The first illustration is a W.H. Bartlettâ€™s nineteenth century engraving of Thomond Bridge, King Johnâ€™s Castle and St Maryâ€™s Cathedral; a composition which has frequently been used to represent the city. (C. Oâ€™Carroll)
The second illustration is also a W.H. Bartlettâ€™s nineteenth century engraving of Limerick Custom House. The symmetry and open aspect of the Custom House made it a focus despite surrounding buildings. (Judith Hill â€“ The building of Limerick)
The Exchange of 1673 had been pulled down by 1702 and a new one erected. It was considered to be an improvement because the corporation had succeeded in acquiring some land from the cathedral so that the new, and larger, building could be pushed back and did not project onto the street. This is an early example of the concern for straighter, more regular and well-defined streets. Streets which, as Ferrar said, were more â€˜convenientâ€™, allowing the passage of wheeled vehicles and giving unobstructed views. This thinking had penetrated the corporation fifty years before Pery built Johnâ€™s Square.
The Exchange survives as a row of Tuscan columns barely distinguishable in a wall which surrounds St Maryâ€™s graveyard. This is the â€˜re-edifiedâ€™ structure of 1778 which Ferrar describes:It is supported by seven columns in the Tuscan order; the front is composed of cut stone, the windows trimmed with stone architraves and cornices, with a Tuscan entablature at the top.
(Judith Hill â€“ The building of Limerick)
Painting, watercolour. View of Limerick taken from the North Strand showing the New Bridge and Docks. J. Jones del. c. 1835. Naive view of Wellesley Bridge (Sarsfield) from mid-river to the south, showing narrow roadway on l., part of Strand Barracks, the lie-by to r., granary style building at r., courthouse and St Mary's Cathedral in distance. Framed.
Scale of subjects not correctly proportional.
CologneMike wrote:One of my favourites is this view from the tower of St Maryâ€™s Cathedral. The Court House can be seen at the base of the Tower. Here began the first port of Limerick on what is the present day Potato Market / Merchantâ€™s Quay. It shows the Custom Quay, Arthurâ€™s Quay and the floating dock at (Wellesley) Sarsfieldâ€™s Bridge.
Image Limerick Museum
Praxiteles wrote:It really has a genuine "gothic" feel to it!
jimg wrote:Jesuit Church Crescent
(Below) W.H. Bartlettâ€™s view of Baalâ€™s Bridge.
A Romantic nineteenth century depiction evoking an imagined past (Limerick Museum)
With the construction of the quays and houses on the Abbey River and the loss of the walls, the English town and Irish town were given a good view of each other. Instead of joining and facing at the single point of Baalâ€™s Bridge they now shared the length of the Abbey River. The towns had been turned inside out and, in the process, had opened up.
Frequently, in eighteenth and early nineteenth century watercolours and engravings, Limerick is represented by a view of the Abbey River from Lock Quay towards Baalâ€™s Bridge with the Custom House in the background. This seemed to epitomise the city.
There is often an element of romanticism in the pictures; an imagined past might be reconstructed. W.H. Bartlett (1809-1854) would have seen the old bridge but he uses his imagination to depict the river before Lock Quay was built showing the rough banks and crowds of women wrapped in shawls who might have washed clothes there.
The old houses, the few that remained on the bridge, are cast in deep shadow and the stormy clouds above reflected in the river make this a dramatic evocation of the past.
(Judith Hill â€“ The building of Limerick)
Painting, photographic print of, colour. View of New Bridge, Limerick, between Bridge St and Rutland St, attributed to Samuel Frederick Brocas, c. 1830. View looking downstream, from Charlotte's Quay, bridge to left, County Courthouse in centre (built 1811), tower of St. Mary's cathedral on extreme right beyond houses on George's Quay, and another tower, lower, nearer, behind the houses. Masts of ships visible beyond bridge, which is a three arched humpbacked structure.
From left, woman with umbrella, barrels on edge of paved area, donkey and cart beside pile of stones, large coach and four crossing bridge, uniformed figures sitting at back. Large convertible carriage drawn by two horses in foreground in centre, two women sitting in it, crest or coat of arms on side and rear. To right of carriage, a child standing beside the river wall appears to be wearing a cast off uniform coat and hat many sizes too large. Right again, there is a standing figure (smoking clay pipe?) beside horse and cart, barrel on cart, cage with fowl under end of cart.
On George's Quay, washerwomen on steps down to river, and on river's edge washing clothes. Above the river, on the quay itself, there is a very large crowd which appears to be going towards the bridge, and onto the bridge. There is a banner(?) visible midway along the quay in the crowd. A ridge-roofed canopy/structure with open sides stands in the street opposite the Bridge street end of the bridge. The buildings along George's Quay include two gablefronted structures, one in the Dutch style, also some long, low, squat buildings with steeply pitched roofs, and some large three or four storey brick 18th or 19th century buildings.
