Today, we took the students about thirty minutes outside of Belfast to one of the most well known 18th Century mansions in all of Ireland. It is know as Castle Ward. Here is what James Johnson, one of our students, had to say about today’s excursion.
Hello, today at the Linkyear we had the priviledge of visiting the Castle Ward in eastern Ireland. The Castle Ward was built in 1760 and even though it is known for its architectural design the architect himself is not known. The architect is thought to be a man named James Bridges. He was an architect and a close friend to the Ward family around the time it was built. The castle is known for its architectural design because it is both victorian and gothic. Literally the house is split right down the middle by the two different styles. The castle borders the western side of the Stranford Lock which happens to be the largest sea inlet in the UK. It roughly covers 150 sq km or around 300 sq mi. The lock itself empties south into the Irish Sea. The estate is covers 332 acres all of which is owned and cared for by the National Trust. An interesting side note, two IRA members where killed in a bomb explosion on Febuary 10, 1973. All in all it was a nice trip the scenery surrounding the Castle was your classic Ireland; the beautiful shore, rolling hills, green forests, and lush feilds.
All my life I have been told by those close to me to go see the world, and I have always wanted to. But to me it always seemed like a nice thought, but not something that would actually happen. Even though we were told that we would be staying in Ireland for a month, it never really seemed real. But now we are here, thousands of miles away in a foriegn country, and I have been blown away by the fact that God is still the creator and Jesus is still the savior. I told my fellow students that at the beginning of our stay I had been caught up in the beauty that I saw on a daily basis but had forgotten the one who painted every picture that I took. I encouraged them not to get caught up in Ireland, because Ireland and all its beauty was designed by God for us to see, be amazed, and in turn praise God for what He has done. If we don’t then we miss the purpose of the created.