Almost all of MB’s ‘Trip Home’ shots of recent posts were taken around the Lough Gur lake area. But what of the lake itself?
It is considered a magical lake by locals. The long-dead Earl of Desmond reputedly rises from the lake bed once every seven years on his white horse, to ride around the lake in dark of night. It is said that when the horse’s silver shoes are worn away, the Desmonds will once more resume ownership of their historical local lands. Believe MB when he says, you don’t want to be out on that particular night when the Earl is about. Strange things happen and if unlucky you could find yourself snatched by the Earl beneath the lake surface before the sun rises. So best stay home that night with a glass of vino and watch a season box-set of Breaking Bad or some such.
MB kids you not when he tells you that he personally knows of two instances of local individuals, who were walking along the lake shore at totally different dates, when each felt a very strong calling from the lake itself, and found themselves wading into the water having lost all control of their senses, only for both to be rescued by friends. One of them was almost up to his neck at the moment of rescue. No kidding.
The lake is presently crescent shaped as it wraps itself around the hill of Knockadoon. Before the disastrous Irish famine of 1845 to 1850 or thereabouts, the lake fully encircled the hill. A British Government work scheme, to put money in the pockets of the local poor, was undertaken to excavate a trench from the lake shore to the distant Camogue River. The completed trench had the effect of lowering the lake shore dramatically. The newly exposed shoreline (formerly under water) revealed hundreds if not thousands of historical artifacts which ended up in Museums, mainly in England, where most are probably in storage to this day. The abundance of treasures was so vast that locals used horses and carts to transport the items away from the shoreline.
There is much more MB could say about his HX/Lough Gur/Grange locality, but for this post, he will leave it at that. Apart from mentioning that a Canadian blog follower of MB visited the lake and greater locality (not for the first time) in September 2015 and wrote of her experiences when MB handed her his blog for that week’s post. If interested – Lakes, Tourists, Canadians. A local hardback book (the ‘Grange’ book) was also published in November 2015, which includes much local lore, and more.
A early-morning Lough Gur lake scene from last week: