An hour in Adare

In which I find a nice little park, suffer a disappointment and find some lovely stained glass windows…
The last full day of the holiday arrived dull and grey but not wanting to waste it by staying in Roscrea I decided to take myself off to Adare which was, according to various sources of information (and I quote) ”one of Ireland’s prettiest villages with its main street lined with unique thatched cottages” – even on a dull day it sounded like it was worth a look. To get there I had to change buses at Limerick ; the coach from Roscrea to Limerick passed through Nenagh and as there was a shop there I wanted to go back to I decided to break my journey, get what I wanted then continue to Limerick on the next coach. With two different bus companies running between Roscrea and Limerick, and staggered bus times, planning my journey was like planning military manoeuvres and it would have worked out well if everything had gone to that plan but it didn’t.
The first coach arrived twenty minutes late in Roscrea so I only had just enough time to get what I wanted from the shop in Nenagh before the second coach arrived, however I needn’t have rushed after all as that one turned up forty five minutes late. Of course when I got to Limerick my intended bus to Adare had gone ages before so I had to wait fifty minutes for the next one, however I finally got there albeit quite a lot later than I’d wanted to. As it turned out though, arriving late in Adare didn’t really matter as I didn’t stay as long as I’d expected to.
The bus put me off at the entrance to Adare Town Park, it looked like quite an attractive place so I decided to have a look round there first. With lots of trees and lawned areas, a small stream running along one side, a thatched gazebo and plenty of benches it was a very pleasant place to walk round and would probably be very pretty in spring and summer.
DSCF3626 - CopyDSCF3628 - CopyDSCF3627 - CopyDSCF3632 - CopyDSCF3629 - CopyDSCF3630 - CopyDSCF3631 - Copy
On the way into the village, and just up the road from the park, I’d noticed a row of thatched cottages and as my sources of information had said the main street was lined with them I expected to see many more, but looking down the road all I could see were normal buildings and shop frontages. Across the road from the park was a heritage centre and tourist information place so I went in there to ask, only to be told that the cottages up the road were the ones I was looking for. So much for the main street being ”lined with thatched cottages” – one row and that was it. I felt like saying that whoever produced and printed the information should be prosecuted under the Trades Description Act!
When I went to have a proper look at the cottages I found that most of them had been turned into little businesses ; there was a café, a gift shop, a craft shop, two very small restaurants, a bistro and a couple of holiday cottages. Admittedly they did look quite attractive and no doubt in summer, with gardens full of flowers, would look very pretty, but having expected to see a quaint little village full of them I was rather disappointed to find that those were the only ones.
DSCF3633 - CopyDSCF3636 - CopyDSCF3637 - CopyDSCF3634 - CopyDSCF3640 - CopyDSCF3639 - CopyDSCF3635 - CopyDSCF3641 - Copy
Next door to the heritage centre was Holy Trinity Abbey Church, the only Trinitarian Abbey in Ireland. There is no record of the exact date of its foundation but it’s believed to have been established between the years 1230 and 1240. Dissolved in the 1560s the church eventually became a ruin but in 1809 the 2nd Earl of Dunraven restored the building and gave it to the Catholic Church. No major structural changes have taken place since 1884 although there have been several modifications and some development in the years since then, and in summer 2010 a programme of critical repairs was undertaken to preserve the church.
DSCF3645 - Copy
DSCF3646 - Copy
The sanctuary

DSCF3647 - Copy

DSCF3650 - Copy
The sanctuary screen
DSCF3649 - Copy
A section of the sanctuary ceiling
DSCF3658 - Copy
The Lady Chapel
DSCF3652 - Copy
From the church a short walk along to the far end of the main street produced just one more thatched cottage set back from the road in a wrap-around garden, then with nothing else to see in the village and the afternoon still dull I decided I may as well get the next bus back to Limerick. I had about half an hour to wait though so I went to look round inside the heritage centre and found a very bright and pleasant looking cafe ; I just had time for coffee and cake so I ordered a slice of Banoffee pie and a latte, and was pleased to see that this time the coffee came in a proper glass mug.
DSCF3659 - Copy
DSCF3663 - Copy
Coffee and cake at the heritage centre cafe
By the time I got back to Limerick the daylight was fading rapidly. The bus from Adare had taken me to the bus station but the coach back to Roscrea left from Arthur’s Quay park, a good walk through the city centre, and as I had an hour to kill I thought I may as well take my time in going there and get a few evening shots en route. Past Arthur’s Quay the front wall of the Hunt Museum was lit with green lights so I got a shot of the horses against the coloured background then walked along to where I could see the illuminated side of the castle ; I even had time to cross the bridge, walk along the riverside at Clancy’s Strand then re-cross the river at the next bridge, where my final shot was one of the illuminated 1916 war memorial.

DSCF3664 - Copy

DSCF3666 - Copy
O’Connell Street
DSCF3671 - Copy
The Hunt Museum
DSCF3674 - Copy
King John’s Castle and river views

DSCF3673 - CopyDSCF3676 - Copy

DSCF3677 - Copy
The 1916 war memorial
Relaxing by the fire later that evening I went through the photos I’d taken while I’d been out. It had been an odd sort of a day and I hadn’t been particularly impressed with Adare ; I’d only been there for just over an hour and that had been enough so I doubted I would ever go back there again, however since getting back home I’ve found out about another couple of places there which, on a nice day, may be worth visiting so who knows? – maybe I’ll make a return visit sometime in the spring or summer months.

