There’s a beauty as well as a poignancy  in decay as I saw with my own eyes in Portlaw Village here in Co. Waterford the other day.

It was a church tower in the distance that caught my eye and drawing up close I was very taken by the red door:

The Red Door

The tarnished plaque above the door brings us back to the time of the Great Famine in Ireland in the 1840s:


Looking upward, there were signs that the church is in a state of decay and that the red door that once opened to a congregation is now a door into the past:

Haunting Beauty

The sight of this church window peering out from behind its coat of ivy confirmed that this was a place from the past ~ a place from which only the echoes of church music can be heard. But what of the births, marriages and deaths that were marked here and the weekly services where people would meet as community?

Window of History

Standing on the lovely stone bridge, the full picture of decay emerged. I left saddened and wondering but also touched by the peace of the place.

Bridging Time



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 I love to write both non-fiction and poetry.

27 thoughts on “Decay”

  1. Nice, evocative pictures and words Jean. Old churches have their own ghostly auras. The date stone on this one is chilling – a shiny new church just as the famine took a grip.

  2. This reminds me so much of the Joyce Kilmer poem, House With Nobody In It. Aare you familiar with that poem?

  3. It certainly is a beautiful building and grabs ones attention. The Red door is welcoming and what lies on the other side are peoples past lives. It’s very intriguing, almost mystical…

  4. Beautiful thoughts and photos Jean, it all the more strikes me over here in Malta to see the different stone in Ireland, and the very different ‘feel’ it gives one. It’s been lovely to see this difference today, thank you.

    1. Thanks Agnes.
      You’re so right about the different ‘feel’ that we get from stone in different places ~ even within Ireland.
      You certainly sound like you’re enjoying Malta.

  5. Indeed – I always get a sad feeling when i seen abandoned structures decaying. All the love and sweat that went into building it and now it is falling down – so sad.

    1. I find that the sadness is often softened depending on the nature of the setting and, indeed, the decay which can be beautiful in its own way.
      But, there is that thought of how those who built it and spent time there in its heyday would feel if they saw it now.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s