Ever since I was a kid, I’ve had a mad curiosity about old churches and schools. Mother and I used to go on cycling expeditions and more often than not I would cajole her into giving me a leg up to peer in the windows of some ancient building that had a large ‘NO TRESPASSING’ sign at the gate.
I vividly remember the first time I actually entered the church in Bonmahon here in Co. Waterford. I was absolutely blown away by its lovely wooden beams and what felt like a depth of history.
Just last week, I drove up there again to see if I could get in to savour that beauty. There was a little plaque on the wall that left me reeling as it unfolded the history of the building in what was a key copper mining village in the nineteenth century:
The fact that this building has served so many different functions took me totally by surprise and I can’t stop wondering about the thousands of lives it must have touched, in a host of different ways, in its various incarnations.
I’m now looking at all sorts of buildings and wishing I could hear their stories!