 

Another day in Dublin – Part 2

After lunch my walk continued with a visit to Trinity College to find the Ernest Walton memorial, a modern sculpture with a series of five spheres ‘balanced’ one on top of the other. The college grounds are very extensive and in spite of getting directions from one of the staff at the entrance I couldn’t find this thing anywhere so eventually I gave up. What I did find though was a very peaceful little garden set back off one of the paths and with a bed of brightly coloured plants and foliage next to it.
DSCF2694 - Copy
A garden in Trinity College grounds
DSCF2692 - Copy
DSCF2693 - Copy
DSCF2691 - Copy
DSCF2690 - Copy
From the college I headed up to the top of one of the busy shopping streets to the next place on my list, the Royal Fusiliers’ Memorial Arch, generally referred to just as Fusiliers’ Arch. It was built in 1907 and modelled on the 1st century Arch of Titus in Rome, and while most people just see it as the main entrance to St. Stephen’s Green it’s actually a memorial to the 222 members of the Dublin Fusiliers who died fighting for the British army during the Second Boer War in 1899 – 1902. Stand underneath the arch and look up and the names of all the fusiliers can be seen on the underside.
DSCF2702 - Copy
Fusiliers’ Arch, St. Stephen’s Green
DSCF2701 - Copy
DSCF2700 - Copy
Next on my list was Iveagh Gardens, just a 3-minute walk away from St. Stephen’s Green, and tucked away behind the buildings on the south side they are still a secret to many as there is no obvious way in ; the entrance nearest to St. Stephen’s Green was actually at the end of a cul-de-sac full of parked cars so could quite easily be missed. The gardens owe their layout to the Great Exhibition of 1865 and have several unusual features including a miniature maze modelled on the one in London’s Hampton Court, although impossible to get lost in unless you’re only 2ft tall, and a water cascade over a rock feature made up of pieces from each of Ireland’s 32 counties. Unfortunately I’d only just got to the park when it started with fine drizzly rain and though I spent several minutes sheltering under the trees it showed no signs of stopping, so I gave up on exploring the place properly and took just a handful of shots from under my umbrella.

 

DSCF2727 - Copy
Iveagh Gardens
DSCF2728 - Copy
DSCF2729 - Copy
DSCF2730 - Copy
Heading to the next place on my list my eye was caught by a small and unusual looking building sandwiched between two much taller buildings. It turned out to be the entrance to a church and it was open so I went in for a look round, and what I saw really took me by surprise. The interior was absolutely amazing and incredibly beautiful, so much so that I’m saving the photos for another post.
And so on to my next port of call, the National Museum, to see the Bog Bodies. There are several of these on display in the museum but the one featured in the ‘111 Places’ book is known as Old Croghan Man after the area in Co. Offaly where he was found in a peat bog in 2003. It’s been estimated that he died sometime between the years 362 BC and 175 BC and would have only been in his late 20s ; what’s left of him indicates that he was 6ft 3ins tall and his smooth hands and manicured fingernails suggest that he was of high social standing, maybe a king or someone in line to become one. Whoever he was he died violently from a stab wound to his chest then he was decapitated and his nipples were cut off before his body was cut in half. Looking at this headless, legless torso in its display case it was incredible to think that this ‘thing’ that had once been a man was so old – certainly a testament to the preservation properties of peat bogs which can mummify human flesh and prevent decay.
DSCF2737 - Copy
Old Cloghan Man
DSCF2735 - Copy
Another reason for me to go to the museum was to visit the Natural History part of it which was in the same building and not far from the Bog Bodies. Established in 1856 as a ‘cabinet-style’ museum its layout and animal collections haven’t changed much since Victorian times and it’s often described as ‘a museum of a museum’ or commonly referred to as ‘the Dead Zoo’. It seemed to be a very popular place as it was extremely busy and I found it difficult to take photos without someone getting in the shot or standing right in front of what I wanted to photograph ; it was very interesting though and I could have spent far more time in there than I actually did but time was getting on and I needed to think about heading back to the bus station.
DSCF2738 - Copy
DSCF2760 - Copy
DSCF2772 - Copy
DSCF2774 - Copy
DSCF2771 - Copy
The Dead Zoo
View from the upper balcony – photo from the internet
Across the road from the museum was Merrion Square, one of Dublin’s largest and grandest Georgian squares with an attractive central park, though my main reason for walking round there will be covered in another post. As I walked down the east side of the square I stopped briefly just inside the entrance to the park to snatch a couple of photos then continued along the north side where I came to the sculpture of Oscar Wilde lounging on a huge boulder across the street from the house where he was born.
The Wilde monument was created by sculptor Danny Osborne who travelled all over the world to source suitable materials for his work and brought back some of the earth’s rarest stones. The green of Wilde’s smoking jacket is nephrite jade from Canada’s Yukon, while the collar and cuffs are pink thulite from central Norway. The tweed-like trousers are sculpted from blue pearl granite with pieces of feldspar showing through, a material which came from a fjord near Oslo, and the shiny black shoes are charnokite, a black granite material from India. As the sculpture had to keep its colours while outdoors and subject to different weather conditions only the rare and ultra-hard materials chosen were suitable.
In 2007, ten years after he first appeared on the boulder, which is 35 tonnes of Irish quartz, Wilde needed a head transplant as the ceramic which had been first used had started to crack, so Osborne travelled to Guatemala and returned with a special white jade which was sculpted into Wilde’s permanent head. Oscar Wilde is remembered, among other things, for his extensive writings, his colourful personality and flamboyant dress, and this sculpture is certainly a great tribute.
DSCF2783 - Copy
Merrion Square Gardens
DSCF2784 - Copy
DSCF2792 - Copy
Oscar Wilde sculpture
The Oscar Wilde sculpture was the last thing on my list for that day ; apart from the very short time I’d spent having lunch I’d been walking constantly for over four and a half hours so it was definitely time to get the coach back to Roscrea. There were a couple of things on my list which I hadn’t found but I can look for those, and other things, on another day in Dublin sometime in the near future.

