Today brought one of those excursions with son, Harry, that I always enjoy so much.
We went walking in Portlaw Woods which are about twenty minutes drive from Tramore.
Walking in woods is something I associate very much with Christmas time and it’s something Mother and Father introduced us to from when we were very young.
A hauntingly beautiful feature of Portlaw Woods is De La Poer Tower which was built in 1785 by the First Marquis of Waterford, George De La Poer Beresford, Earl of Tyrone, in memory of his son who died in a horse riding accident. The tower is 70 ft high and is very much a local landmark.
Here’s how it looked as the sun was setting:
The tower certainly is a remarkable memorial to a son and it made me all the more appreciative of having my 6ft 3in towering son walking along beside me.
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 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:
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?
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.
My passionate interest in Waterfords of the World drew me out yesterday to visit Lord Waterford’s Curraghmore in Portlaw, Co.Waterford. I write about the wonders of this magnificent demesne, which were shown to me by the highly knowledgeable Basil Croeser, in Section Six of Social Bridges.