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Photographer's Note

Pictured here is Trim castle and some of the surrounding medieval buildings in the town of Trim, Co Meath.

I chose the name for this picture as I have met with friends on their first trip to Ireland, and as we drove around the country they remarked how surprised they were at the amount of ruins scattered around the country. It seems you do not have to travel far before coming across the ruins of a castle, a monastery, an abbey or a stately home. This is a testament to Irelands violent and often bloody history, when so many of the countries most important buildings were attacked or destroyed at the behest of invaders, or on occasion the Irish themselves.

In this scene we see to the left the main keep of Trim castle. Founded in 1172 by Hugh De Lacy, the castle stands on the south banks of the river Boyne and is an imposing sight visible across the entire town. The castle was a main center of Norman administration for the Lords of Meath and marked the outskirts of the Pale, an area around Dublin controlled by the English. The keep is unique among Norman castles in that it features 20 corners. This shot is taken inside the vast curtain walls, so not visible here are the immense stone gates and walls that protected this building.

On the furthest right of the picture is the Yellow Steeple, a building I have posted on Trekearth before. This tower is the remains of St Mary's Abbey, a former Augustinian abbey which was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. It was said to have been built on grounds blessed by St Patrick. At one point, Trim was a very important religious pilgrimage site and was renowned for the healing powers of the statue of the Virgin Mary. The abbey was dissolved in Henry VIII during the reformation and subsequently destroyed. The yellow steeple is all that remains. The iconic and much loved statue was burnt by the English.

To the left of the yellow steeple is Talbots Castle. This is a fortified manor house which was built in 1415 comprising of two main range buildings and a tower. The start of the 20th century saw the addition of an attic level. Despite its obvious age, looking closely at the building shows evidence of the many modifications which were made over the centuries. This building also played an important part in education as in the 18th and 19th centuries it was a school known as the Latin school. It was within its walls that the Duke of Wellington was educated.
Today Talbots Castle is a private home.

Finally, the building to the left of Talbots tower is St Patricks Cathedral. Not to be confused with St Patricks Catholic church (which was behind me when I took this shot), this is a Church of Ireland cathedral on Loman Street in the town. The tower we can see dates to the 15th century, and the remainder of the current building was erected in 1803 at a very historic site. Bishops have received their blessings here since 1536 but the building only officially received cathedral status in 1955. It is an important architectural site, as it features the first stained glass window ever designed by Edward Burne Jones and its cemetery contains a number of medieval grave slabs and the ruins of a previous church building.

Thanks for looking!

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Additional Photos by Noel Byrne (Noel_Byrne) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2232 W: 8 N: 4990] (17397)
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