Carrig House, Lower Glanmire Road, Cork City

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 ... IMG_0375

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The Ovens Cave, Cork

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.
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Friend poses in front of the camera

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Material on the ceiling reflects the flash from the camera, looks like gold but touching the stuff felt damp and spongy.

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Most sections of the cave only had a height of less than a meter, often forcing us to crawl on all fours. Kneepads were a must for the occasion.

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Larger chambers compared to other sections of the cave. Notice the makeshift rope on the left, this probably helped guide explorers back to the entrance as the cave system was quite labyrinthian.

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Another muddy corridor

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Corridors often broke into other corridors, we stayed in path where the makeshift rope was guiding us though.

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Following the makeshift rope. Every now again we would find burnt out tea lights beside it.

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We found a sleeping bag, some burn out tea lights and a small pile of rubbish in this dark corner. Did someone seriously consider living here?

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Directly above us was the N22. Each vehicle that drove passed above us made an ominous sounding hum.

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Dead end or a tight fit?

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Relaxing and enjoying the sounds of the N22 above us.

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Many of the corridors had shallow pools of water in them. We only came across one corridor that had water coming up to our waist level.

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Mini Stalactites, give them a few more years before they turn into something more impressive ...

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Remember when a bag of Taytos was 17p?

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Any spellunkers looking for their black hoodie?

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Another pool of water

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A chamber that was apparently used as a Mass Rock during Penal Times. We couldn't find anything to indicate it was used for this purpose though, there was plenty of rubble on the ground and graffiti on the wall.

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Mass Rock chamber with more light.

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To the exit!

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/

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Ballincollig Castle Above and Below

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. IMG_0073IMG_0070 IMG_0076 IMG_0080 IMG_0083 IMG_0086 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 ). IMG_0130IMG_0113IMG_0090 IMG_0115IMG_0121   IMG_0129
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Dove Hill Castle, Carrick-on-Suir, Co.Tipp

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Exploring Goggin’s Hill Tunnel

Built in 1851 and closed in 1961, Goggin's Hill Tunnel currently stands as the longest abandoned railway tunnel in the Republic of Ireland.

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Thunder and Lighting in Cork – 30th of January

We had quite the thunder in Cork City last night. IMG_0171 IMG_0153 IMG_0143 IMG_0088
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Flooded Lee Fields ( November 2012 )

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 ...
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