Ian Middleton: Writer

Articles, Stories, Books, Photos and Travel

Trinity Well, in the grounds of Newberry House, near the village of Carbury, County Kildare, Ireland. Trinity Well, known in ancient Irish legend as the Well of Sergais, is the source of the magical River Boyne. The birth of the River Boyne has its roots in an ancient legend known as the Well of Sergais. It’s said that a long time ago when the Gods walked the earth there was a well shaded by magical hazel trees bearing crimson nuts. It was believed that whoever should eat these nuts would be graced with the knowledge of the world. The nuts fell off the trees and into the well, and were eaten by one of the vividly coloured salmon who swam there. For this reason, it became known as the salmon of knowledge. This well was owned by the God Nechtain, who was very possessive of the well. Only he and his three cup bearers were allowed anywhere near it. But one day his wife, referred to as Boann or Boínn (meaning she who has white cows; white cows were considered cows of the otherworld), was overcome with curiosity one day and went to the well without Nechtain’s permission or knowledge. There are various stories as to what she did there, but whatever it was resulted in the well overflowing and gushing forth onto the surrounding countryside and forming the Boyne Valley. Legend says the Boann inhabits the Fairy Mound where Newberry House now stands. It's here that the legendary Irish Giant, Celtic warrior and leader of the Fianna, ate the Salmon of Knowledge and gained the wisdom and power that enabled him to regain his rightful place as leader of teh Fianna and go on to become Ireland's greatest warrior and protector. The well was since christianised and is now known as Trinity Well. Every year the local priest peforms the annual Rosary the first Sunday in June.

The Well of Sergais – The Boyne Valley in Ireland Part 2

The birth of the River Boyne has its roots in an ancient legend known as the Well of Sergais. In this article I tell you all about it.

Iron age rath at the Hill of Tara in County Meath, Ireland. Tara was once the ancient capital of Ireland, from where the high king ruled over the country. The upright stone you see on the mound is the Lia Fail (stone of destiny). According to Celtic legend the Lia Fail was used during the coronation of the high king, and was believe to emit a roar when the true high king touched it. (I tried but there was no sound, so I crossed being high king of Ireland off my list of potential destinies).

The Hill of Tara – The Boyne Valley in Ireland Part 1

The Hill of Tara At first glance the Hill of Tara may seem like a rather non-de script place. Many tourists visit every year and possibly scratch their heads in […]

Artist’s Palette at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

Rotorua – A Smelly Place in New Zealand.

Situated on New Zealand’s North Island, the Taupo Volcanic Zone is the country’s most geothermally active region. Rotorua is a popular destination for travellers and holidaymakers, despite the perpetual smell of rotten eggs. I found out why.

Magic Road in the Comeragh Mountains, County Waterford, Ireland.

A Magic Road in the Comeragh Mountains

If I told you there was a section of road in Ireland where, if you park at the bottom of a small hill and release the brake, you will roll back up the hill, would you believe me? Well, when I first heard of such a thing I didn’t believe it either. This one was up north of Dundalk, and upon further investigation I found it to be true. So when I heard there was one down south, I just had to see it.

Rain clouds clearing over the Kamnik Alps after a day of heavy rain. On the higher ground they brought snow.

The Ice Saints Cometh in full force this year in Slovenia

It’s the time of the Ice Saints, and in Slovenia this year Ledeni Možje have brought with them the coldest period in May for 15 years, and as I sit here now writing this, Polulana Zofka is truly pissing herself. Confused? Let me explain.

Fishing boats at sunset over the Brijuni Islands, Croatia. Seen from Puntižela Beach, Štinjan north of Pula.

Pula or Pola

Pula (in Croatian) or Pola (in Italian) is the largest city on the Istrian peninsula. And if the abundance of holiday and budget airlines flying in is anything to go by, it’s the most popular vacation destination too.