Metal farm gates are found dotted around Ireland’s countryside. Whether separating fields, or protecting the entrance to verdant green pastures these functional entryways are part of my Irish memories.
These gates are so widespread around Ireland I am going to venture so far as to say, I consider them a symbol of Ireland. I know, you probably think I’ve lost my marbles, when I decide to write a blog post all about gates.
But by the end of today’s ramblings I hope you’ll understand why many of my Irish memories are framed by iron or steel farm gates.
And as you all know, my Irish inspired blog posts are definitely not found anywhere else on the world wide web. Who else, in their right mind, would try to convince you the utilitarian farm gate should be considered a symbol of Ireland?
Except me of course, Irish American Crackpot (that’s the new name for my blog around our house).
But let’s get back to the gates. Here’s my rational for calling them “Ireland’s Picture Frames.”
When driving in Ireland many of the roads are bordered by dense hedgerows, which unfortunately block the view of the surrounding landscape. To catch a glimpse of the magnificent Irish scenery drivers must watch carefully for a gap in the tree line and pray the view will open up.
Most of these openings occur only where a farm gate has been strategically placed for cattle or tractor entry.
But for those of us, who love to stop our cars to truly appreciate the grandeur of God’s creation, these gate openings are sometimes our only chance to catch a little glimpse of heaven.
As you peer through your car window at a spectacular mountain, or a windswept beach, the scene is often framed by a metal gate.
And so I bestow upon these metal gates, the honorary title of ‘Ireland’s picture frames’.
I have lovely childhood memories of driving around Ireland with my grandaunt or great aunt as we say in America.
My sisters and cousins would climb in to the back of her mini cooper, all packed in like sardines. I grew up in the 70’s when we all squashed in with little regard for seat belts, booster seats, or modern day safety rules.
As we drove around the beautiful Irish countryside, my great aunt would pull over at a farm gate, whenever she thought we should stop to take in the beauty of the world around us. These childhood memories of Ireland are framed by metal gates.
Some gates are sturdy and utilitarian. Some are old and rusty but appear to be portals to another world completely.
How about these tall pillars which probably supported a more elaborate gate in days gone by?
I love this photo of a snowy field framed by a farm gate in County Tipperary.
And always remember, no matter how alluring the view may be, heed those “No Trespassing” signs.
And how about the focal point of this wonderful gate? My father told me, when he was a young boy in the 1930’s in County Cork, he remembers gates being made out of old wheel rims. Truly ingenious.
I hope you enjoyed this collection of Irish gate photos. You can’t beat a little bit of nostalgia – even if just talking about gates. Let us know if your Irish memories are framed by metal gates.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)