It has to be said that the best ruins are to be found in Ireland. Here the countryside is littered with the remains of every type of dwelling from the smallest cottage, respectably sized family homes, ancient tower houses, churches and religious buildings, great country mansions and castles of all ages. Everywhere you look you will see some crumbling structure, rapidly being overtaken by nature. Some are officially open to the public, Blarney Castle must be the most famous ruin in Ireland (although some might argue that it is not strictly a ruin, being in constant use and being cared for and maintained in its current state), some are fenced and barred from all-comers but most are just there, in the middle of a wood, field or often farmyard, with easy access to all.
The splendour of some of these abandoned edifices has to be seen to be belived. In Britain similar stately piles, when not longer inhabited for whatever reason, have been demolished or turned into flats. In Ireland they are simply ignored or used as a glorified cow shed.
Many ruins are the result of conflict, the latest of these being the Troubles in the 1920's which resulted in many 'British' owned stately homes being distroyed by fire. One ca only imagine the fabulous treasures that were lost when the houses burned. Luckily the lives of the inhabitants were not usually among them.
However, it is not only the large 'recent' ruins that are included on this site. There are older, smaller and stranger ruins. A brief history is included with most of them but some have no story at all. For these, one can invent their own!
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