Cobh/Ardmore (June 10)


Cobh (pronounced almost as “cove” but with a little bit of “b”) is a beautiful little town in southeast Ireland. Details here. Our guidebook suggested that we park in town, explore, and, if we had time, walk up to the cathederal. We lucked out because Bob spotted a parking lot as we came into town. Turned out it was right next to the cathederal. We walked to the front of the cathederal and decided that it was just too far down for a hike — it was also drizzling, so that’s our excuse. As you can see from the pictures, it is a long way down to the town.

These houses are referred to as the “deck of cards”. We presume because they are stacked on top of each other up the hill.

The guidebook was not excited about the cathedral except for the view — which is spectacular. Bob and Marilyn really liked the church — started in 1868 and completed in 1919. It is the tallest building in Ireland at 91.4 meters (300 feet). More here. The beautiful wood and the amazing amount and quality of the carvings made this one of the most impressive cathedrals we have seen. Can’t imagine what it cost to build in relatively modern time.


Ardmore is another small town between Kinsale and Waterford. It is known primarily for St. Declan’s Round Tower and Oratory. St. Declan brought Christianity to Ireland almost fifteen years before St. Patrick. Our guidebook suggests that he “had a weaker public-relations team”. More here.

The tower is almost 30 meters high (97 feet). The door is more than four meters up (about 14 feet).

The Oratory is known for the carvings over the doors and the ogham stone column. It is thought that the writing on most of the stones consists of personal names. More about script here.

We stopped in the only establishment that served food in Ardmore. Across the street was a building with a thatched roof. It was the closest we have been, so Bob had to get pictures. One can see how thick the thatch is and how the crown of the roof in reinforced(?) with thicker material. Lots more detail about thatching here.

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