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Black Rock Castle

Black Rock Castle

The Ruins of Black Rock Castle

The first evidence of human presence in Ireland may date to around 10,500 to 8,000 BC. The receding of the ice after the Younger Dryas cold phase of the Quaternary around 9700 BC, heralds the beginning of Prehistoric Ireland, which includes the archaeological periods known as the Mesolithic, the Neolithic from about 4000 BC, the Copper and Bronze Age from about 2300 BC and Iron Age beginning about 4000 BC, the Copper and Bronze Age from about 2300 BC and Iron Age beginning about 600 BC. Ireland’s bronze age begins with the emergence of “protohistoric” Gaelic Ireland in the 2nd Millennium BC and ends with the arrival of Celtic la Tène culture by central Europe.

The Viking Port Vykyngelo Black Rock
The Norman Castle built on Black Rock

By the late 4th century AD Christianity had begun to gradually subsume or replace the earlier Celtic polytheism. By the end of the 6th century, it had introduced writing along with a predominantly monastic Celtic Christian church, profoundly altering Irish society. Viking raids and settlements from the late 8th century AD resulted in extensive cultural interchange, as well as innovation in military and transport technology. Many of Ireland’s towns were founded at this time as Viking trading posts and coinage made their first appearance.[1] Viking penetration was limited and concentrated along coasts and rivers, and ceased to be a major threat to Gaelic culture after the Battle of Clontarf in 1014. The Norman invasion in 1169 resulted again in a partial conquest of the island and marked the beginning of more than 800 years of English political and military involvement in Ireland. Initially successful, Norman gains were rolled back over succeeding centuries as a Gaelic resurgence[2] reestablished Gaelic cultural preeminence over most of the country, apart from the walled towns and the area around Dublin known as The Pale.

I took a stroll down the historical lane the other day and visited the Port of Wicklow Town. Judging from the pictures, appearing on the Information Board, it is quite a startling fact that these buildings could have been built so many years back. The area around Wicklow was referred to as Menapia in Ptolemy’s map which itself dates back to 130 AD. The Vikings landed in Ireland in 795 to begin their plundering of the land.

The Anglo Norman Castle Black Rock King Edward 11

Situated on a rocky headland to the South of the estuary of the Vartry River in Wicklow Town, County Wicklow Ireland, stand the lone remains of Black Rock Castle. Said to be built by the Norman Baron  Maurice Fitzgerald in the late 1200s.

The castle was built on the site of the original port occupied by the Vikings and who named it, ‘Vykyngelo’, being an old Viking word that means ‘Meadow of the Vikings’ in the 9th century. In the following years, it was captured successively by local Gaelic clans, the O’ Byrne’s and O’ Toole’s, then taken by the English King Edward 11 in 1311. Retaken once more By the local clans in 1313. Over the years the Viking name evolved to the present Wicklow.

My next visit will be to the Wicklow Gaol, once lockdown lifts and I shall give you a few more Irish History titbits

Text Credits: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Ireland. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicklow. en.wikipedia.org .

Picture Credits: Historical Information Board on Black Castle site.

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Who Would have Thought?

Surely we would all be quick to acknowledge that the greatest technological advent in our day was the invention and household availability of computers and more especially the internet.

One might say that the pace began in the ‘80’s and it could also be suggested from then until today; the knowledge humanity gained in 40years is equal to that gained from the dawn of civilization until the ‘80’s!

For a little additional illumination, we should go on a journey through history. I selected a period in the mid-1800’s through to present day.

Continue reading Who Would have Thought?

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The Speech

 

The president stood, flanked by high ranking military officers on the raised deck. A little to one side stood a young Marine, who held the Medal of Honor with the two loose ends of a blue ribband. It was a warm day in Washington DC, there might have Medal of Honor 3been, at the very least, two hundred people crowded into the airy flag bedecked room.

An orderly walked on to the deck and signaled the occupants of the room to silence.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, the President of the United States of America!” He stated.

Continue reading The Speech

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Jessica and Pieter-Jacobus

 

Boer War

 

All the while she gazed out her upstairs window – the bright moonlit Transvaal winter’s night revealed a fantasy landscape before her. It was a stage upon which she could set the actors as she wished. Continue reading Jessica and Pieter-Jacobus