Weaving their way across Ireland
Visiting Ireland for the first time, or third or the tenth time…. it is easy to notice the miles of stone fences that criss-cross over the countryside. My husband Barry and I saw many of them when traveling in County Galway in western Ireland.
It made me wonder. How did these stone fences come to be? These structures are said to be hundreds of years old. Some of them are even documented as being thousands of years old in County Mayo. It is hard to imagine all of the hard labor in pulling stones and piling them up, to make way and clear the land for farming. It seems like a practical solution to make some walls and property borders from all those rocks. The most stone fences are in western and southern Ireland, where the soil is poor and stone plentiful.
I have always like this image. It is one of my favorites. The rugged piles of stones draw your eye up and into the forlorn, windswept tree. That tree still standing through years of strong weather, resilient, yet shaped and curved by the wind. This image tells the story of Ireland.
Stone Fence, Co. Galway
Barry Thomas Hendrickson
© Hendrickson Fine Art Photography
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