Re-work Wednesday 27

Ballyadams Castle


Any one remember this? Yes its the sad old ruins of Ballyadams Castle in County Laois, which I was lucky enough to explore with the land owners permission earlier this year. Dating back to the 15th century, much of it is in quite good condition for its age, unlike the manor house which was built on in later years. As it stands this is one of my favourite Castle ruins and with my ever increasing habit of messing with layers I decided to see what I can do. I think that this is the first B&W image that I have used for a re-work so I am undecided between it and the re-work??? Here is the original image in black & White, what do you think???

So again I started messing around with some layers and ended up with this as my final image. Hope you all like it 🙂 As always any thoughts or comments you may have would be greatly appreciated.

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About edmooneyphotography

Photographer, Blogger, Ruinhunter, with an unhealthy obsession for history, mythology and the arcane.
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29 Responses to Re-work Wednesday 27

  1. I like them both but I would vote for the second image – terrific drama in both of them


  2. I think the softness and coloring of the rework adds much to the feeling of history. I really like it. ~SueBee


  3. Both have great quality, but I personally would go for the lower image.

    My great grandmother Ellen McLean was born on the steps of the tower in the 1840s, as was per the tradition of the Castle. Her father, Captain McLean was tenant there, believed to be one time aide-de-camp to General Butler of Ballyadams House.

    The Kemmis family bankrupted the Butlers over a mortgage on the place in the same decade, but McLean stayed on in a strange double role as gamekeeper to the Kemmis, but also a local squire, keeping the Castle loaded with guns, and the roof in good order – by way of galvanize. He used to hold dances there. The Georgian wing was never completed.

    His sons at nearby Ballintubbert House (not the rectory) were wealthy, but he, as the ‘dour Scot’, as my grandmother described him, was frugal and strict. She, Ellen (Shore) Rothwell lived there for some time as a child.

    In 1896, I think, under a tenant rights act, they (the Shores or McLeans) bought the Castle, and the field it stood on, and another field adjoining, called ‘the Orchard Field. It was never actually sold. At the time, the Kemmis family claimed the furniture of the Castle during the sale, although it belonged to Capt. McLean. The Shores left it when the well was poisoned by a dead sheep being thrown down it and soon afterwards the Tudor manor house section was burnt down.

    The present owner, a descendant of the Butlers, bought the place back in the 20th century. A unique Irish monument – (not the usual tower house at all) built as I believe by Adam O’Moore, should be a preserved as a national monument. The man who built the fortified manor house, John Bowen or Ap Owen, is said to have been merciless in his treatment of the local population. One of his descendants is also said to have suspended his daughters from chairs suspended from the walls in order to prevent to castle from being bombarded by cannon. Thanks for preserving this on film. Fantastic camera work – it preserves the true atmosphere of the place.


    • Wow, Thanks Daniel. Its always great to learn more about the history of these places. As far as I remember Bowen on threatened to use his daughters to protect the castle, when a military acquaintance of his wanted to garrison the castle. I agree completely it should not only be preserved but should be restored. 🙂


  4. quarksire says:

    i like both renditions …an both have a totally different feel to them 🙂 Q


  5. I couldn’t help but notice first thing that the clouds were different in each photo. Then I noticed that even though both shots are of the same castle, they are at slightly different angles. Both great shots though. I went to the original post with the photo that you did rework and think that I enjoy the reworked version more. I think it gives it more of an antique or older look to it which flows a little more with the castle itself as it is old. I think that darkening the foreground really helps bring attention to the castle as well. I’m not sure entirely how to explain it but looking at the original it seems as though the foreground blends in with the castle leaving the eye to wonder over the entire frame not really focusing on the main subject. With the foreground darker than the castle it really helps keep the focus on the castle. Great job Ed.


    • Thanks Justin,
      And well spotted, I only noticed the difference in images after posting. The Original was an attempt at an IR effect which I liked but was not strong enough to notice as such, hence the lighter foreground,

      Glad you liked it, 🙂


  6. sad and wonderful!! What a history! what a mood!! I love this Ed!


  7. Shelley says:

    The first one reminds me of my parent’s photos from the 50’s, the second is spooky. Tie!


  8. dharmaanchor says:

    Really lovely Ed.


  9. Robyn G says:

    Love this Ed!


  10. bgallery says:

    Stunning …..


  11. Beautiful shot! I continue my visit!


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