The first Tontine, known as the Richmond Place West Tontine Company, was built on a vacant site at the Crescent owned by the architect Mr. Robert Oâ€™Callaghan-Newenham.
An earlier plan by a client of his, Mr. Richard pepper, to finance the construction of â€˜three elegant housesâ€™ on the same site by way of the Crescent Lottery Scheme had failed in 1806.
(The Old Private Banks of Munster) The funds for this lottery appear to have been lost in the crash of Furnellâ€™s Bank of Limerick in 1806.
Undaunted by this financial setback, Mr. Oâ€™Callaghan-Newenham set about attracting new investors to finance his proposed development. The Richmond Place West Tontine Company completed the houses in 1807.
The Richmond Place West Tontine became the location for the Jesuitâ€™s Crescent College in 1862. The three houses became a school with one main entrance in the Crescent. Reconstruction of the faÃ§ade was so expertly done that no traces of the original three front doors remain except on Ordnance Survey maps and old photographs of the street.
Rev. John Hoare built the second Tontine development in the Crescent, sometime between 1805-1809. This scheme was called the Richmond Place East Tontine Company.
Tontine schemes were widely used in the 18th and 19th centuries to fund speculative property developments in England, France and the United States.
An arrangement in which equal sums of money are contributed by a number of persons to a pot or kitty, and the total sum is awarded to the participant who outlives the others.
Eventually Tontines were banned in the United States after the untimely deaths of some subscribers.
Source Booklet â€œThe Pery Square Tontineâ€ by James McMahon (Limerick Civic Trust)
The Jesuits, after a period in cramped quarters in Hartstonge Street, finally purchased the central buildings of the north side of the Crescent. Here they built their church utilising the natural focus of the crescent form to give it prominence. Unfortunately the faÃ§ade was of an over-wrought character unsympathetic to the plain and dignified appearance of the Crescent; its prominent position is a mixed blessing. Steps lead directly from the pavement to the entrance of this church. There are no railings and no gates. The high doors are open all day.
At his Inaugural Address as President to the Limerick Literary and Scientific Society held at the Leamy School in November 1852, William Lane Joynt proposed the establishment of an Athenaeum for Limerick. In his speech, he referred to the difficulties facing all cultural societies in the city in that they lacked a permanent venue or concert hall in which to conduct their activities. The Limerick Philosophical Society founded in 1840 had raised funds to construct the Philosophical Rooms at Havergal Hall (later the Lyric Cinema) as their headquarters. However, the construction costs of Havergal Hall exceeded the budget and the society were forced, under threats of bankrupcy, to hand over the building to a creditor, Francis Spaight, who immediately leased it out to a company manufacturing Limerick Lace. A new non-sectarian body, the Limerick Literary and Scientific Society emerged from this disaster in 1847. William Lane Joynt addressed the difficulty of different cultural societies working together in harmony. He concluded his speech saying "I know full well that Irish undertakings are said to begin with many signs of promise, but die before they reach maturity. but with the failure of the Philosophical society to warn us, the literary wants of the city to impel us on, and the dignity of the cause to inspire us, I have little doubt of our success". The proposal for an Athenaeum received wide support at the meeting. In 1853 William Lane Joynt wrote four articles in the Limerick Chronicle to elaborate on his ideas as to how an Athenaeum might function. His writings are a model of clear-thinking analysis and offer a fascinating insight into post-Famine Limerick.
The Leamy Free Schools in Hartstonge Street, were established by will of William Leamy, who in 1814 left Â£13,300 for the education of the children of the poor, especially in the neighbourhood of Limerick. William Leamy, a native of Limerick spent his life at sea. He made a large fortune, possibly from piracy on the high seas; and died on the island of Maderia.
“The History of Limerick City” Sean Spellissy
jimg wrote: Is the TSB bank still there and operating as such?
The favoured nineteenth century solution to the problems of unemployment, sickness and extreme poverty was the institution. Institutions came under various names, they were housed in similar looking buildings. Many of them were also located in the same area.
Limerick had one of each by the 1840s. In 1811 the county Infirmary was built on Mulgrave Street. It was joined in 1817 by the County Gaol, financed by the grand jury. By the early 1820s the Lunatic Asylum, built by the board of Works, stood next to the jail.
The Workhouse was set apart at a further distance from the city on the other side of the river in Co. Clare. It was built in 1841 under the administration of the Poor Law which attempted to by-pass traditional interests and the building had a wider catchment area.
All were free standing and surrounded by walls. Some stood within park-like grounds. These custodial buildings were built to briefs that specified self-containment, isolation and control. This influenced their design and their location outside the centre.
Judith Hill Building of Limerick