Tuesday, 14 June 2011


Ken's mom is 1/4 Irish, which makes Ken 1/8th Irish I suppose (it doesn't show in his height).

While Ken's heritage is primarily peasant, and all traces of them have been long ploughed under, the Irish ancestors were land owners and gentry, therefore landmarks remain.

Rossmanagher is an estate near Bunratty and was once in the possession of the D'Esterre family.

An interesting thing about Ireland is that it seems the house is always on one side of the road while the stable and other farm buildings were built across the road from the house.

A river runs near the estate, and apparently at one time it was a difficult river to cross, as well as inconvenient to travel around, so Henry D'Esterre built a bridge.

Though you can't see it in the picture, this stone reads:


The river isn't so intimidating anymore. Pretty, though!

Anyhow, Henry was an enterprising man. He saw the chance to make a penny or two, and since stone is readily available everywhere, in fact he was probably looking for something to do with all the stone he  was picking out of his fields,  he built a toll booth in front of his bridge and gated it.

Typical oppressive upper class - good thing Ken is only 1/8th nobility - ha!

Again, pretty though. And it gives us a spot to stand and say family once stood here, built this, worked and lived.

 Even I could feel it, and I'm not one bit Irish.


melanie said...

Do you want to frame nearly every photo you took? It's so breathtaking, I love it.

a.k.a happy heart mom said...

What a fantastic adventure!

Kelly said...

So beautiful! All that green! Can't wait for more.

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

What a fun post to read. I loved this line, "it gives us a spot to stand and say family once stood here, built this, worked and lived." Amazing how that sentiment binds generations together.

Marie said...

Okay, that is just plain cool. Nice to tap your family line into something like that so you can see some history.

Elizabeth said...

What a trip, what an experience!

Jill said...

That's so interesting (and a little bit funny) that he inscribed that he built the bridge at his own expense!

~Carla said...

Beautiful photos that look very similar to those I have just taken this week. I am also a descendant of Henry D'Esterre so I'm curious which child your husband is related too.