Wednesday, 28 September 2016


Regular visitors to this place will be familiar with this view of Dominican College, which dominates the little seaside town of Portstewart.  It was once the home of Captain Henry O'Hara, who built it in 1834.  The Dominican Order acquired it in 1917 - the local Chapel, The Star of the Sea having been built a year earlier.

This should be called the Disappearing Beach, as sometimes it's there and sometimes not.  We're heading towards winter, which usually means high seas in this part of the world.  And that means little or no beach, since it is usually covered in kelp or rocks which the sea gives up.  The Hound loves this beach, though, since he gets to work out his stress by ripping the kelp to tiny pieces.

So the school is heading towards is Centenary next year and there are lots of events planned - musical evenings, sports events, art and even photography exhibitions.  It's a thriving wee community, Dominican College is and has a real family atmosphere to it - a reflection of Portstewart itself, I guess.

While the College has a very mixed Protestant/Catholic student body nowadays, it is part of the Dominican Order.  The Order stretches back a little farther than the school itself, having been founded in 1216, which if my maths is correct, would be 800 years ago.   I suspect there wasn't much happening around these parts 800 years ago - Portstewart wasn't really founded until the 18th Century.  We're all just newcomers, really, as we pass through.

View from the West.  The coastal walk starts in Portstewart and winds up and around the rock cliffs towards Portstewart Strand.  It's lovely at any time of the year.  This shot was taken at Port-na-Happle, where there is little open bathing pool which is used most times nowadays by the local sub-aqua club.

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