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Castles, Follies and Four-Leaf Clovers : Adventures along Ireland's St Declan's Way  - Rosamund Burton

Castles, Follies and Four-Leaf Clovers

Adventures along Ireland's St Declan's Way

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Published: 1st July 2011
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The fascinating and funny story of one woman's delightful ramble along Ireland's St Declan's Way - an ancient pilgrims' path - battling the mist and the rain (often longing for a warm fire and stiff drink) with just an old photocopy of a map to guide her.

Rich in history, castles and larger-than-life characters, St Declan's Way is one of Ireland's best kept secrets.

Rosamund's adventures begin when she is lent a map of the ancient highway and pilgrim route St Declan's Way. Intrigued, she returns to Ireland. Setting off from the famous Rock of Cashel in County Tipperary, she travels through small towns and villages, across the beautiful Knockmealdown Mountains, to the town of Lismore with its spectacular castle, where her family used to live, and then on to the fishing village of Ardmore in County Waterford.

Battling the rain as she follows narrow country roads, little used tracks and overgrown paths, she traces the footsteps of St Declan. From a day at a horse fair to climbing mountains and tracking down fairy forts, she captures perfectly the local characters and castles, miraculous wells and talking statues, the broken dreams and local legends. Stories of goddesses, ghosts and fairies are intertwined with the eccentricities and daily lives of everyday people - this is a journey full of the surprises that only Ireland can offer.

About The Author

Born in Ireland, Rosamund grew up in England until her father got a job with the Duke of Devonshire. Ros and her family then moved back to Ireland into the East Wing of Lismore Castle, possibly Ireland's most spectacular castle (Lismore is on St Declan's Way). Rosamund was able to immerse herself in this forgotten corner of Ireland with its mix of derelict mansions, and the larger than life locals. In 1994 Rosamund came to Australia to work for and later manage the Mind Body Spirit Sydney festival. For the last few years she has worked as a freelance journalist and writes for a wide range of newspapers and magazines.

'[T]his intimate travelogue will delight armchair travellers and intrigue adventurers.' Booklist

Introduction xi

1 The map 1

2 Coming home to the castle 7

3 On my way 13

4 Perfect potatoes 19

5 The Rock of Cashel 23

6 Books and bishops 27

7 Brigid 32

8 Raths and a heavy backpack 39

9 Good boots 45

10 The Legend of Knockgrafton 53

11 The kindness of strangers 58

12 The cottage and the well 63

13 Backtracking 70

14 Castle Grace 78

15 Lost on the mountain 85

16 Bay Lough and Petticoat Loose 92

17 Pepperpots and fairy apparel 100

18 Up the Déise 107

19 Moving statues 115

20 The miraculous bin 121

21 Limping in halfway 127

22 The Tallow Horse Fair 135

23 Saints, sinners and a fur stole 143

24 Lismore Castle 149

25 Pre-match fever 157

26 A cloistered existence 163

27 Dawn chorus 170

28 Déise disaster 175

29 Battling the undergrowth 178

30 Detour to Tourin 184

31 Decked out for a dinner party 189

32 Sir Richard Keane and the pact with the devil 193

33 The Road of the Saints to the Road of Slaughter 200

34 Deluge 209

35 Turkeys and chickens 218
36 Dromana 222
37 The Bog of Hags and the holy well 230
38 Stepping stones 237

39 The fairy fort and the high road 243

40 You cannot draw blood from a turnip 250

Information for someone wanting to follow

St Declan’s Way 259

Helpful books 267

Acknowledgements 269

ISBN: 9781741759525
ISBN-10: 1741759528
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 270
Published: 1st July 2011
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 12.9  x 2.3
Weight (kg): 0.27
Edition Number: 1