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CULTURE: A Week of Monks & Saints – St. Patrick’s Week

Post 252. Written by Ben Kesp

Most people in the world have heard of St. Patrick, who is synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day, Ireland’s national saint celebrated globally. Buildings, landmarks and even rivers turn green for the day celebrating everything that is Irish. For the coming week, I have decided to share a post a day relating to an Irish monk or saint to celebrate all that is St. Patrick. 
St. Patrick is one of the three national saints of Ireland. He shares this title with St. Brigit and St. Columcille. He is often accredited with bringing Christianity to Ireland and banishing the metaphorical snakes or paganism from the country. However, there are so many questions about St. Patrick and his role. Much of it is myth and legend. But to say he brought Christianity to Ireland is probably not entirely correct as Christianity was already in practice prior to his arrival. 
Enjoy this week of posts which will finish with a post on St. Patrick, the Man and the Stories. Wishing everyon…
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LITERATURE: Pocahontas Once More

Post 251
Guest Post - Writtenby T. Ponder

Pocahontas Once More 
I learned not to burn bridges
When me and Pocahontas walked across one Her hair strung,
Her voice won With honesty of tons,
Our same differences Was, lost love
Hunger….sore feet This time we talked,
She was more complete Patience,
No need to compete Pocahontas and I crossed a bridge

About the Author
Hello there bloggers and readers! My name is T. Ponder. I’m an Independent Author and personally, I love to play the game of Chess. One day while simply playing Chess with a friend, I noticed the most complex patterns. Then, I decided to Write. 
T. Ponder on Word Press
Image: Provided by Author 
Discover more on Ben Kesp, author and writer on the Ben Kesp Website. Discover how to Contribute on the Ben Kesp Website.

CULTURE: Ballyfin Estate - An Irish Regency Mansion

Irish Country Houses #3 Post 250. Written by Ben Kesp 
Situated near the small village of Ballyfin in County Laois, Ireland, sits the 600 acre Ballyfin Demesne. Classed as one of Ireland’s finest Regency mansions, the current house is a neo-classical design, built in the 1820s. The house occupies the sites of earlier houses and castles, and Ballyfin Demesne has been home to many families like O’Mores, the Crosbys, the Poles, the Wellesley-Poles and the Cootes. It reopened its doors in 2011 as a country hotel following nine years of detailed restoration. 

The land of Ballyfin Demesne is certainly rich in history, even Irish mythology. The famous saga of Irish myth is said to be based here, when Fionn Mac Cumhaill of the Fiannan warriors, ate the Salmon of Knowledge which gave him untold wisdom! 
In the 1600s, Sir Piers Crosby purchased and erected a castle on the grounds of Ballyfin, however by 1666 the castle and lands were lost to Pole Family from Devon, UK. During the 1770s the Pole…

2017 - Year in Review

Post 249. Written by Ben Kesp
My best wishes to everyone as we draw closer to the end of another calendar year and time for my annual review. 
The following are the top 10 reading lists from the Literature & Culture Corner Blog during 2017.  Big thanks for all your support and to contributors, whose posts also made it into the top 10.

Top 10 Most Read Literature/History/Myth Blog Posts of 2017 1 Secrets – Chapter 11 2 Sanctuary of Athena - Delphi 3 Magical Town in Mexico - Orizaba 4 Tarxien Temples – Malta  5 Steps in Researching for Fiction  6 Screenplay – The Firm   7 Imbolc – Feast of St. Brigid  8 Screenplay – Sector 2

Holiday Greeting

Post 248. Written by Ben Kesp

Just a quick note to wish everyone a great Christmas and the very best for New Year. I will be posting my annual review shortly for 2017 updating you on popular posts, books and retailers. 
A quick note on my latest novel “The Portrait of Isabella Simmons” – it has now been returned from my editor and is in the final stages of preparation. A publication date will be announced in early 2018. For updates and more, check out its page on the Ben Kesp Website.
Writing Workshops from the Ben Kesp Academy will begin again in the new year.  In the meantime enjoy the holidays and I will be in touch soon! 
Discover more on Ben Kesp, author and writer on the Ben Kesp Website. Discover how to Contribute on the Ben Kesp Website.

CULTURE: Loftus Hall - A Haunted House

Irish Country Houses #2
Post 247. Written by Ben Kesp
Sitting on Hook Head, a headland in County Wexford, Ireland, sits the large mansion of Loftus Hall. The house stands on the ground of two original Redmond Family castles, with the first dating from 1170. In 1650 it became the property of the Loftus family following Oliver Cromwell’s onslaught of the Irish countryside. 

Loftus Hall has a rich and vibrant history and today it is more known for its paranormal tours, attracting paranormal groups and television crews from all over the world including the hit US paranormal show, Ghost Adventures
What is it about Loftus that grabs the attention of the paranormal? The house is believed to have been visited by the devil himself! 
In 1666 while the Loftus family were away, the Tottenham family were caring for the house. Following a storm, a ship arrived at Hook Head and a young man came ashore to Loftus Hall. Charles Tottenham with his second wife and daughter Anne from his first marriage w…

CULTURE: Borris House - Roots to the Kings of Leinster

Irish Country Houses #1
Post 246. Written by Ben Kesp

Borris House is a magnificent house situated in Co. Carlow, Ireland and is one of the few Irish estates that can trace its roots to the royal families of ancient Ireland. The current Borris House was built in 1731 replacing the original castle that once stood guard over the River Barrow. It is the ancestral home of the McMorrough Kavanaghs, High Kings of Leinster and the 16th generation of the family currently reside here. Today the house is open for accommodation, tours and weddings. 
The McMorrough Kavanaghs can certainly trace their roots to ancient Ireland and through the ages to modern Ireland. From the 11th century, the family became known as McMorrough, Kings of Leinster and it was Dermot McMorrough that invited the Normans to Ireland in 1167. 
A story of romance is linked to Borris House that at the time was a scandalous affair. In the 1700s Thomas Kavanagh of Borris House, married Lady Susan Butler, daughter of the 16th Ear…