Ashton Gardens in summer

Back in April, while on an afternoon out in St. Anne’s, I went to Ashton Gardens situated on the edge of the town centre.  It was a place I hadn’t been to before and in the sunny weather I was impressed enough to want to go back during the summer, so my Monday walk this week features a second visit which was undertaken earlier this month. Just as previously I started my walk at the gates in the side street closest to the town centre then wandered round in a ‘sort of’ anti-clockwise direction, ending at the gates on the main road.
DSCF1416 - Copy
St. George’s Road entrance
DSCF1420 - Copy
DSCF1422 - Copy
The first of two bowling greens
When I got round to the rose garden I must admit to being slightly disappointed as it didn’t look quite as good as I’d expected. Although all the beds were full of roses of different colours it seemed that many of them were already past their best with withered blooms and fallen petals, indeed two gardeners were busy dead-heading the worst of them. Not being interested in gardening I’ve no idea if there’s a particular time when roses are at their best – maybe there is and I’d missed it, or maybe the best was yet to come, however the garden was nice enough in its own way and I got a few good photos.
DSCF1423 - Copy
DSCF1424 - Copy
DSCF1425 - Copy
Beyond the rose garden was the undulating land with the two ponds and meandering waterway, and the place looked a lot different to April when the trees were still quite bare. And strange as this may sound, I actually thought that there was too much  greenery around as a lot of it was obscuring what had previously been some really nice views, however I still got some good shots and the bonus was seeing the fountain in the big pond shooting water about 15ft in the air, something I hadn’t previously known about as it hadn’t been working in April.
DSCF1426 - Copy
DSCF1432 - Copy
DSCF1430 - Copy
DSCF1431 - Copy
DSCF1436 - Copy
DSCF1437 - Copy
DSCF1440 - Copy
DSCF1442 - Copy
Next came the Japanese garden which I’d missed last time as I hadn’t known about it, then the circular sunken garden with its beds full of pink and white flowers ; in the bright glaring sunlight they looked rather washed out but the pink ones were actually much deeper than they appeared. From there I made my way past the war memorial and the pavilion cafe then down the wide main path to the gates onto the main road, finally making my way back to where I’d left the van in the car park at my usual cafe.
DSCF1443 - Copy
The Japanese garden
DSCF1447 - Copy
The sunken garden
DSCF1450 - Copy
DSCF1449 - Copy
The pavilion cafe
DSCF1452 - Copy
DSCF1454 - Copy
DSCF1455 - Copy
Looking back up the main path
It had been interesting to see the difference in the gardens now it’s mid summer but of course that’s got me wondering what they will be like in autumn when the leaves are changing colour – and who knows, maybe a third visit will be on the cards in the not-too-distant future.

 

Strolling round Queen’s Park

My Monday walk this week is an exploration of a large local Victorian park right on the edge of the town centre, a park which I haven’t been to for over 40 years. I remember my parents taking me there when I was a child – with nothing but acres of green space, a duck pond and a rather rubbish playground tucked in the bottom corner I thought it was the most boring of all the local parks. Fast forward to 1977 and when I worked at the far side of town I would often walk home through the park although I didn’t take much notice of my surroundings and have never been there since, but with a grant of over £4 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2009 the place has undergone several improvements over the last few years so on a recent lovely sunny morning I took the dogs and went to check it out.
Queen’s Park, an area of roughly 22 acres, was created on pasture land purchased from the Earl of Bradford, and lies on sloping ground just out of the town centre. Originally called Bolton Park it was opened in 1866 by the Earl of Bradford himself, then in 1897 it was renamed in honour of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. Features included an ornate bandstand surrounded by water and flower beds and with amphitheatre-style terraces for seating, a pavilion building, an ornamental fountain, a large paddling pool and the Chadwick Museum which opened in 1884. The bandstand and its lake, the pavilion and the fountain were all gone long before I was born, the paddling pool disappeared not long afterwards and the museum was demolished in 1957 after the exhibits were transferred to the new town centre museum in the main library building – maybe if these things had still been there when I was a child I would have found the park a lot more interesting than I did at the time.
The park does have a couple of claims to fame though – in 1969 outdoor scenes for the Bolton-based film Spring and Port Wine, starring James Mason, were shot there, and in August that same year a little-known singer named Freddie Mercury performed with a band called Ibex in front of 500 enthusiastic teenagers at the town’s first open-air rock concert. He formed his own band Queen the following year and went on to become a global superstar.
There are several minor entrances to the park and two main entrances, one being at the bottom end close to the town centre and the other at the top on the wide main road which eventually leads to Chorley. My stroll started from this top entrance and straight away I got my first few photos, then as I walked down the wide main path a squirrel ran across in front of me to the bottom of a tree, staying there just long enough for me to snatch a photo of him.
Copy of Local area 2019 258
Daffodil display near the entrance
Copy of Local area 2019 261
Names are listed on all four sides of this cenotaph
Copy of Local area 2019 259
Copy of Local area 2019 260
Copy of Local area 2019 262
A few yards along I came to the large circular formal sunken garden surrounded by trees, shrubs and bushes ; the flower beds were bare but I did see my first rhododendron shrub of the season in full flower. A little way along the path from there, and set in an elevated position, was an informal garden with modern seating and views over the lower end of the park and towards the town centre.
Copy of Local area 2019 267
The sunken garden
Copy of Local area 2019 264
Rhododendrons are my most favourite shrub
Copy of Local area 2019 265
Copy of Local area 2019 268
The modern garden and seating area
A minor path on the right took me down through the trees to the largest of the two lakes inhabited by various ducks, swans, geese and seagulls, then another path took me back up the slope to a wide and pleasant terraced walk backed by shrubbery where a modern war memorial and three Grade ll listed life-size statues on tall plinths were set back among the greenery.
Copy of Local area 2019 271
Copy of Local area 2019 273
Copy of Local area 2019 287
The terraced walk
Copy of Local area 2019 278
John Fielding, mill worker, trade unionist and MP, statue erected in 1896
Copy of Local area 2019 280
Benjamin Disraeli, writer, MP and twice British Prime Minister, statue erected in 1887
Copy of Local area 2019 282
James Dorrian, popular and well-respected local doctor, statue erected in 1898
Copy of Local area 2019 285
Modern war memorial erected in 2015
Copy of Local area 2019 284
At the end of the terrace I walked down the grassy slope to a minor path with the aim of getting to the bottom end of the park and working my way round and back up to the top, however a signpost told me that Dobson Bridge was down a path on the left so I decided to go and have a look. Dobson Bridge was erected in 1878 to link the original park with a later extension (now playing fields) on the far side of the River Croal and was officially opened by B A Dobson, Chairman of the local Park Committee. Built of cast iron and on cast iron supports it has ornamental stone pillars at both ends, each with an ornate cast iron plaque featuring the town’s crest. Thinking back to my childhood I remember the bridge to be a grey not-very-nice-looking structure but having been restored and repainted in modern colours it now looks quite attractive.
Copy of Local area 2019 302
Dobson Bridge
Copy of Local area 2019 301
Copy of Local area 2019 299
River Croal from the bridge
Copy of Local area 2019 298
Riverside walk
Copy of Local area 2019 292
The path passed the end of Dobson Bridge and a little way along was a small fishing lake backed by a bank of trees and another bridge, plainer this time, which led to a small development of modern business units across the river. There was a path on the far side of the fishing lake so I was able to walk all the way round before making my way back to the lower end of the park.
Copy of Local area 2019 289
The fishing lake
Copy of Local area 2019 290
Copy of Local area 2019 293
The fishing lake and Dobson Bridge
The next path split into two so I took the lower one which headed in the direction of the playground in the bottom corner of the park, and Sophie being Sophie she found what must have been the only muddy patch in the whole park, though by the time we got to the playground the mess on her paws had disappeared. Not far from the playground a set of wide stone steps and a long path led back up to the terrace with the statues, and at the bottom of the steps was a fountain and a couple of benches. From the playground I took the path past the bottom main entrance and the modern cafe and followed it uphill towards the main road, with my last shot featuring the same as the first – daffodils.
Copy of Local area 2019 288
Look who found the muddy bit
Copy of Local area 2019 306
Copy of Local area 2019 311
“Look mum, my paws are clean again now”
Copy of Local area 2019 310
Copy of Local area 2019 316
Copy of Local area 2019 318
The path to the terrace
Copy of Local area 2019 319
Copy of Local area 2019 315
A very colourful play area
Copy of Local area 2019 320
Heading back to the main road
Copy of Local area 2019 305
Back at home I checked out the park on Google Maps satellite view and realised there were a few things I hadn’t yet seen. Maybe it was because I’d been looking at the park with fresh adult eyes or maybe the modern improvements had helped, but I’d found it a lot less boring than when I was a child, and having missed a few things this time I’ll certainly be returning later in the year for another exploration and dog walk.

