Opening the gates to reveal Meath’s treasures
The Meath Association of An Taisce has announced the winners of the ‘Archways & Gateways’ Photography Competition hosted over the summer months with the idea of getting the public to observe and photograph the many architectural remnants of our past that lie hidden in the natural landscape.
A wide and fantastic range of images was received digitally including churches, castle gateways and stone bridges. These are important elements of our historical identity, like how the oldest bridge in Ireland is claimed to be the bridge of the medieval king, King John, built in Trim circa 1,200 AD.
The winners were chosen by architectural historian Kevin Mulligan, author of 'South Ulster', fourth Volume of 'The Buildings of Ireland' series, and documentary photographer Joseph Carr. First prize was awarded to Camilla Gray for her image of wrought iron gates dating back to the 1740s, taken on a wet afternoon at Higginsbrook, Trim, which stood out in terms of composition and light and brings one back to another time period. Second prize went to Michael Gunn’s ‘Canal Lock Keeper’s Cottage, Longwood’ which Kevin Mulligan noted very nicely responds to the title and captures the pleasing irregularity and charm of vernacular buildings. Luke and Margaret Colleran achieved third prize for Saint Seachnall’s Church of Ireland, Dunshaughlin, with the image showing the current church built 1814 with the ruined medieval church archways to the forefront.
Other noteworthy entries included Athcarne Cross, Swifte family Mausoleum at Castlerickard, Trimblestown Castle and Chapel with Barnwall memorial tombstone and family crest, Dunsany Castle entrance gate and a rediscovered archway at Bellewstown golf course.
Jean Carr, chairperson of the Meath Association wishes to thank everyone for their effort to record such important and overlooked bits of history and encourages people to continue forwarding photographs of historical features to the competition co-ordinator Margaret Monaghan at email@example.com. With these images an online database will be created and as the judge, Joseph Carr commented: ‘It would be a way of local people being able to take ownership of their area's history and to foster pride and interest at a grassroots level".