This week’s theme from Debbie for One Word Sunday is EMPTY

This is PORT in West Donegal.

Surrounded by ocean and heather clad hills, Port is known as the ‘Ghost Village’ or the ‘Deserted Village’. Believed to be the first maritime port in Donegal, it would once have been a thriving fishing hamlet. At some stage, the whole place was abandoned and left go to ruin. Its thought that everyone left either during the Great Famine (1845-1849) or immediately afterwards. Many rural areas were decimated by the famine of course but it was unusual for a whole community to vanish. There are no records of survivors or descendants. Nothing.

The drive in to this desolate place is stunning. The bleak landscape is dominated by sheep and peat before opening out to a first glimpse of the Atlantic.

You’ll have the place to yourself unless you come across the odd fisherman, hillwalker or farmer. From the rocky beach you look out at the breathtaking stretch of coastline in front of you…..

…and then look back at the ghostly remains of the cottages on the hillside.

What drove them all away from this beautiful place?

Link to One Word Sunday at Debbie’s here

35 thoughts on “EMPTY

  1. Oh wow, this is amazing! I am fascinated by abandoned places like this, that seem haunted by the ghosts of those who once lived there. Add that to this stunning scenery and coastline, and I would absolutely love to visit!

    1. Needless to say there are plenty of stories associated with the place and the ghosts that walk those hills. Donegal is a beautiful county for a visit…. XXXMarie

    1. Life must have been so tough there- despite the fishing trade. I suppose if the able bodied died or emigrated during the famine, those who were left behind would not have managed to survive and just upped and relocated…

    1. Always good to find out something new about a place you’re familiar with….. Its remote – even by Donegal standards – just one road in and out. If you are ever back here, you could spend a lovely few days in that corner of the county – its between Glencolmcille – Ardara. XXXMarie

  2. Port is one of my favourite places to explore in Donegal. The first time we weren’t even sure if the single-lane road will lead us anywhere, and were happy to discover this gem. Thanks for sharing, Marie. Have a blessed Sunday! Aiva 🙂

    1. The walk from there to Glencolmcille across the hills must be lovely. Hope you got a nice day after all the rain!! Lovely here. XXXMarie

    1. Thank you Mel – I think its the combination of dramatic coastline and bleak hills. Add minimal human influence – the day we were there, one van was parked at the pier and there were a few monuments to past fishing disasters scattered about the place and that was it…. so desolate….

  3. Stunningly sad and beautiful at the same time. Your photos capture the ghostly nature of the area.

    1. Its the combination of tragedy and beauty that makes the story –
      When ye get tired of west Cork you should head up there…..not sure about your daily swim here but loads of lovely beaches close by!!

  4. Unusual indeed for there to be no oral history, at least, of an Irish settlement. Love the 1* Trip Advisor review which complains there’s nothing there 🙂

    1. I find it very odd that there is no oral record – sure you know yourself – every field and rock here has a story and a name.

      That’s hilarious re TripAdvisor – there’s always one isn’t there!!

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