Ballycarbery Castle

I was actually, I thought, on my way to Valencia Island but somewhere along the way took a wrong turn. Well there’s a surprise! Map reading is not my forte – getting lost is. I went over a long narrow bridge, which unbeknown to me connects one bit of the peninsular with the bit above. So that’s how I ended up on a beach with Ballycarbery Castle as a backdrop. It is fenced off with barbed wire but some enterprising tourist has looped it up so you can crawl underneath. Even as a ruin it has immense presence with wonderful arches and stonework. I made some drawings of the cracks in the sheer walls. I passed on climbing up to the second floor as some people were doing. I didn’t want to abort this whole experience by ending up under several tons of masonry. No wonder it is fenced off with barbed wire.

On the beach below, another hooded crow and a heron feeding amongst the piles of seaweed at the water’s edge. I satisfied my beach-combing cravings with a few crab shells and photographed a strange metal mesh encrusted with oyster shells, a flattened lobster pot perhaps.

Late evening and the wind has steadied and it is bright and clear. The waves are lashing against the Island and gale force winds are forecast again for tomorrow. Four hooded crows suddenly burst upwards, seesawing and tumbling in the cooling air and gannets flying, purposefully, gracefully, close to the surface of the sea.

Sketchbook drawing of cracks on the walls.


4 Responses to “Ballycarbery Castle”

  1. forkhandles Says:

    Love that drawing Fiona….8ft x 8ft….that would be amazing! So strange – just been looking at David Amico’s work on show at the Ace Gallery (he was on the back cover of May issue Modern Painters). I think you would like him too?

  2. fiona Says:

    Thanks Andrew glad to see you are up bright and early!
    I just checked out David Amico’s work and you were right it is just the sort of work I love especially his 2007 White drawing/painting. If you like this sketch then have a look at what I did with it in my Cadence drawing which is on the post titled Choughs and Hooded crows.

  3. perrypatetic Says:

    I love these fantastic locations you’ve found, and the way you respond to them. The drawing is very evocative. Can’t help feeling the ancestors of the hooded crows and choughs would have seen the castle in its prime…do you know when it was abandoned?

  4. fiona Says:

    If you look at the photo above which I have just posted it gives a brief history of the castle but I can’t really work out when it was abandoned.

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