Friday, 16 June 2017

A City by the Sea. Exhibition at St Peter’s

A City by the Sea. Exhibition at St Peter’s

Click above to read the post on Cork's links with the sea over the centuries.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Ocean to City 2017. A few pictures!

Ocean to City 2017
A few pictures!

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

“With deep affection and recollection, I oft time think of those Shandon Bells.”

“With deep affection and recollection

I oft time think of those Shandon Bells.”
"Prosperity to all"

Maybe, had I been abroad, an exile, I might have thought of those famous bells more often. But even here, at home in Cork, there are so many reminders: that ever popular song by Fr Prout, the regular sound of the bells themselves and the prominent position of the church and the tower close to and unmissable above the city centre.
1629 baptismal font, still in use

Despite all the proximity, it took me a long time to eventually tackle those 132 steps - over seventy years! The actual climb time is a few minutes. But, steep and in a confined passageway, they are not the easiest of steps, so do take it easy and read the notices, heed the hints at the office as you pay the small fee.

Your first stop (you can also make it your last, on the way down, if there is a queue on the way up) is on the first floor and here you can ring the old bells, made in Gloucester (where my parents were married) and installed in Shandon in 1752. They weigh over 6 tonnes. 

Did you now that the rector here in 1772 was the Rev’d Arthur Hyde, the great-great grandfather of our first President?
Spires (St Fin Barre's) & domes (St Francis)

The clocks, one on each face of the tower, were installed by the corporation in 1847, made by local watchmaker James Mangan. Atop the tower is “de Goldie Fish”. The Greek name for fish is ichthus and it was an symbol of Christ for early Christians. The motive is repeated in each of the seats in the church below.

As you mount those steps, you will see the mechanism of the clocks (3rd floor) and the actual bells themselves (4th). One that I saw is stamped “Prosperity to all”. Ear defenders are provided - use them here!
Bachelor's Quay bisects this frame and the footbridge is St Vincent's

The 132 steps bring you, eventually, all the way to the balcony. You are at 120 feet but the pepper pot itself adds another fifty feet to that. The balcony though is more than high enough to give you fantastic views over the whole city. Take your time, take a break and enjoy.

“On this i ponder where’er I wander
And thus grow fonder sweet Cork of thee.”
Little ole Bell ringer me!

Built in 1722, on a site of an earlier church that was destroyed in the 1690 siege of Cork, St Anne's is the oldest church in continuous use in the city.

It features a baptismal font from the original church, a font that was made in 1629. Other features include a Victorian timber barrel vaulted ceiling and an early 18th century barley twist communion rail.  The walls are adorned with memorials to families associated with the church including one commemorating George Benson, a curate of the parish who died in 1832 a victim of the cholera outbreak. And you’ll also see the fish cut-outs on the back of each seat, echoing the Goldie Fish of the tower.
The nearby North Cathedral

St. Anne’s has been described as,  “the most important ecclesiastical structure of any period, within the the city of Cork and its immediate environs, it is also one of the most important early 18th century churches in Ireland and one of a small number which still retains their original 18th century bells”  - (2001 Architectural & Archaeological Appraisal – Colin Rynne for Southgate & Assoc.). 

Read much more about the church, the tower, and the environs, including opening hours, here And, if you haven’t visited, do so soon even if it is just for the views. Maybe you’re nervous about playing those bells. No worries? You do it by numbers and a Japanese tourist told me my Amazing Grace was excellent!
The Elysian towers over all

The County Hall in the western distance

Close neighbours

The northside

Murphy's Brewery and north west towards Collins Barracks on the hill

Shandon seats, with salmon cut-outs

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Where the white deer graze. A Walk in Mallow

Where the white deer graze.
A Walk in Mallow

The captivating white deer in the castle grounds

Mallow is one of those towns that has been by-passed. And forgotten, by many. Remembered by many too if the local Friday rush-hour traffic is anything to go by!
The Hibernians Hotel and its Tudor facade

But no doubt about it, those of us in a rush to Limerick, or to Shannon, or to the West of Ireland, just don't call there anymore. At least that was the case with me until recently.

St Mary's Church

Months earlier I had picked up a brochure on the town, on its facilities and on its history. They even had a walk detailed. I didn't quite follow that walk but did get to see some of the landmarks.
Birthplace of Canon Sheehan

You’ll see quite a few by strolling along Davis Street, the narrow-ish main street, now one-way. The first striking building is the Clock House, “a fine example of a half-timbered Tudor construction”, built by an amateur architect Sir Denham Orlando Jephson in 1855. It eventually fell into decay and the restoration began in 1996 and it now looks splendid.

Thomas Davis
In the plaza in front, you see the statue of Thomas Davis who was born at No. 73 in the former Main Street in 1814. The statue was unveiled 100 years later by President Higgins. Further up the street, another statue recalls JJ Fitzgerald (1872-1906) a Mallow born “scholar, patriot and champion of the oppressed”. The nearby Spa House, erected in 1828, recalls the curative power of its Spa that once made Mallow one of the chief holiday resorts in Ireland.

JJ Fitzgerald

Aside from the Davis House, there are other historic buildings to be seen including that of the English novelist Anthony Trollope at No. 159 West End. And if you fancy a drink in Maureen's, in William O’Brien Street, you’ll be enjoying it in the house where Irish novelist Canon Sheehan was born in 1852. And O’Brien’s own house is to be seen on Davis Street.

Clock Tower

Mallow is also well known for its castle or should I say castles. The old, a ruin, and the modern are right here in the town and in the grounds a herd of lovely white deer graze peacefully. Well worth a visit, as is the town itself, despite a few ugly scars left from the years of the Tiger but they are far outweighed by the good stuff.

See also: 

Peppers of Mallow. Dine at the Crossroads of Munster

The old castle

The modern castle
Time for a snack
Time for dinner