Update: Killary has closed, and the host region offered for rent to private tenants. SLurls have therefore been removed from this article.
Back in April, Miro Collas pointed us in the direction of Killary, a homestead region design by Morena Tully, and which is inspired by the “only fjord in Ireland”, Killary inlet (or harbour), on the Connemara coast of Galway, Ireland.
Those who know Connemara know it to be a place of rugged beauty with many places to captivate the eye and the heart. Lying to the northern end of Connemara, Killary sits on the border between the counties of Galway and Mayo, and is an incredibly striking location, a deep, glacial valley that now forms an inlet served by the likes of the Erriff, Bundorragha and Bunanakee rivers.
For her design, Morena encapsulates Killary’s winding mix of hills and water-filled inlet in a rugged design that is striking in its simplicity and desolated nature. In doing so, she perfectly captures the way in which the region’s inspiration faces off against the wild and capricious Atlantic, which can be prone to throwing wind, rain and storm at Ireland as she looks westward, giving parts of her coastline a hardened look; a large of tough grass and shrubs where trees have to brace themselves against incoming storms.
The look of the region is such that its naked bleakness perfectly frames Morena’s aim for the region, which she describes as:
Simple, minimalist, easy. Clear thoughts seem to happen with just land, water, and sky. Sometimes it’s OK for a place to be just a place.
This is a place that really needs no description. Rather it is a place to be experienced – a place to come to when quiet solitude is what you require. While the design might be minimalist, with its scattered trees and sheep, and the stone buildings and ruins that give the region a sense of age, there are places scattered throughout the landscape that encourage visitors to sit and stay awhile, whether they are in the company of friends or simply spending time with their thoughts.
Which direction you take from the landing point is entirely up to you; as it is positions on the northern (“inland”) end of the inlet cutting into the region, going east or west will take you along either of the two arms of the U-like landscape. Either route has points of interest, be it the high hill crowned by the circle of a broken wall, or east to where the ruins of a small church sit and a lean-two offers shelter for the island’s sheep.
However, you will want tread both routes, simply because they invite exploration. Also, when you do so, you might discover the wooden treasure chests scattered across the land. Each of these is guarded by a simple riddle. Left click to read the riddle and supply your answer. If your answer is correct, each chest will open and offer you a gift. If your answer is incorrect – you can try again 🙂 .
Morena notes this may be her last region design. While I don’t remember visiting any of her past designs, Killary demonstrates I’ve probably been missing out; so I hope I’ll have to opportunity to see more of her work in the future.