New Year’s Day walk 2019

After more than two weeks of almost constant gloomy and wet weather New Year’s Day was dry, bright and sunny so I took the opportunity to go for an afternoon walk round part of Leverhulme Park, a local place I hadn’t been to for about twenty years. Unfortunately though, I couldn’t take the dogs this time – with Sophie having recently had a major operation she wasn’t allowed out and it wouldn’t have been fair to take Poppie and leave Sophie behind so for once I was on my own.
Leverhulme Park is the largest of all the local parks and was gifted to the town by well-known local soap magnate and generous benefactor William Hesketh Lever (Lord Leverhulme). Back in 1914 Bolton Corporation was negotiating to buy 67 acres of land on the outskirts of town to turn into a park but when WW1 broke out government restrictions made it impossible to raise all the money necessary for the purchase. When William Lever heard about this he bought the land himself and presented it to the town, then went on to buy further pieces of land to extend the park to 98 acres – a total of 88 of these acres were donated by him and the park was eventually named Leverhulme Park in his honour.
Although the top end of the park provides the usual park facilities – well mown grass, bowling greens, cricket pitches, football pitch, playground, dog walking areas and more recently an up-to-date leisure centre and running track – the bottom end has more of a countryside look with wild meadows, woodland, two rivers and several unmade tracks and paths, and it was this part I was going to explore.
My walk started at the main car park close to the playground and followed a wide tree-lined tarmac path with the cricket pitches and a bowling green up a bank on my left. After a while the tarmac changed to cobbles and the path went downhill through a small wooded area, ending up close to a road where a row of cottages nestled in the shadow of the 86ft high Darcy Lever viaduct. This was once part of the railway line connecting Bolton to Bury but the line was closed in 1970 and the track was left derelict for many years, though more recently the viaduct has become part of a shared footpath/cycleway running from Bolton to Radcliffe.
copy of 2019 017
copy of 2019 018
copy of 2019 021
A few yards along from the cottages the River Tonge flowed down wide shallow steps and under the road ; footpaths ran both right and left of the river and I took the right hand one as I knew that would take me back into the park. I hadn’t gone far when the path split at the beginning of a wild meadow ; going straight on would take me directly across the meadow so I went left through a small coppice and followed the river round the meadow’s edge. At the point where Bradshaw Brook joined the river itself a man was throwing sticks into the water for his dog although it looked rather gloomy just there as the tall trees were keeping the sunlight at bay.
copy of 2019 020
copy of 2019 024
copy of 2019 025
copy of 2019 027
The River Tonge
copy of 2019 029
Bradshaw Brook
At the far side of the meadow the path took me through a thicket of trees to a second meadow ; the man and his dog had given up playing in the river and were walking ahead of me. On the left was a bridge with stone parapets and railings, a bridge which I knew would lead to another more cultivated part of the park although I would save that one for another time. Continuing straight on the path led through more woodland but not sure of where I would end up I turned right and followed a nearby dirt track uphill.
copy of 2019 030
copy of 2019 032
Bradshaw Brook near the bridge – a great spot for picnics and paddling in summer
copy of 2019 033
copy of 2019 035
Looking towards the meadow from the bridge
copy of 2019 037
copy of 2019 039
copy of 2019 040
copy of 2019 041
The top of the dirt track brought me out onto the main path through the top end of the park close to the running track ; although it was only just after 3 o’clock I was already losing the best of the sunlight so deciding that it was time to go home I followed the path past one of the more modern slide constructions and back to the car park.
copy of 2019 043
copy of 2019 044
It had seemed strange walking without the dogs but although it hadn’t been a long walk – time-wise it had only taken 45 minutes – it had been a good one and it was nice to see that the bottom end of the park hadn’t really changed in the years since I was last there. I’d got some good photos too so I must remember to go back in the spring/early summer to see the differences a change of season will make.
copy of capture-20190105-211023
My walk, clockwise from yellow dot
It’s good to see that my blogging friend Jo is resuming her Monday walks when she can so I’m linking this with her latest, a walk round a nature reserve and salt marshes in Southern Spain, ending with some delicious-looking cake and cream.

