“Not all who wander are lost.”
– J.R.R. Tolkien
I love saying Irish village names like Glendalough (pronounced Glen-da-lock). I feel like I’m in a Lord of The Rings movie and am on a mission to find Frodo & Sam. Through the “Mines of Moria” we go. I know this is completely in my head, but it makes for a better walk.
A hermit monk by the name of Saint Kevin established the village. As a young boy from a noble family, he would visit Glendalough. Later, he was known to wear only animal skins and sleep on stones or “in the hollow of a tree”.
Standing at 33 meters tall, it was thought to have been used as a bell tower or a place to protect valuables and manuscripts. It has also been thought to be a place of refuge during the Viking raids (oh those pesky Vikings) – although it is has been noted that hiding out in the surrounding forest was often a safer choice. After watching some of last season’s Vikings episodes, I am not so sure…but what do I know?
In the heart of Dublin stands Dublin Castle established in 1204 AD. Unlike the monastic village, the castle is still in full use – serving conference events and dining receptions. The State Apartments plays host to Presidential inaugurations and prestigious stately affairs.
The castle is rich with history, but the one thing I thought would be of interest since it is Hallowe’en, after all, is the Record Tower. It was not a place of refuge but was used as a prison. Spooky!
“It was the mightiest of the Norman corner towers. With 4.6m (15 ft) thick walls, it was highly suited to its function as a top security jail for State prisoners.
The most famous of all the escapes from Dublin Castle took place here on 6th January 1592, when Red Hugh O’Donnell and Art and Henry O’Neill, sons of Ulster chieftains who were being held hostage on the orders of Lord Deputy Perrot, made their successful getaway through the toilet chute.”
I shudder at the thought.