Illustrating the Tower House: A Guest Blog (sort of)

I have been a fan of JG’s work for quite some time, and was delighted to see him featured on Roaring Water Journal, a wonderful blog I follow that I am also fan of. If you love all things Irish and ancient, please check them both out. You’ll be glad you did. 😊

Roaringwater Journal

Tower House Full View

There’s this brilliant young man, JG O’Donoghue, who combines the best qualities of researcher and sketch artist to produce outstanding illustrations, especially of heritage subjects. I’ve been a fan of his on Facebook for a while, but recently I saw the full extent of his talent.

Path to a Castle

Kilcrea Castle, Co Cork

You see, he’s done this job on tower houses. I’ve been studying tower houses for a while, especially the tower houses of West Cork (see my posts here and here and here) and recently I gave a talk about them in Ballydehob. So I recognise accuracy when I see it, as well as a meticulous attempt to be true to both published accounts and his own close observations. He has generously allowed me to use his drawings in this blog post, as well as his own words, slightly edited to fit the length of a blog post. So this is…

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5 Comments on “Illustrating the Tower House: A Guest Blog (sort of)

  1. You certainly have a lot of lovely ruins in your country, Ali. Heritage is a dirty word over here in Perth WA where I live and we just completely flatten any old buildings standing in the way of progress, instead of just leaving them abandoned and left to collapse slowly and forlornly in a farmer’s paddock. In my opinion both ways to deal with heritage is extremely poor.


  2. Stunning visuals, Ali. These structures resemble numerous forts built in the western part of India by Portuguese during 15th and 16th centuries. JG’s artistry is obviously inspired by the breathtaking beauty of Irish countryside. Who would not be?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. I think he has great passion and respect for the past, and it shows in his art. He has great imagination, too, but he doesn’t let it run away with him. Its all very plausible and realistic, a real glimpse into history.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! We have them around here, too! Very bleak and austere some of them are too, built for protection in turbulent times, not for comfort, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t have liked to live in one. I doubt living in a castle is half as romantic as its thought to be. Interesting that you are seeing similar structures in France and Belgium.


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