South of the Liffey – Temple Bar

Across the road from St. Stephen’s Green main entrance were four horse-drawn carriages so as I love horses I went over to say hello to them. The ponies were all standing patiently waiting for customers ; the black one obligingly lifted his head and posed for me while I snapped his photo and the one at the back made me smile as he was dressed for Christmas complete with reindeer horns on his head. A bit further along the road I came across two large bright yellow-and-blue amphibious tour vehicles belonging to Viking Splash, and although the prices aren’t exactly cheap it looks like a fun way to see some of the city.
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 216
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 217
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 218
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 219
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 220
From the park the next place I wanted to see and actually go into was the Natural History museum ; built in 1856 as a ‘cabinet-style’ museum the building and its animal collections haven’t changed much since Victorian times and it’s often described as ‘a museum of a museum’ and referred to as ‘the Dead Zoo’. Unfortunately though I couldn’t seem to find it ; I’d turned down a street off the road past the park as I knew it was in that area somewhere, and though I found the archaeology museum, which I had no interest in, there was no sign of the natural history one. It was only much later, while studying a map of the city, I realised that if I’d gone just one street further from the park I would have found it, but at least now I know for another time.
Having given up on the museum I made my way back towards Trinity College and past a hardware shop with a name which amused me enough to take a photo of it. Past the big Bank of Ireland building I came to the maze of side streets known as Temple Bar, a busy neighbourhood just behind the riverside. Promoted as being the city’s ‘cultural quarter’ and centre for nightlife many of its pubs and bars host live music events and among its cobbled streets are quirky boutiques, contemporary art studios and galleries and many many cafes and eateries – it’s even possible to go on a ‘musical pub crawl’ for an evening of songs, food and drinks in three different pubs. Several buildings are painted in bright colours and there’s street art everywhere ; I could have spent at least half a day just wandering round all the streets but with limited time I didn’t go too far.
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 222
A great name for a hardware shop
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 227
A colourful mode of transport outside the Temple Bar Hotel
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 238
ThunderRoad Cafe and party restaurant
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 240
One of the area’s best known pubs – the musical pub crawl starts here
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 239
Another popular place
Down a narrow side street and on a corner I came across the brightly painted Icon Factory, a cafe and art gallery, and in an effort to prevent unofficial and senseless graffiti the walls of the adjacent alleyway had been painted in bright patterns and designs. About halfway along were painted boards depicting some of Dublin’s humorous references to the various statues situated around the city, and though I’d previously known about a couple of the sayings featured I didn’t know about the others so I photographed them all.
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 228
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 229
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 237
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 233
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 234
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 235
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 231
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 230
Copy (2) of Ireland - dec. 2018 233
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 236
Retracing my steps back along the alleyway I went past the colourful Icon Factory and down to the end of the street which brought me back to the riverside not far from the pedestrian-only Ha’penny Bridge. Officially named the Liffey Bridge it was built in 1816 using 18 cast iron sections made by the Coalbrookdale Company in Shropshire and shipped over to Dublin. Before the bridge was built there were seven ferries which were used to cross the river at that point but they were in such bad condition that their owner was told to either fix them or build a bridge – he chose to build the bridge and was granted a 100-year right to charge anyone crossing it a ha’penny toll which matched the previous charge for using the ferries which it replaced – hence it became know as the Ha’penny Bridge. While the toll was in operation there were turnstiles at each end of the bridge but the toll was dropped in 1919 and the turnstiles were eventually removed.
Fast forward to the 21st century and in 2001 the number of people using the bridge on a daily basis was counted as a staggering 27,000 ; a structural survey showed that some renovation was needed so the bridge was closed for repairs and reopened in December that year. In 2013 Dublin City Council removed over 300kg of love locks from the bridge and signs were put up asking people not to put any more padlocks on it. It’s such a popular bridge that I hadn’t a cat in hell’s chance of getting a photo of it with no-one on it but I took one from a distance and luckily only a few people were crossing at the time.
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 243
The Ha’penny Bridge looking west
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 256
One of the fancy lamp fittings above the bridge
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 244
Looking east from the Millennium Bridge
A couple of blocks along from the Millennium Bridge I came to an unusual-looking and rather elegant four-storey building on a corner ; this was Sunlight Chambers, currently home to a firm of solicitors, and it was decorated with picture friezes above the ground floor and first floor windows. I couldn’t really make out what the friezes signified but they were so unusual I took photos of what I considered to be some of the nicest ones.
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 245
Sunlight Chambers
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 248
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 246
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 247
The building and its friezes intrigued me so much that once I’d got settled back here at home I decided to do a bit of research, and what I found out really surprised and amazed me. Designed by Liverpool architect Edward Ould the building was constructed in 1901 to be the Irish headquarters and offices of Bolton-born William Lever (later to become Lord Leverhulme) of the well-known Lever Brothers soap company.
Sunlight soap was one of the first soaps to be made on an industrial scale from vegetable oil and using architect Edward Ould William Lever built Port Sunlight, a manufacturing base and model town on the Wirral in Cheshire. When he needed a name for his new Dublin headquarters a variation of the Sunlight theme was obvious so the building became Sunlight Chambers. The friezes were designed and crafted in 1902 and actually tell the history of soap and hygiene, with some of the features being symbolic representations of how Lever Brothers made and exported their products.
As I photographed Sunlight Chambers and various parts of the friezes I had no idea then that the building in front of me would turn out to have such a connection to my home town – and now I know about it I’ll certainly make a return visit in the not-too-distant future to take some more photos.

