This lovely path leads to something called an Oratory.
If you’re thinking Yours Truly is really out of his depth now, you’d be right. Apparently there’s no actual oratory going on, or even ever meant to be. Truth be told, on another classic gloomy rainy Irish day this thing is down right spooky.
As near as I can fathom it’s kind of a sensory deprivation enclosure meant to have as little to distract as possible while contemplating one’s errors in judgment.
I dare say they’ve accomplished their remit well.
The Gallarus Oratory was built in the 7th century using the upside down boat hull design philosophy and it’s thought to be the finest, most complete example of its type.
A few miles away we found St. Brendan’s House, or the priest’s house, with beautiful fenestration.
Across the road is Kilmalkedar Church (Cill Maolcethair) and graveyard. Tradition holds that the church was established by St. Brendan, but then you know the Irish; more likely it was St. Maolcethair who died in 636 AD. The church itself was probably built in the mid 12th century.
This is a vertical sundial. All that’s required to know the time of day is a stick in the hole and presumably some sunshine.
These buildings are all part of the Saints Road, but on the way here we passed an intriguing ruin that I just had to go back and explore. It’s the Cathair Deargáin Ring Forts, probably from the 8th or 9th century. More than that I can’t really say.
Well that’s about as much as we can squeeze out of a rather punk day in Ireland. Now where will we park this thing tonight?