Friday, February 22, 2013
I had to cut the sketch short as I had to catch the post but I mean to go back and finish the wall in front of the house.
I sent my mother the drawing later on and told her about the fighting. "How on earth did you continue drawing with all that going on?"
The house was built in 1789 and I believe the first guy wasn't too bad - invited villagers to family christenings, that kind of thing. But the rest weren't so good, seemingly. Anyway the whole thing came to an end in the early 1920's when it was burned out. The last occupants never married and died in poverty, or so I've heard. Newspapers for bedding. Rain pouring in the roof, dissolving the tablets in the hand of one elderly lady before the eyes of the person who told me. The public health nurse who attended me on my eldest child also nursed one of the old ladies. "She lived to be 104," she told me.
There is a basement under the house. It's blocked off now by an enormous boulder but when I first lived here I often went down for an eerie visit. There are arched windows all around and each one casts a pale green light on the inside. There are many rooms down there, some of which have beer cans in them. You'd be a pretty remiss teenager if you hadn't done a bit of bush drinking down there. I think of the servants who spent all their time there: giving birth down there gives me the shivers. My husband's friend Eamonn had been drinking in the vicinity one time and I guess he and a mate decided to go and mess around the ruin. In the dark, Eamonn fell down the stairwell - the stairs have long since rotten away - and broke his leg.
Sometimes there is Irish Republican graffiti sprayed on the house walls.
If you walk to the back of the house and look out the windows you can see oyster beds in the estuary. They were owned by the occupants of the house. On the grounds of the house are a chapel, many stables, a personal pier and various walled gardens.
In a way, I'm glad the whole place is fenced off...those days of unequality are over now, around here at any rate, and the ruined house is dangerous.