Photographer's Note

Our next home exchange was located on the shore of Clew Bay and at the foot of Crough Patrick; about 5 miles from Westport in County Mayo. The owner/architect only designs sustainable housing. The difference between the 300 year old farmhouse and this house was amazing. Even though both houses had very thick walls, the farmhouse was always cold even with heating while this house was warm without heating in much more blustery weather.
Croagh Patrick derives its name from the Irish Cruach Phádraig ("St Patrick's mountain") although it is known locally as the Reek, In the Annals of Ulster entry for the year 1113, the mountain is named Cruachán Aigle ("eagle mountain").
Croagh Patrick (Crum Cru) has been a site of pilgrimage, especially at the summer solstice, since before the arrival of Celtic Christianity in the first century; possibly since before the arrival of the Celts. On "Reek Sunday", the last Sunday in July every year, over 25,000 pilgrims climb the mountain, many of whom climb barefoot.
At present it is named for Saint Patrick, who reputedly fasted on the summit of Croagh Patrick for forty days in the fifth century and built a church there. It is said that at the end of Saint Patrick's 40-day fast, he threw a silver bell down the side of the mountain, knocking the she-demon Corra from the sky and banishing all the snakes from Ireland.
A seam of gold was discovered in the mountain in the 1980's: overall grades of 14 grams (0.5 oz) of gold per tonne in at least 12 quartz veins, which could produce 700,000 t (770,000 short tons) of ore. Mayo County Council elected not to allow mining, deciding that the gold was "fine where it was".

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Additional Photos by Pat Lim (plimrn) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3999 W: 226 N: 6734] (21344)
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