As I do my best to domesticate this cottage in the bog, all the while learning the true meaning of the term jury-rigged, I take comfort in the fact that, at least as far as I know, no prisoners from the Spanish Armada were executed here. This, however, is not the case for the beautiful Doonagore Castle in Doolin.

Doonagore Castle, courtesy Wikipedia.

Yesterday Eoin and I paid a visit to Doolin and as usual, stopped along the road leading down to Fisherstreet, to gaze at the beautiful tower house that looks down on Doolin and the Atlantic waves crashing on the shore below. Doonagore Castle, has long been a symbol of the romantic Irish past for me. I initially laid eyes upon it during my first trip to Ireland when I spent eight days in a Doolin B&B, wandering the Burren by day and reveling in the music of McGann’s and Gus O’Connor’s Pubs at night. Each day I would either walk up to the castle, or at the very least, pause in my little rental car to gaze upon it as I made my way up and down the steep, winding road that passes this treasure of antiquity.

Unusual for me, I somehow never managed to investigate the castle’s history beyond the information obtained from the owners of the B & B where I was staying – that it is privately owned, fully restored and belongs to “Americans”. However, after our visit yesterday, I finally googled the castle and was quite surprised to learn something of it’s darker side. In 1588 as the Spanish Armada retreated from an invasion attempt on Britain, a ship wrecked on the West Clare coast, after which 170 captured Spanish soldiers were hanged… in my favorite, picturesque, romantic Doolin castle! Alas, as lovely as it is, I don’t think I could sleep there at night!

Meanwhile, this American is doing  her best to make this little cottage in the bog into a home – fixing the negative surprises as they arise one by one and being thankful for all the positive surprises that come with each passing day we are here.

A cozy corner of the Teach deBúrca kitchen.