For over three years a large amount of my photography time has been spent searching for and exploring the vast amount of ruins scattered across the length and breath of Ireland. Be it an ancient Standing Stone, a crumbling Castle, a Round Tower, a bronze age Burial Mound or even a Medieval Church or Abbey. It has been a long and time consuming endeavor but one in which I have gained tremendous experience. One of the main troubles associated with ruin hunting is trying to find these places. When I started out I was limited to local heritage guides, then when these became no further use I began to research old textbooks from libraries and even found a few fantastic sites online, which are run by people with a similar passion.
I also kept a separate blog of my adventures Diary of a Ruin Hunter which sadly I have had no other choice but to quit due to the crazy amount of time it was consuming. (it aint easy keeping two separate blogs, a website, a day job and a family all going) without something having to go, so going forward all my Ruin Hunting adventures shall be posted here to my main Photography Blog
Well with that out of the way, I can get back to the main purpose of this post. About two months ago I taught that it would be a great idea to make the many sites I visit more accessible to anyone whom may share my interest in them. So after looking around to see what sources would best suit my needs I decided to use Google Maps. I found it to be a great tool, and it is so much more accurate than using map co-ordinates. I can zoom right in and verify sites in an instant using Street View. Then all I need to do is mark the site and press save. For each site i visit, when you click on the maps place mark you get a little pop-up box with a general description of the site and a link back to this blog.
I have also started using this map in the field to reach previously marked sites which I have not yet visited. My HTC smart phone launches my Google map and a nifty little app called Navigation will take be directly to the site marked from any current location. Bet ya Indiana Jones or Lara Croft could have used this, lmao. So for the sites which I have marked on the map, but have not yet visited, you can still click on the Placemark but instead of a description and link you will only see the name of the site and TBV, (To Be Visited). The map is now public on Google and can be found Here.Or from the Interactive Ruin Map page on this blog.
So hopefully this will be of use to anyone interested in visiting these sites, it will be constantly updated as I find new & interesting paces to explore. Just a little word of warning about visiting these sites,
- Some of these ruins are on private property so it is always best practice to seek land owners permission to enter before hand.
- Always when visiting these places follow the Country Code, leave these sites in the same condition that you found them if not better. Remove any litter which you may have brought with you and always close gates behind you.
- Be prepared, the weather in Ireland can be very changeable, dress in layers and appropriate footwear ( a pair of wellington boots) in the car will always come in handy, bring plenty of fresh water and a fully charged cell phone.
- If you are exploring on your own, let a friend known where you are going and what time you expect to be back at.
Finally if anyone knows of a place of interest that has not yet been included or have any further information or comments on places I have visited, I would love to hear from you, so until next time happy hunting.