if it wasn't next to some trendy new houses.  I moved on to Mungret village and saw the remains of the 4 churches there.  Mungret was really fantastic and seems like it would've been a big community in the past.  I also found a bullaun there.  I then moved in and saw Carrigogunnel castle which reminded me of the Rock of Dunamase.  I'm sure there is a way up to it but where I was there were strict signs against trespassing.  I will try again another day for that when I have researched it more.  Then I stopped at a small church called Kilkeedy.  I know absolutely nothing about it and I can't find anything out about it.  There were the remains of two or three churches here though and was a interesting site.  Askeaton was a fantastic place and well worth the trip.  I met up with local tour guide Anthony Sheehy and he gave me a personal tour of the castle, church and friary.  All were fantastic but the friary was the highlight for me.  It was such a fantastic building with a fantastic history and I can see myself returning here again and again.  I then pressed on down to Monasteranenagh which is about 20km south of Limerick.  This was a also a great place with the remains of three churches.  It was a Cistercian friary and is huge.  Again this must have been a substantial foundation.  My last stop of the day was a small church and round tower near Croom. It is undergoing conservation work at the moment so I couldn't get inside but I was glad to see the work going on.  Next weekend will be a Laois weekend!

Tuesday, 20th April, 2010:  After many requests and a lot of fiddling about I now have maps for each site.  I have added a map link in the menu in the side bar where you can access a map containing the sites on this website.  Also, as new places go up on the site I will put individual maps of their location up as well. Many people have been asking for this and it has been something that I have wanted to do.  I am doing it through Google Maps which seemed like the best option.  Unfortunately the satellite pictures for parts of Ireland aren't that great so zooming in isn't possible in some area unless you switch off the satellite feature in the top right hand corner of the map. All new sites are automatically loaded onto the map and I'm getting the older sites loaded up as fast as possible but it may take me a week or two, so please bear with me.

Wednesday, 14th April, 2010:   Just put up my first site in 10 days!  I've had family over so I haven't really been working on the site but the uploads should be frequent again now.  Took the family down for a day trip to Carlow.  We saw the always impressive portal tomb at Browne's Hill and got there minutes before a coach load of tourists which was fortuitous because it can be a nightmare when covered with people.  We then made the trip over to a modern mock castle called Duckett's Grove.  This is an extremely impressive castle in the vein as Charleville castle but is was destroyed by fire in the 1930's so now stands a ruin.  They have reinstated some of the wonderful gardens here so this place has some other things to see as well.  I think eventually they are going to put in cafes and things like that so it really will be a nice place to take a day out. We then took a trip down to Ballymoon castle which is one of my favourite castles because it is so unusual.  Yet again we had the place to ourselves.  No visits this weekend.  I have been so busy in the last two weeks that I am just looking forward to putting my feet up for the weekend...but I will probably tinker with the site.  There is always something to be done.

Monday, 6th April, 2010: April started off well for me with 21 sites in Tipperary.  I saw the very ruined remains of wedge tomb in the Arra Mountains and then headed North and got to a few tower houses and churches.  I even managed to fit in a medieval castle as well.  One of the tower houses had a sheelanagig which will be a first for The Standing Stone.  After Saturday's day out I have now visited 120 sites this year which in three months is good going.  I will not be able to keep up the same pace all year but it ensures that I will have enough places for regular updates for the rest of 2010 at least.  I have family visiting this week so I will revisiting sites at Lough Gur and will be heading to Carlow for a day.  I will be seeing some sites again as well as fitting a couple of new ones.  I feel like I have been neglecting Laois and Carlow this year so they will be my aims for April. In May I hope to concentrate on Limerick and Kildare and get back into Offaly and Tipperary in June.  It is looking like Galway and Meath could be online by the end of the year...but no promises...I have some busy months ahead of me.  

In other news you can now follow me on Twitter (see the side bar below).  I resisted signing up for some time and eventually set up an account but never really used it.  I have recently had a couple of requests from people to become active on Twitter so that's what I will be doing.  I will Tweet when I'm out and about and will Tweet when new sites are uploaded.  Also don't forget you can also follow me in a reader (again see the sidebar below).

Happy Easter...