South of the Liffey and St. Stephen’s Green

As I crossed the Samuel Beckett bridge I stopped in the middle to take a couple of photos of the river in both directions then continued along the south quayside, and with not many people about that part seemed to be a lot quieter than across the river. Heading west the sky lost its blue colour and became dark grey and heavy although the sun was still shining so I kept my fingers crossed that it wouldn’t actually rain. Almost opposite the Jeanie Johnston ship I came across something which I didn’t expect – set back off the road and surrounded by modern office buildings and commercial premises was a row of 3-storey terraced houses which looked like the lower level was all basement flats with the actual houses up above. A highly commercial area seemed a strange place for a row of residential dwellings but they actually looked quite nice and they certainly had a good view of the river.
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 180
Looking east with the MV Cill Airne – the Blue River Bistro Bar – in the foreground
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 183
Looking west
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 185
The Jeanie Johnston
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 186
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 187
On City Quay and just past the Sean O’Casey bridge I came across The Linesman, a life-size bronze sculpture by Irish artist Dony MacManus. The winning entry in a public art competition in 1999, it commemorates the tradition of docking in the area and is a tribute to all the dockers who worked at Dublin port throughout the years. A few yards further on and across the road I descended from the sublime to the ridiculous when I came across a closed down cafe with a roller shutter displaying its daft name and picture which rather amused me.
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 191
The Linesman
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 192
I wonder who thought of this name?
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 190
The Custom House and Talbot Memorial Bridge
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 193
The next bridge along was Butt Bridge and just up the road on the left my eye was caught by a brightly coloured building so I went to check it out. There was nothing which gave any clue as to what the building actually was but later research has told me that it’s the Tara building, a co-working hub with a gallery and cafe, and the outside was painted by the Irish street artist Maser ; it was certainly very eye catching and worth a photo.
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 194
The Tara building
Past another couple of bridges and opposite the wide O’Connell bridge I took a left turn and went in search of a couple things I particularly wanted to find. This area was much more central and compared to the quietness of further back along the quayside it was heaving with people and extremely busy. Although I hadn’t planned it the first major thing I came to was Trinity College ; there seemed to be a lot of people going through the gates so I decided to take a quick look. Founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth l it’s a sister college to Cambridge’s St. John’s College and Oxford’s Oriel College ; it’s also one of the seven ancient universities of Britain and Ireland and is Ireland’s oldest surviving university, with the ancient Book of Kells being kept in the library there.
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 197
The campanile (bell tower) in the college’s main quadrangle
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 196
Copy (2) of Ireland - dec. 2018 195
The Graduates Memorial Building
Next on my list was the Molly Malone statue which I found outside St. Andrew’s church in one of the narrower shopping streets. A group of buskers were singing on the nearby corner so there was quite a crowd gathered, and as is often the case with famous statues it seemed that everyone around wanted to have their photo taken with this one and I had to wait quite a while to be able to get a shot with no-one else in it, though unfortunately I couldn’t do anything about the information kiosk behind it.
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 200
St. Andrew’s Church
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 225
The Molly Malone statue
Having previously studied a small map in a free booklet about Dublin’s attractions I followed my nose up to the top of the nearby pedestrianised shopping street to St. Stephen’s Green, a decent-sized park with a couple of lakes and oodles of green space. Surrounded on all four sides by blocks of offices and other commercial buildings it was a lovely peaceful, and obviously very popular, oasis and it was nice just to wander at will and take photos here and there.
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 215
Park map at the main entrance
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 214
The first lake
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 206
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 212
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 205
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 207
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 208
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 204
The second lake
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 210
Even though it was now winter there was still some autumn colour left in various parts of the park and it looked so nice that I could imagine it would be really lovely in spring and summer. I could have spent much longer in there but there was somewhere else I particularly wanted to find so reluctantly I headed back through the main entrance and off on my next quest.

An afternoon in Nenagh

The last day of November arrived bright and sunny so as Michael was meeting up with some of his friends I decided to take myself off to Nenagh, a 25-minute bus ride from Roscrea. I’d gone there last year as I wanted to see the castle but unfortunately I’d chosen one of the only two days in the week when it was closed, so now armed with proper details of the opening days and times I was making a second attempt, also Nellie had shown me a postcard with some pictures of Nenagh Town Park and it looked interesting so that was somewhere else I could check out.
I got the mid-day coach from Roscrea but halfway through the journey the sunshine disappeared and the rain started ; by the time I got to Nenagh it was pouring down so I dashed into the nearest discount shop and bought a cheap umbrella but the rain had stopped by the time I came out again. That seemed to set a pattern though and the rest of the afternoon passed with alternate sunshine and showers. I’d passed the Town Park on the way into Nenagh but the coach didn’t stop anywhere near it so I’d had to go into the town and walk back again but it only took ten minutes. To be honest I found the park to be rather disappointing when I got there ; bordered on three sides by the Nenagh river and a railway line on the fourth side it was nothing more than a very large childrens’ playground with various modern pieces of play equipment dotted around, a small pond and a few grassy picnic areas with a pathway all the way round, though maybe it would look nicer on a sunny summer day.
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 019
Nenagh Town Park
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 024
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 022
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 020
The Nenagh river
Walking back into the town I passed a pub with a picture on its corner wall which made me smile. Back in 1935 the Guinness toucan first made its appearance in an advertising campaign for the brand on posters and many years later on television, and though various other animals featured in the adverts over the years it was the toucan which became the most famous. The gang of animal friends appeared in the adverts for decades but in 1982 Guinness stopped working with the advertising company and the animals were dropped completely. In 2016 a limited edition can of Guinness was produced featuring the toucan but it now primarily lives on in the memories of Guinness lovers and collectors and on the walls of some Irish pubs.
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 028
Back in the town I made my way round to the castle and leaving my bag with the two friendly guys at the information desk in the entrance I set off on my climb to the top of the tower. The castle was built at the beginning of the 13th century with the keep being Nenagh’s oldest building ; originally it was incorporated in the curtain walls surrounding a five-sided courtyard but only a few fragments of the walls now remain and these are inaccessible to the public. Built of limestone the keep has an external diameter of 55ft round the base and access is through a short passageway in the base of the wall which is 16ft thick. The keep rises to 100ft, with four storeys accessed by stone spiral staircases which change direction at each floor level, and there are 101 steps to the top.
The stairs got steeper and narrower as I climbed further up, a definite test of one’s heart and lung capacity, and eventually I emerged onto the castle roof. The crown of crenellations and clerestory windows weren’t added to the tower until 1861, and though not true to historic character they ensured the iconic status of the keep which is now a major tourist attraction. The sun shining intermittently through the rain clouds produced rather an odd light for photo taking but on a clear sunny day the views from up there would be really good.
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 054
Nenagh castle
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 031
Modern staircase to the first floor
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 034
Stone staircase to the second floor
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 035
Renovated window seats on the second floor
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 036
Getting steeper – stairs to the third floor
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 037
Even narrower – stairs to the top
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 046
Up on the roof
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 039
Nenagh Court House in the centre, the Arts Centre (white building) in the foreground
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 041
St. Mary of the Rosary church
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 042
Rear of St. Mary’s Church of Ireland
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 043
A hazy view to the Silvermine Mountains
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 048
Going back down
Copy of Ireland - dec. 2018 053
Back at ground level I retrieved my bag from the guys at the desk and spent a few minutes chatting to them then made my way round to St. Mary of the Rosary church. I’d gone in there last year and had been really impressed with its opulent interior, and though I’d taken several general photos at the time I wanted to get some more detailed shots. I spent quite a while in there and achieved my aim, though I took far too many photos to include here so I’ll put them in a follow-up post of their own.

