After a good morning's work, a nice lunch and a bit of daytime TV I felt justified in going out into the pleasant sunny outdoors.
I can't explain why, but the place which immediately came to mind was Ardgillan Castle, outside Balbriggan (most probably because the music session had been in Balbriggan on Saturday). I stopped off at Balrothery on the way, which was just as well, since it was really too late in the afternoon by the time I got to Ardgillan.
This is Balrothery church. An information plaque provided by The Heritage Service has this to say: 'This is a fine example of a defensive church tower which was built around 1500. The 15th and 16th centuries were troubled times for the inhabitants of true Pale - that part of eastern Ireland (counties Dublin, Kildare, Meath and Louth) which remained loyal to the English Crown. At this time priests felt more secure living in defensive towers, like this one, built at the west ends of their churches.
The tower here is square, with a circular stair-turret at the north-west corner; the three other corners rise as turrets above the level of the original timber roof. The lower storey opened into the original medieval church which no longer survives. The present church was built onto the tower in the 19th century. It is possible that this tower at Balrothery is based on the design of the church in Lusk which was built onto a much earlier Round Tower.'
Another view of the Tower