Writing Workshops, Retreats, Mentoring

Day 3 2016 – From Malahide to Sligo, Trim and Kells

Day 3 – While we did our yoga, breakfast and writing, Royal Irish gathered our luggage and stowed it on the bus. It would be a significant amount of travel that day, from Malahide to Sligo, so we set off promptly.

On the way to Trim, Joe told us the legend of the Salmon of Knowledge, and how Fionn mac Cumhaill, the great leader of the Fianna of Ireland, gained his vast knowledge. He also told us some of the history of the great castle at Trim.

In Trim, Joe let us loose for an hour and a bit to grab some lunch and visit the awe-inspiring ruins of the Castle.

Trim Castle was used in the movie Braveheart, and exploring the ruins, you can see why. In medieval times, Trim Castle stood like an imposing stone sentinel and powerful symbol of Norman strength at the edge of the Pale, the small area of Anglo-Norman influence on Ireland’s eastern coast. To go beyond the Pale was to enter the hostile world of the Gaelic Irish. Here at the edge, the two sides would have met – in conflict and in battle.

A red-haired beauty from our trip – looking very Irish at Trim!

On to the site of the old monastery at Kells. We prowled the churchyard, fascinated with the carvings on the old crosses.

The sun played peekaboo with the clouds while we were at Kells, so sometimes the carvings were in high relief, sometimes they were more hidden.

St Columba’s Church is one of County Meath’s most important religious sites, as it marks the location of the original monastery of Kells and Ireland’s principal Columban community during medieval times.

Found in Kells, St Columba’s Church was built in 1778, but the land on which it stands is one of County Meath’s most important ecclesiastical sites. The church marks the location of the town’s original monastery, established in the early middle ages after the High King of Ireland gave Columba the fort of Kells to set up a religious community. It became the principal Columban monastery in Ireland, but in 918 it was plundered and the church destroyed. Following the Synod of Kells in 1152, Kells was granted Diocesan status and the old Church was elevated to the status of a Cathedral for the Diocese. Of the medieval structures, only the bell tower remains.

At Kells, waiting to get back on the bus and enjoying a beverage. Not particularly monastic!

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