Radcliffe Tower and Close Park

My Monday walk this week is more of a wander than a walk and features a look round Radcliffe Tower and Close Park at Radcliffe, a town just over six miles from home. Being a frequent visitor to the large camping store in Radcliffe I’ve been to the town many times over the years but I didn’t know anything about Radcliffe Tower until just three days ago when I was reading through someone else’s blog. It seemed that the tower and park are in an area of the town which I’ve only ever passed through a couple of times on my way to somewhere else, which was probably why I didn’t know about it, so as there was plenty of sunshine and blue sky on Saturday afternoon I decided to take the dogs and check things out.
A 20-minute drive took me to the car park at the entrance to Close Park, and though I was itching to look round the park straight away I decided to find the tower first. Just off the main road and adjacent to the car park was Church Green, a three-sided cobbled lane with three modern terraced houses on one side, a small public garden in the middle and St. Mary’s church at the bottom end. Built in the 14th century with the tower being added in the 15th century the church is Grade l listed, with the churchyard containing the war graves of six soldiers from WW1 and three from WW2. Unfortunately the central garden and the front of the church itself were very much in the shade but I got a couple of photos then moved on to find the tower.
Copy (2) of close park, radcliffe 036
The Parish Church of St. Mary
Copy of close park, radcliffe 037
A path from the car park took me over a wide water-filled channel – originally a closed-off part of the nearby River Irwell – and past the back of the church to another path behind the far side of the graveyard ; the ruined tower and its surrounding land were completely enclosed by a high galvanised steel perimeter fence but at least there was a gate which allowed access during daylight hours.
Copy of close park, radcliffe 004
The back of the church seen through the trees
Copy of close park, radcliffe 007
Radcliffe Tower west wall and original entrance
Built as a typical fortified pele tower the earliest record of it dates back to 1358 ; it would have been three stories high with storage on the ground floor and living accommodation above. In 1403 the tower’s owner, James de Radcliffe, was given permission by King Henry IV to fortify his house and a new Great Hall was built to adjoin the tower, forming Radcliffe Manor, with the original ground floor storage area being converted into a kitchen with a fireplace on each of three walls. In 1517 the Manor passed to a distant branch of the Radcliffe family and in 1561 it was sold to the Assheton family who lived near Rochdale. They leased the hall and its land to tenant farmers, with subsequent members of the family continuing to do the same until 1765 when it was sold to the Earl of Wilton from Heaton Hall near Prestwich, though he continued to let it out to tenants.
By the early 1800s much of the Manor’s former grandeur had gone, with residents living only in the small west wing. The Great Hall was converted into a barn and the tower itself was used as a farm building, with the huge ground floor fireplaces in the south and east walls being knocked through to give access for farm carts and/or animals. By 1840 the Great Hall and the west wing were in such a state of disrepair that they were demolished and some of the stone from their foundations was used to build cottages nearby. The tower itself was spared and continued to be used as a farm building, with a new farmhouse being built to the north of where the Great Hall had been standing.
In 1925 the tower was scheduled as a monument and though it stayed in the ownership of the Wilton family until the 1950s the land round it wasn’t protected and in the 1940s gravel quarrying began to the south of the tower. By the 1960s the nearby farmhouse and cottages had been demolished, then starting in the 1970s the quarry was turned into a landfill site with large trucks rumbling right past the tower which, protected only by a fence round it, was in a very delapidated state by then. The future of the tower began to change in 1988 though when Bury Council took over ownership and conservation and stabilisation took place, which included blocking up two windows and the original fireplace arches. The scheduling of the monument was extended to include the land where the Great Hall had stood and by 2007 the landfill site had gone, with Bury Council acquiring the rest of the land surrounding the tower.
Starting in 2012 a series of archaeological investigations took place on the tower and Great Hall site and also on the site of the later farm and cottages which had been built nearby – finds from the Great Hall site included 15th century Cistercian drinking pots and storage jars and also showed that the floor would have been made from glazed tiles. Today the Medieval fabric of the tower has been professionally conserved and restored and the area round it has been landscaped, with a ‘pathway’ next to the tower marking out the footprint of the original Great Hall.
Copy of close park, radcliffe 012
The north wall with a fireplace arch still visible
Copy of close park, radcliffe 013
Copy of close park, radcliffe 020
A window in the east wall
Copy of close park, radcliffe 006
The south wall with another fireplace arch
Copy of close park, radcliffe 015
West wall window showing the underside of a spiral stone staircase
Copy of close park, radcliffe 009
West wall showing the diagonal roof line where the Great Hall was joined to the tower
Copy of close park, radcliffe 019
Part of the footprint of the Great Hall marked out by a continuous pathway on the ground
At various points around the grounds covered information boards told the history of the tower site and once I’d read and photographed them all I made my way through the gate and back along the path to the park.  Close Park was originally the grounds to Close House, the home of the Bealey family who established a nearby bleaching business in the 18th century ; in 1925 the family presented the house to what was then Radcliffe Urban District Council for use as a Child Welfare Centre, with the grounds being converted into a public park for the town’s inhabitants. The house was also used as a clinic, a museum and an ambulance centre before being demolished in 1969, and the nearby bleachworks was finally demolished in the 1980s when a modern housing estate was built on the site. Current facilities and attractions at the park include 7 football pitches, 3 tennis courts, a bowling green, outdoor gym, children’s playground, a sensory garden and various sculptures which are part of the Irwell Sculpture Trail.
Starting from the car park the first thing I saw was a huge stainless steel dinosaur, one of three sculptures created by artist Mark Jalland in consultation with children from local primary schools. From there I followed the path down to the sensory garden and what I first thought was a water feature was actually a stainless steel and copper sculpture based on a cup cake, although after seeing it on an internet picture it seemed to have lost its chocolate topping. The third sculpture, not far from the bowling green, was a cheetah wearing trainers – presumably meant to signify running fast but strangely the trainers were only on diagonal feet. Who knows what goes on in the minds of these artists?!
Copy of close park, radcliffe 001
‘James and his ball of fire’ inspired by papercraft models and inflatable animals
Copy of close park, radcliffe 026
‘Chococupcakeboy’ based on a chocolate cup cake
Copy of close park, radcliffe 023
‘Tara in her trainers’
Copy of close park, radcliffe 024
Having found the three sculptures I wandered at random round the rest of the park ; the playing fields stretched for quite a distance but there didn’t seem to be much in that direction so I stuck to the main body of the park, and with the sunlight really showing off the autumn colours of the trees I got several lovely shots before ending my wander back at the car park.
Copy of close park, radcliffe 025
Copy of close park, radcliffe 022
Copy of close park, radcliffe 041
Copy of close park, radcliffe 003
Copy of close park, radcliffe 002
Copy of close park, radcliffe 028
Copy of close park, radcliffe 034
Copy of close park, radcliffe 039
Copy of close park, radcliffe 040
Downloading my photos onto the pc later on it struck me what a brilliant resource the internet is, even though it’s something that most of us now take for granted. I’d only found out about Radcliffe Tower and Close Park through reading a blog which I’d found from a link on another blog I’d discovered while doing a general search for something else – if it hadn’t been for that I could have lived the rest of my life in total ignorance of the place but now I know about the park I’ll certainly pay another visit in the not-too-distant future.

