Kinsale Walking Tour 7

Literary Encouragement

The seventh of a series of idiosyncratic posts from a walking tour of Kinsale by Dermot Ryan. My Sony Alpha 700 captured the events back in May 2014.

So much to see around Newman’s Mall, coming upon “Stone Mad.” Possibly a reference to The Maiden Stone of Scotland. Maiden Stone and Persephone, 8th century AD, and 1961, Shaun Crampton. The salmon-pink granite monolith known as the Maiden Stone was erected by the Picts in the eighth century AD at the time when Christianity was filtering into the north-east. It bears, Janus-like, a series of vivid symbols, carved in relief, and, on the other face, a round-headed cross, set between a possible cavalry scene and a great roundel filled with interlace. The symbols, which are vigorously carved in relief and include a beast or dolphin, mirror and comb, look back to the powerful range of animal and object symbols used as a kind of heraldry on memorial stones in the two previous centuries. The cross side indicates its use as a preaching site during the conversion of the Picts. The notch out of the northern edge of the stone has fed a legend concerning the daughter of the laird of Balquhain who was baking bannocks on her wedding day and bet a stranger that she could finish her task before he had built a road to the top of Bennachie, ‘ere she would become his own’. Being the Devil, he won: she took to her heels and, in answer to her prayers, was turned to stone as he caught her, the notch being the spot where he grasped her

Looking outside through window bars, viewing a quote written carefully in white paint on slate, written of the Misses Morkan’s of “The Dead”, in James Joyce’s 1914 short story collection, “Dubliners.”

What is behind a fascinating red door in the yellow wall that held the above quote.

A cosy nook….

References
“Aberdeenshire: Donside and Strathbogie – An Illustrated Architectural Guide”, by Ian Shepherd, 2006. Published by the Rutland Press Kinsale, County Cork, Republic of Ireland

Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved Michael Stephen Wills

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