Dissolution of the monasteries

8 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  28 minutes

Tintern Abbey © MartinBiely

Tintern Abbey © MartinBiely

The dissolution of the monasteries, occasionally referred to as the suppression of the monasteries, was the set of administrative and legal processes between 1536 and 1541 by which Henry VIII disbanded monasteries, priories, convents, and friaries in England, Wales, and Ireland, expropriated their income, disposed of their assets, and provided for their former personnel and functions. Although the policy was originally envisaged as increasing the regular income of the Crown, much former monastic property was sold off to fund Henry’s military campaigns in the 1540s. He was given the authority to do this in England and Wales by the Act of Supremacy, passed by Parliament in 1534, which made him Supreme Head of the Church in England, thus separating England from papal authority, and by the First Suppression Act (1535) and the Second Suppression Act (1539). While Thomas Cromwell, Vicar-general and Vice-regent of England, is often considered the leader of the Dissolutions, he merely oversaw the project, one he had hoped to use for reform of monasteries, not closure or seizure. The Dissolution project was created by England’s Lord Chancellor Thomas Audley, and Court of Augmentations head Richard Rich. Professor George W. Bernard argues that:

The dissolution of the monasteries in the late 1530s was one of the most revolutionary events in English history. There were nearly 900 religious houses in England, around 260 for monks, 300 for regular canons, 142 nunneries and 183 friaries; some 12,000 people in total, 4,000 monks, 3,000 canons, 3,000 friars and 2,000 nuns. If the adult male population was 500,000, that meant that one adult man in fifty was in religious orders.

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Shankill Road and Falls Road in Belfast – Anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement

10 April 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  20 minutes

Shankill Road © geograph.org.uk - Eric Jones/cc-by-sa-4.0

Shankill Road © geograph.org.uk – Eric Jones/cc-by-sa-4.0

Shankill Road
Northern Ireland and Gibraltar are among the last remnants of the British colonial empire in Europe. Although membership of the EU has brought Northern Ireland modest prosperity, the Brexit vote narrowly ended in favor of “Leave”, meaning that Northern Ireland is set to once again become the poorhouse of Western Europe. Since then, violent conflicts between Unionists and Republicans have increased again, as was to be expected and thus jeopardize the successes achieved in resolving the conflict after the Good Friday Agreement.   read more…

Theme Week County Galway – Dunmore

26 March 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

High Street © Andreas F. Borchert/cc-by-sa-3.0

High Street © Andreas F. Borchert/cc-by-sa-3.0

Dunmore (Irish: Dún Mór, meaning ‘big fort’) is a town in County Galway, Ireland. It is located on the N83 national secondary road at its junction with the R328 and R360 regional roads.   read more…

Theme Week County Galway – Loughrea

25 March 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  9 minutes

© panoramio.com - Ahmet Colakoglu/cc-by-sa-3.0

© panoramio.com – Ahmet Colakoglu/cc-by-sa-3.0

Loughrea (Irish: Baile Locha Riach, meaning ‘town of the grey/speckled lake’) is a town in County Galway, Ireland. The town lies to the north of a range of wooded hills, the Slieve Aughty Mountains, and the lake from which it takes its name. The town’s cathedral, St Brendan’s, dominates the town’s skyline. The town has increased in population in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Although the town also serves as a commuter town for the city of Galway, it also remains an independent market town. Loughrea is the fourth most populous settlement in County Galway, with a population of 6,000.   read more…

Theme Week County Galway – Ballinasloe

24 March 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

Society Street © LauraSheehan/cc-by-sa-4.0

Society Street © LauraSheehan/cc-by-sa-4.0

Ballinasloe (Irish: Béal Átha na Sluaighe, meaning ‘mouth of the ford of the crowds’) is a town in the easternmost part of County Galway in Connacht. It is one of the largest towns in County Galway with a population of 6,700. From 1828 to the 1960s, Ballinasloe was the terminus of the Grand Canal. Guinness Company used the town’s canal stores to store and distribute the Guinness to the midlands. The Grand Canal provided a route for Guinness barges to travel from Dublin to Shannon Harbour. The town features a public marina which was developed on the River Suck to allow traffic from the Shannon Navigation to access the town. Among the places of interest are:   read more…

Theme Week County Galway – Athenry

23 March 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  10 minutes

15th-century market cross © Andreas F. Borchert/cc-by-sa-4.0

15th-century market cross © Andreas F. Borchert/cc-by-sa-4.0

Athenry (Irish: Baile Átha an Rí, meaning ‘Town of the Ford of the King’) is a town in County Galway, Ireland, which lies 25 kilometres (16 mi) east of Galway city. Some of the attractions of the medieval town are its town wall, Athenry Castle, its priory and its 13th century Anglo-Norman street-plan. The town is also well known by virtue of the song “The Fields of Athenry“.   read more…

Theme Week County Galway – Tuam

22 March 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  11 minutes

High Street © Andreas F. Borchert/cc-by-sa-4.0

High Street © Andreas F. Borchert/cc-by-sa-4.0

Tuam (Irish: Tuaim, meaning ‘mound’ or ‘burial-place’) is a town in Ireland and the second-largest settlement in County Galway. It is west of the midlands of Ireland, about 35 km (22 mi) north of Galway city. Humans have lived in the area since the Bronze Age while the historic period dates from the sixth century. The town became increasingly important in the 11th and 12th centuries in political and religious aspects of Ireland. The market-based layout of the town and square indicates the importance of commerce.   read more…

Theme Week County Galway

21 March 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks Reading Time:  8 minutes

Connemara National Park from Diamond Hill © Karie Kuiper/cc-by-sa-4.0

Connemara National Park from Diamond Hill © Karie Kuiper/cc-by-sa-4.0

County Galway (Irish: Contae na Gaillimhe) is a county in Ireland. It is in the West of Ireland, taking up the south of the province of Connacht. There are several Irish-speaking areas in the west of the county. The traditional county includes, and is named for, the city of Galway, but the city and county are separate local government areas, administered by the local authorities of Galway City Council in the urban area and Galway County Council in the rest of the county. The population of the county was 258,058 at the 2016 census.   read more…

Theme Week County Cork – Glengarriff

27 November 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

© Andreas F.  Borchert/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Andreas F. Borchert/cc-by-sa-4.0

Glengarriff (Irish: Gleann Garbh, meaning ‘rough glen’) is a village of approximately 140 people on the N71 national secondary road in the Beara Peninsula of County Cork, Ireland. Known internationally as a tourism venue, it has a number of natural attractions. It sits at the northern head of Glengarriff Bay, a smaller enclave of Bantry Bay. Located 20 km (~12 miles) west of Bantry, and 30 km (~18 miles) east of Castletownbere, it is a common stopping-point along the routes around the area. Primarily, the economy revolves around a combination of tourism, farming and local services.   read more…

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