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I've seen this late Georgian house across The Marina on several occasions and was always curious as to see what was inside it. Unfortunately, a fire in 2002 had destroyed most of the interior. An attempt to renovate it had been made but only getting as far as building the new roof, the house has since been closed up with metal sheets installed on all entrances. Recently, I noticed one of the sheets had been torn down and figured it would be a good opportunity to check it out before the sheet will be put back up again. While there was a shortage of furniture, we did find something interesting in the end ...
Here's an interesting snippet from Charles Smith's 'The Ancient and Present State of the County and City of Cork' published in 1774: The Ovens or St Owens parish is washed on the S and E sides by the Bride and on the N by the Lee In it is a most remarkable cave beneath a stupendous limestone arch 1 2 foot high at the entrance but declines to less than 6 In some places it is higher and in others so low as one is obliged to creep in advancing through it The pas sage is on the W side but in about 20 yards the cave winds towards the S and SE Another way leads on due S to a well about fourscore yards from its entrance There are many other branches some running in a serpentine manner of others like so many alleys eroding each other mostly so broad that 6 or 8 persons may walk abreast the whole forming a perfect labyrinth under ground In order to visit these passages it would necessary to take the fame precaution as made Theseus use when he was obliged to fight the Minotaur in the Cretan labyrinth which Virgil thus elegantly describes. Unfortunately there was no stupendous limestone arch to be seen, the old entrance to the limestone cave was largely filled and entrance to the land feature signs with trespass warnings. We did manage to find an entrance in the end though, it was a tight fit and we were doubtful that we would get very far, so it was a nice surprise when the chambers suddenly opened up before us about 2 meters in. We went in basic gear such as headlights, waterproof boots, gloves, knee pads, flare and a camera.
After 2 hours of exploring we were well covered in mud, over that duration we actually didn't get too far to know what the extent of the cave system which is said to extend all the way to Gillabbey in Cork City. Tired and bruised, we crawled back out to civilisation.
The Ballincollig Heritage site features a post about the cave which makes for a good read: http://ballincollig.wordpress.com/caves/
The Clare Caving Club have some handful of photos on their flickr stream ( although it's not labelled properly ) in this links:http://www.flickr.com/photos/clarecavingclub/3592552241/in/photostream/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/clarecavingclub/3593356520/in/photostream/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/clarecavingclub/3592548887/in/photostream/
Located South West and a 10 minute walk from the Main Street, lies Ballincollig Castle. Built in the 14th Century, possibly earlier, much of the castle lies in ruin and the grounds completely overgrown with brambles but the piles of empty beer cans left lying around the tower doesn't leave much for a pretty sight. The view from the top however is a lot better. I'm curious to see what the place would have looked like back in the day. Underneath the castle is the opening of a small cavern, sloping downwards to a small hole, if you manage to squeeze through the hole, it opens up to a small chamber mostly filled with mud and water. It's possibly connected with the Ballincollig cave system, but were weren't going to risk getting wet or possibly contracting Well's Disease ( worth reading about if you ever fancy going inside a cave without proper equipment ).
Built in 1851 and closed in 1961, Goggin's Hill Tunnel currently stands as the longest abandoned railway tunnel in the Republic of Ireland.
We had quite the thunder in Cork City last night.
These were taken on an incredibly cold Saturday morning while flood water was still remained in the Lee Fields, it was in the process of freezing in some parts but it didn't remain cold enough for that to happen ...