Gates of Life ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 216

Gate at Mount Congreve Gardens, Co. Waterford
Gate at Mount Congreve Gardens, Co. Waterford

Gates have a a wonderful symbolism about them ~ very similar to bridges- and they’ve always been a source of huge fascination to me. Apart from anything else,  I have noticed how many of the photographs from my childhood involve gates of  various descriptions.

Me Sitting on a Gate Photo: Frank Tubridy
Me Sitting on a Gate
Photo: Frank Tubridy

Needless to say, the event in the upcoming Kilkenny Arts Festival (August 9th-18th) that has captivated me and fired my imagination even further, is one called: Kilkenny Gates: A Hidden Beauty

It’s about the history, craft  and beauty involved in wrought-iron gates across Co. Kilkenny and promises to be highly informative and inspirational.

There are just so many kinds of gates ….. and I’d love to know which ones come to your mind ~ be they physical or metaphorical?

Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

17 thoughts on “Gates of Life ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 216”

  1. As soon as I saw your post, I thought of Lord of the Rings and the scene where they are trying to enter underground but no one knows the password until it dawns on them. Gates play a significant part,as you say, in literature and religion as a means of symbolic understanding easily conveyed to all. I love the picture of the wrought iron gate – a magnificent edifice.
    And, I think I might have had the same sweater as you at about the same age.:)x

    1. Thanks for your comment and I couldn’t but smile about the sweater! I’m wondering now if you could have had the same little badge that’s on it in the pic. It was a ‘Busy Bee’ badge. The Busy Bees were definitely a UK organisation which wasn’t unlike a mail/correspondence version of the Girl Guides. The main emphasis, as far as I can remember, was on raising funds for animals though the activities were very varied.

      1. I’d never heard of the Busy Bees until now. I just recollect my sister and I each having a very similar jumper. Must have been a sixties or seventies style.:)x

            1. Just some fleecy vest like contraption with buttons, to keep out the cold. Very cosy but a bit bulky. Haven’t seen them since my sister and I had to wear them. I thought, at one point, it was a precursor to a bra! :)x

  2. What a great photo to have of your youth, when the world was full of possibilities and adventure lay behind every gateway. I loved the blog and the gate reminds me of a photograph Ciaran took of an old gate with a sunrise behind it which looked like the gates to heaven. It also reminds me of iconic gates revered in my house by some – the gates to Anfield soccer grounds and some would even go so far as to say that they are their idea of the gates to heaven.

    1. Hi Sinead, thanks for writing. Yeah, the photo is certainly a nice one to have. While I thought of the gates of Heaven, I didn’t think of gates to iconic gates. The gates to Wimbledon Tennis Club would be very high up on my list in that regard as indeed would Laurence’s Gate in Drogheda through which I cycled to school every day. It was something I never, ever took for granted and the history hit me each time I saw it.

  3. The gates in the wonderful Korean film: “Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter….and Spring”. A buddhist monk and the boy he raises live on an island in the middle of a lake. I can see the creaky gates in my mind’s eye. The monk and his charge pass through them from one kind of world to another, i.e. the spiritual to the every day world of temptations…It is my favourite film ever. I highly recommend it.

    1. Thanks Angie. There must be hundred of thousands out there and I love the way apparently ‘insignificant’ gates could have huge meaning for maybe just one or two people ~ one thinks of lovers meeting at a gate!

  4. I have a fascination with gates also Jean – we have an old rusty farm gate at the back of our house here and it is still in use. My project this year will be to get it restored. Thanks for bringing up the topic. There were poor gates, posh gates and medium gates that were for function or for ornamentation or both. There is probably a story behind them all.

    1. Hi Liz, your gate sounds lovely and it’s great that it’s still in use.
      I agree totally about the stories behind gates. No doubt, every single gate has a story attached to it.

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