In all the planning for this trip, seeing castles seem to be the obvious destination, and yet I made it five days before I saw my first one and the rest of my ten days I only seeing the exterior of another. Malahide castle is located north of Dublin, about a half hour train ride away.
We spent the first half of the morning looking around the National Gallery. It was a lovely small gallery mainly composed of a sculpture room, a room of English painters, and a room of Irish painters. The highlight for me was the section on Jack B. Yeats. There was a small section that displayed his work chronologically, and you could see how he developed his style from a rather mundane almost flat style to a fantastical, kinetic, abstract style. I can’t say that I am generally someone who appreciates abstract painting but I really like his.
We left for the castle around noon and arrived in time for lunch at small pub. From there, we walked to the castle. It was rather centrally located to the town, but the driveway alone made it seem like it was eons away.
The castle itself was pretty cool. One family, the Talbots, owned the castle for nearly 800 years, until just recently when the last direct descendent sold it off to the town ship.
We couldn’t take pictures inside, sadly, so I will have to describe it for you. The first room on the tour was the Oak Room, which, quite fittingly, was made entirely of oak. The ceiling and all of the walls were covered in carved panels of oak that were painted black. The tour guide said that the Talbots recycled when they could, so that some of the carvings in the walls were actually repurposed, broken, or disused furniture. For me, this was the creepiest room. I don’t think that it was one of the rooms that was supposed to be haunted or anything, but there was just something about it that was off putting. Maybe it was just my mind deciding that dark carved walls only ever lead to moving baby sculptures with questionable intentions, I don’t know, but it was creepy. Then we went n to a couple of drawing rooms. What I thought was most the interesting parts of these rooms were the windows. The view out of them was like something out of a Jane Austin novel. I couldn’t help but let my romantic mind wander and wonder how many times the lady of the house stood at that window awaiting a horse bring news. It would arrive charging over the hill and through the mist, perhaps with news of the battle of the Boyne where the family lost all but one of the men they sent. Maybe not. Maybe they only do that in movies. I don’t know, but it could have happened.
The gardens at Malahide were one of my favorite parts. I have no idea of the history of them. I’m sure it could have been found if I was more motivated but I wasn’t. they were gorgeous though. I constantly felt I was in something from a secret garden.
Then there was this guy. A few times on this trip I have found myself sitting around, minding my own business, only to look around and find a peacock right next to me. This guy was the prettiest and the closest, however.