Antrim is the county town of its eponymous county. It’s Antrim, Antrim! So good they named it twice! 22 miles from Belfast, Antrim lies along the banks of the ‘Six Mile Water’ and on the shores of Lough Neagh, the largest freshwater lake in the British Isles.
The town’s history goes right back to just 30 years after the dewath of St Patrick, when, in 495, a Gaelic – speaking settlement of monks grew around the presnt site of the Antrim Round Tower. Continue reading Antrim, Antrim…→
There’s a derelict house on Sourhill Road, Ballymena, which presents the passer-by with some interesting contradictions. The house is or rather was, a beautiful building, – almost an enigma, in its construction and decor, with beautiful colours, and fascinating roof patterns, and yet on even a casual inspection it is crumbling and decaying with broken slates and rotten timber. It is unoccupied and abandoned, but sits in well kept extensive grounds, with mown grass and a well kept gravel path. Its windows and doors have been removed and replaced with boards, but the boards have been painted to look like… windows and doors!
I’ve often driven along the M2 between Antrim and Templepatrick, and wondered about the little church, nestling up in the trees above the moterway. Today my curiosity got the better of me, and on the way home from a wedding I drove up to the church to get a closer look. It’s St John’s Church of Ireland, and it sits amidst a churchyard with some very ancient graves and tombs. Continue reading St John’s Church, Donegore→
The famous ‘Frosses Trees’ (original spelling ‘Frocess’) on the road between Ballymena and Ballymoney. The road runs through boggy ground,
and the Pine trees were planted in 1840 on the instructions of Sir Charles Lanyon (architect and civil engineer) so that their roots would join under the road to provide support… Continue reading The Frocess→
Friday, 6th July 2018 – and a business trip to Coleraine became a good excuse for a walk around the town of Bushmills. Although I can’t quite put my finger in it, here’s something I really like about Bushmills.
On a wet Sunday afternoon, I spent an hour or so wandering about Gracehill. I’d driven through it many times, but never explored it on foot. The village is situated around two and a half miles from Ballymena, and was built in 1765 by Moravian Settlers.
Q. What does a photographer do on his day off? A. Photography.
With no studio appointments on a Friday, and lured by the prospect of a decent spring day, and with another matter to be attended to in the area, I travelled to Ballinderry. It’s a rural area in Co Antrim, between Moira and Crumlin.
To be more precise, my real destination was Upper Ballinderry –
(There was a yarn – about a Ballinderry man who wanted to travel home from Japan, and who went to a travel agent in a small remote Japanese town, and asked for travel to Ballinderry. With oriental inscrutability and precision the clerk replied, Yes sir. Upper or Lower Ballinderry?)
He’d find it hard to travel to Ballinderry by train now as my first stop in the village proved. NIR has mothballed the line between Lisburn and Antrim and Ballinderry Station is now a shadow of its former self. The Antrim bound platform has been dismantled and the station building allowed to decay. The entrance to the station is now blocked. The track is still in place, – it was always a single track line, – but the passing loop has gone and the line seems to be used now as a siding. Today it had goods wagons sitting on the track.
Kellswater Reformed Presbyterian Church, near Ballymena, Co.Antrim. Built in traditional ‘barn’ shape in 1806. The congregation dates to 1760 making it the first RP Congregation in Ireland, and still singing only the Scottish Metrical Psalms in worship.