An autumn walk in Central Park

And no, I don’t mean the one in New York!
Last week I was on a 3-day pet sitting stint looking after a dog in Farnworth, an area south of the town. Many years ago Farnworth was a small town in its own right, with its own town centre, railway station, town hall and library, but over the years it has gradually become swallowed up in the ever-increasing urban sprawl and is now just another area of Bolton, although it still has its town centre and railway station. The dog I was looking after lives just around the corner from Farnworth’s Central Park so there was no problem finding somewhere to walk her, and as it’s a park I wouldn’t normally have a reason to go to I decided to take the camera with me last Thursday morning.
Back in 1860 Thomas Barnes, a local MP, announced his intention to provide a portion of his large estate as a park for the people of Farnworth, in memory of his father and to mark his son’s coming of age. He appointed a landscape gardener from Birkenhead, William Henderson, to design and lay out the grounds but Henderson didn’t complete his engagement and another gardener, Robert Galloway, was appointed to finish the park. In 1864 the Local Board, which had been established the previous year, agreed to oversee the care of the park and Galloway was appointed as Park Superintendent; the park was officially opened on October 12th that year by the then Chancellor of the Exchequer William E Gladstone who became Prime Minister for the first time four years later.
In 1888 the Local Board purchased various cottages and land bordering the park and in 1895 the Barnes Memorial was erected – the cottages were eventually demolished and in 1907 the area was incorporated into the park itself. A Cenotaph was erected in 1924 and after WW2 a Garden of Remembrance was created. In more modern times, when Farnworth eventually lost its identity as a town in its own right, the park came into the ownership of Bolton Council and has stayed as a public place to be enjoyed by all.
My walk on Thursday morning started at 9.30am from one of the two entrances down a narrow side street on the south side of the park, and that’s where I saw the first local sign of frost, in a dip in the ground which was still in shade. From there I followed the path diagonally west to the Barnes Memorial at the head of the main path – unfortunately I could only get a shot of one side of it as the sun was in the wrong direction for the other sides but there’s a quotation from Thomas Barnes which reads “In commemoration of my son’s coming of age and in memory of his grandfather I present and dedicate this park to the people of Farnworth for their benefit for ever” and another side reads “Opened by The Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone M.P. Oct. 12th 1864”. From the memorial I wandered down the path, through the trees and down to the main park entrance on the east side before taking the dog back home. With no-one around other than another couple of dog walkers the place was really peaceful and it was hard to believe that it’s actually surrounded by three busy main roads.
farnworth park - oct. 2018 001
farnworth park - oct. 2018 005
farnworth park - oct. 2018 012
farnworth park - oct. 2018 008
farnworth park - oct. 2018 006
farnworth park - oct. 2018 010
The Barnes memorial
farnworth park - oct. 2018 007
farnworth park - oct. 2018 013
farnworth park - oct. 2018 014
farnworth park - oct. 2018 015
farnworth park - oct. 2018 016
farnworth park - oct. 2018 020
farnworth park - oct. 2018 021
farnworth park - oct. 2018 025
farnworth park - oct. 2018 019
That afternoon I had to take the dog for another walk and as the day was still glorious and very warm for the time of year I decided to revisit the park to take some more photos. Starting from the same entrance I took a slightly different route to earlier and ended up near the bowling green where there was a corner with some lovely trees, then from there I wandered back towards the main entrance at the other end of the park and finished my walk near the Garden of Remembrance before taking the dog round the corner and back home.
farnworth park - oct. 2018 030
The same view as the morning shot but without all the shadows
farnworth park - oct. 2018 032
farnworth park - oct. 2018 034
farnworth park - oct. 2018 036
farnworth park - oct. 2018 035
farnworth park - oct. 2018 047
The Garden of Remembrance
farnworth park - oct. 2018 046
The Cenotaph
farnworth park - oct. 2018 052
farnworth park - oct. 2018 051
farnworth park - oct. 2018 050
farnworth park - oct. 2018 049
It had been a perfect day and a perfect location to get some autumn photos and after the walk that morning I just had to return later on to get some more shots. A bit of colour in the flower beds near the Cenotaph would have been the icing on the cake but now I know what a nice place the park is I can always return in spring or summer next year when hopefully the beds will be blooming.
**Due to a very busy time in her life my blogging friend Jo isn’t currently hosting any Monday Walks so I have nothing to link to, but as I have a few walks in hand, and will no doubt have some more to come, I’ve decided to continue the Monday theme on my own when I can, with last Monday’s blog post counting as the first walk  – I hope you all enjoy reading about the places where I’ve walked.
***Edited to say that Jo has now included a link to this post in her latest (as of mid November) blog page which is more of a ‘Monday catch-up’ rather than a walk, but as always she’s included some great photos so I’m adding a link back to her page here.