|Centuries later Vikings discovered these vulnerable settings and raided many of these tempting targets of their precious ornaments and wonderfully illuminated books. In an attempt to save their relics, the monks built the distinctive round towers, which the Vikings couldn’t plunder.
Even though many of these clerical sites are in ruins today, they still have the air of a prayer in stone.
In medieval times,hermits,heroes,Normans, raiders and pilgrims travelled across the island leaving their footprints as legends after them... We are fortunate enough to be still able to ride some of these old routes where Kings and soldiers passed. One of them is the historical Sarsfield’s Ride.
Like a step back in time you feel by looking at the story telling ruins of peasant farms along our wayside. The Penal Laws enacted to further crush Catholicism, and later the great famine had a devastating effect on the impoverished rural Irish population. Several million people died of starvation and diseases,or emigrated for a better life. A large number of landlords fled the country and all that is left of their glory are the ruins of spooky looking castles like Leamaneh Castle.
Yet, a wind of change blew in the 19th and 20th century,when nationalist Ireland started to fight the British rule. The country went through revolution and civil war until 1949 the Irish Republic was proclaimed.