Westport House was owned for centuries by the descendants of the pirate queen, Granuaile and is built on the site of her ancient castle.On the way down to Grace’s dungeon a young girl ran at me whispering in a loud hiss ‘this house is haunted!!’ I swear I saw the ghostly figure of the pirate queen in a swan pedalo.That was not as spooky as the fantastic ‘party waxwork room’ full of Irish artistic talent. Their eyes follow you everywhere to the sound of the fiddle… I wasn’t sticking around to add colour!I calmed down with coffee and cake in the tea room. Trying not to think about what those massive hooks on the ceiling were for. I’m sure that stag just winked at me!
Clare Island is home of the pirate queen Grace O’Malley (Granuaile). The ferry to the Island has a super quick turn around – 30 seconds and the car has disembarked via crane!Grace’s 16th Century castle looms over the harbour.It’s a gorgeous walk to the lighthouse at the North of the Island.Sadly, the lighthouse is gated off, so I have to peer over the wall. Grace is buried in the Abbey graveyard on the south of the Island. There is an eerie mist hanging on the hill behind. I can hear a crying child… but there is no one there. Exhausted, I manage one final quick sketch before the ferry arrives.I’ll dream of plunder and sketching tonight!