Traveling Nancy

Traveling around the world as far as I can go.

Fanore to Ballyvaughan

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Even though my original photos are deleted from my camera, Mary was able to Airdrop some of her’s to my iPad.  I wish I had all of mine, but I so appreciate Mary sharing some of hers with me.

Also, most of the photos from past days  (except for the ones I had to delete to make room for new ones) are still on my iPad.  That is such a relief.  I should be able to download them from the iPad to my computer when I get home.

So here I go with Mary’s photos.   This hike was three days ago so it’s difficult to remember things exactly.

Patrick took us up to Faunarooska for the the beginning of our hike.  On the way he pointed out Faunarooska Castle.  It had been built in the 17th century and was one of three cylindrical so called tower houses in the Burren.  Patrick told us that an American purchased it with the intention of renovating it.  Soon after the purchase, it totally collapsed.  That was 1985.  It has been for sale ever since the.  So, if you ever thought about moving to Ireland and purchasing a totally ruined castle, it is currently for sale for 25,000 Euros.  Mary has seen posters advertising the sale.

First we came across a ruined dwelling. We see many of these.  The rock work is very interesting.



I love the flowers growing in the rocks of what’s left of the dwelling.


Here is another home. At one time this was probably a nice little house .

It even had a fireplace.


Although it was cloudy and windy where we were walking, we could look back at the Aaron Islands and see the sun shining there. Notice the lighthouse on the far left end of the islands.

The field around us were filled with one stone. There were deep crevices between the stones.


Many times we came across fields that had some of the flat stones standing upright. We thought that perhaps this was something that had been done when the pagans were around.  Actually just yesterday we found out that people today stand the stones up to leave their mark. It has become a real problem. It’s just a form of vandalism. If people keep doing this it will ruin the Burren.

At the same time about how people have been going around turning up the stones, I learned that I probably shouldn’t be putting stones on top of Cairns in the Burren.  We should just be leaving things exactly the way we found them.

The path that were walking on his part of the old Green Road from Fanore into the Burren.  You can see that the rock walls curve in the distance. Some it probably depends on the placement of houses.


The yellow arrow painted on this Irish rock stile reminded me of the Camino.


We were headed down into the Cather Valley.


We came upon the 15th Century Rathborney Church and graveyard.


The arches and windows in the church were still intact  and it was great to look through them.


Most of the gravestones on the outside of the church were unmarked. We have no idea  what is underneath this mound  behind the stone cross and  next to the church.



There were several graves inside the church and many around the grounds. There were some memorial plaques inside the church. Most of the old grave stones around the church were not marked.  There were also some newer ones so it looks like it might still be used.   We sat down in the graveyard and have our lunch.

After we had walked about 7 miles,  We came upon the 16th century Newtown Castle which is  being used as the Burren College of Art.


This is Newtown Castle - Burren College of Art.

It is a circular castle.  Although it wasn’t opened, it was very interesting to see from the outside.

One of the arts students has created an art project looking like Rapunzel’s hair hanging out of the window.

image Somewhere along the way on our walk we came across this great little cottage.   Memory is fading so I can’t remember exactly where it was.


We also could see another very old stone structure in the field. It looked like another  church.   We found the sign on the gate going into the field with the stone structure was.


We could hardly resist. So I went across the street with two men were working on a house. They told me that they think it was an old monastery. I asked them about the bull and he said that he sees the bull was in another field  and it would be safe to walk past the gate.  So of course we went in to see it.



We have no idea what century the monastery had  been built. If my memory is correct, I think it was actually before the Newtown Castle and closer to the church. Since it was so close to the 15th century church and graveyard, perhaps they were connected in someway.

Toward the end of  our walk we wandered through a path that wound its way through what they call a hazel wood.  The path curved and meandered all the way through this words.


Then we came out onto an open line stone plateau. There were arrows showing this which way to go. Of course, I got turned around and was back at the wood path.  But Mary called out to me and on we went.  We were supposed to be looking for fossils on the rocks, but we didn’t see any.

Our notes also told about a Ballyvaughan workhouse. Apparently work houses were introduced by the British in Ireland in the mid-19th-century as a means of providing relief from extremely poor people.  They were intentionally run and uncomfortable establishment, almost like prisons, to deter any thoughts of getting an easy meal. Families were separated and not allowed to have contact and the inmates had to work 10 hours a day.

The work house in Ballyvaughan and had space for 500 inmates ( at a time when the parish and only 250 inhabitants). It was opened in 1852 and closed in 1923. Most of the remains of it are now buried under the sports field that we passed on our way into town.

We  walked by this very cute house.


Ballyvaughan is a very small town.  I like the store’s and building’s fronts.


We stayed at the Ballyvaughan Lodge.   The people were wonderful and in the morning we had a fantastic breakfast.

Author: Nancy Panitch

Traveling has been a passion of Nancy Panitch's life and she loves seeing how people in other cultures live. Her travels have taken her to many places within the United States, Asia, Europe, South America, and Africa. Being around people inspires her and she has much gratitude for the kindred Souls that are joining together with her in body, mind, and heart. She moved from Chicago to Portland, Oregon in 1982. It was one of the best decisions of her life. While in Portland she stays very, VERY busy. She volunteers (Inter-Religious Action Network, Human Rights Council, & ushering for various theaters); attends a Unitarian Universalist church; goes hiking with groups (Cascade Prime Timers & Trails Club of Oregon) and also with individual friends. Book groups, movie group, and bridge groups occupy her time as well. Her quiet activities include yoga, knitting, Sudoku, and reading. She enjoys all of these activities, but making time to see her wonderful 4 grandchildren takes priority over it all. She is happy to share this blog and hopes to encourage others to travel.

One thought on “Fanore to Ballyvaughan

  1. i want to move to Ireland!!!!!!


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