Showing posts from December, 2017

Thanks for reading! | The Top 10 posts of 2017

Over the course of 2017 I’ve published some 63 posts of varying kinds, that garnered just under 70,000 views. As the year is drawing to a close, I just wanted to thank everyone who has read, shared, and (hopefully) enjoyed some of the content along the way. For those who missed out and would like to catch up, here are the Top 10 posts from 2017, plus a final, end-of-year plug for two posts that I really enjoyed writing that, I think, should have been a bit more widely read than they were. Again, my thanks for reading in 2017 … I’m already working on a large number of posts for 2018, so I hope to catch your interest with some of those too! 10) Glendalough: St Saviour's Priory 9) Ain't talkin', justwalkin'. Carrying a dead man's shield 8) Bronze Age burials at The Mound of the Hostages, Tara 7) Spiral staircase. National Museum of Ireland, Dublin 6) Three Sides Live |Professor Etienne Rynne Lectures | October 1994 | Part III 5) D

Ringhaddy Castle, Co. Down 3D

< Table of Contents

Ringhaddy Castle, Co. Down

< Table of Contents Some time ago, I took my children, the Chapples Minor, out for a day of archaeology sightseeing. Admittedly, promises of significant amounts of both bacon and ice cream had to be made to ensure compliance with the plan. Once we had attained some degree of agreement, the next question was where exactly we should go. The parameters included: sites we’d not previously visited before and distances relatively close to home. At this point, I deftly reached for my copy of ‘ A Guide to the Historic Monuments of Northern Ireland in State Care ’ and began to leaf through. I quickly identified a cluster of sites along the western edge of Strangford Lough as worthy of further investigation. Places like Mahee Castle and Nendrum monastic site were fairly well known to us, but other dots on the map were less so. That is how I ended up, having followed my SatNav, on a narrow road with a number of ‘Private: Keep Out’ signs, looking and feeling lost. I spoke to a passi

Out and about in Co Down. A Table of Contents of the Posts

One summer's day in 2015 I took my children, the Chapples Minor, off for an adventure of archaeology (supplemented by quantities of bacon and ice cream). In my typical style, it's only now (at the end of 2017) that I'm getting around to giving an account of where we went and what we saw. As I said with the series of Glendalough posts : I saw the sights, I took some photos. I've even turned some of the photos into 3D anaglyphs. The purpose of this post is to act as a Table of Contents to the various posts. As each post is published, the corresponding links will go live, so if you can’t reach an individual post, do come back later! Ringhaddy Castle, Co. Down Ringhaddy Church, Co. Down Sketrick Castle, Co. Down Tullynakill Church, Co. Down *           *           * Ringhaddy Castle, Co. Down 3D Ringhaddy Church, Co. Down 3D Sketrick Castle, Co. Down 3D Tullynakill Church, Co. Down 3D

Portaferry Castle Conservation

Portaferry Castle is a small 16th century Tower House built by William Le Savage. The Chapple Family are fairly regular visitors to Portaferry, mainly to see the Exploris Aquarium and I’ve written before about the Tower House [ Here ] and shared some 3D photos [ Here ]. The image in this post is a quick snapshot taken while passing on our way to the aquarium at the end of December last (2016). The interior of the castle is filled with scaffolding, apparently part of a conservation effort to secure the fabric of the building against decay and preserve it for another generation. All this scaffolding is an arresting sight and it made me reflect on how the castle must have looked during construction in the  16th century. I doubt that anyone at the time imagined that it would still be a prominent local feature in the 21st century and that we'd be spending money to preserve it. I wonder which of the buildings we're putting up today will be around in the 26th century? ...

Adventures in London museums: Table of Contents

Over the last few years I’ve been lucky enough to get over to London on a number of occasions on my own just to bask in the gorgeousness of various museums. Not doing research on any particular project, just as a tourist out having a look and a poke about. In this series of posts, I want to share some photographs from my excursions to three of my favourites: The British Museum; The Victoria & Albert Museum; and The Petrie Museum. In most cases, my intention is to merely give a few basic details about the piece: the location, provenance, date, that kind of thing. Some will have little snippets of stories to go with them, explaining my fascination with the piece or maybe it won’t. Some of these pieces I consider to be old friends – visited every time I go to the museum – while others are new acquaintances. All of them touched me in some way – intellectually, aesthetically, or emotionally ... sometimes all three … maybe they’ll do the same for you! My intention with this post is

Bronze Axes in the Ulster Museum

Today’s image is a small selection of bronze axes from the rather wonderful Ulster Museum. The example on the left is from Lisnisk, Co Antrim , while the one on the right is from Drumlough, Hillsborough, Co Down . The example in the middle is only located to Ireland in general. The Ulster Museum is open Tuesdays to Sundays & is free! Go explore!

The Shape of an L - a reply from Junior F [Watchman]

I love the idea that people read the posts I write. Some you like, some … less so. Whatever people think about the individual piece, I’m always grateful to know that I provoked some degree of thought and discussion. It is genuinely humbling and I thank all those who get in touch to discuss a piece or give me additional information, or help me build a fuller understanding. Then there’s “Junior F [Watchman]” … He decided that, after reading my most recent post about the possible meaning of the L-shape in Early Medieval Irish art that he had to go track down my personal email account and send me a 1,200 word reply under the title of “A mission to find your contact email..”. An edge-on view of the wonderful Stowe Missal Shrine (Warner 1906) Although I never claimed that the idea of the Trinity was ‘Biblical Doctrine’, he really wants to put me straight on this issue and how it ‘is one of the most profound lies spread by Catholicism which is diametrically opposed to the Shema’.

‘The Shape of an L’: Thoughts on the occurrence and meaning of the L-shape in Early Medieval art and religion.

[If you like this post, please feel free to share. If you can spare a little cash, I’d be grateful if you could hit the secure ‘donate’ button on the right. Either way, thanks for reading!] St Patrick’s Bell shrine ( Source ) One evening last September I posted a picture to Facebook of the back of the rather wonderful St Patrick’s Bell Shrine. This rear panel is decorated with a combination of equal-armed Greek Crosses, swastikas, and T-shaped or ‘Tau’ crosses. The blog post I wrote as a direct result of that online conversation ( "Always remember to draw the swastika turning to the right": Some thoughts on swastika directionality in Early Medieval Irish Art ) was (as the name implies) intended to examine the evidence for directionality of Early Medieval swastikas in Ireland or of Irish manufacture. There was a secondary aim to create a basic catalogue of the currently known examples and appeal for anyone with further information to come forward. In the li