Waiting for the coming?

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Where: Mount Melleray Abbey, Mountmelleray, Cappoquin, Co. Waterford, Ireland

When: Unknown

While the image is entitled "Examination Hall, Mount Melleray", what is really interesting is the stance of the monks and other men along the avenue. They seem to be waiting on an arrival - but of what or whom??

Based on input from RorySherlock and Niall McAuley, we are happy to map this to the location of the (now demolished) exam hall of the Mount Melleray abbey and seminary. Niall McAuley and sharon.corbet also help us refine the date range - narrowing the 5 decade catalogue range to perhaps 2 decades or so around the 1870s/80s. On the subject, we're still unsure as to what's happening. However, as today's commentators point-out, there is more than a few similar examples in the collection. Perhaps indicating that this seemingly odd arrangement of subjects wasn't a "one off". And maybe therefore what's captured here is a routine monastic observance of some kind.....


Photographer: Robert French

Collection: Lawrence Photograph Collection

Date: Catalogue range c.1865-1914. Though likely in the first half of this range (perhaps 1870s/1880s). See comments.

NLI Ref: L_CAB_01439

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie

Info:

Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 9308
robertfrench williamlawrence lawrencecollection lawrencephotographicstudio thelawrencephotographcollection glassnegative nationallibraryofireland mountmelleray cowaterford ireland cistercian trappist monastery cappoquin monks robes seminary habit examinationhall waiting godot contemplation

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    Rory_Sherlock

    • 01/Dec/2016 09:27:50

    The Examination Hall appears to have been demolished in recent years: maps.osi.ie/publicviewer/#V2,609797,603942,11,9 It is visible on the 25" map to the left of the building marked 'School' and is also visible on the aerial image from 1995, but it isn't there on the 2000 and 2005 images.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 01/Dec/2016 09:31:51

    DIA is super-helpful today: Name: BEARY, MICHAEL Building: CO. WATERFORD, MOUNT MELLERAY ABBEY (CAPPOQUIN) Date: ? Nature: MB designed buildings there which were demolished 1997. Refs: Information from from typescript note on Michael Beary written for the IAA by his great niece, Nellie Beary O'Cleirigh, 38 Templemore Avenue, Rathgar, Dublin 6, 10 Dec 1998.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 01/Dec/2016 09:33:46

    From his bio there: he designed some buildings at Mount Melleray Abbey, which were demolished in 1997. He presented the monks with a stone carving of the Virgin which surmounted these buildings and which has been retained. So may be unrelated.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 01/Dec/2016 09:45:56

    The church shown is also gone: replaced by a big Gothic church built from the stone from Mitchelstown Castle of recent memory: Mitchelstown Castle, Co. Cork

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    Niall McAuley

    • 01/Dec/2016 09:49:30

    Two of the NIAH pieces on Mount Melleray mention slate re-roofing and works in 1910 - from this and the Beary reference, I'll guess this is 1910-15. [Edit - nope!]

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    Niall McAuley

    • 01/Dec/2016 09:59:54

    This aerial view of Mount Melleray from c. 1910 in the Waterford County museum shows a two storey building at this spot?

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    sharon.corbet

    • 01/Dec/2016 10:05:38

    There's a Stereo pair of this building also featuring guys waiting around. There are a couple more photos featuring weird posing but they're significantly later based on tree growth.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 01/Dec/2016 10:21:25

    And here (same source) we see the 2 storey building here with the BVM statue on top. So I am revising my guess, to say todays shot is before the Beary building, so pre-1910.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 01/Dec/2016 10:28:20

    The 2 Storey building in 1950 (also at Waterford County museum).

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    swordscookie back and trying to catch up!

    • 01/Dec/2016 10:28:49

    NLI - quite clearly the monks are waiting for God(ot)?????

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 01/Dec/2016 10:29:23

    They have a copy of this image, labelled c.1900 i don't know if they know anything we don't know...

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    Niall McAuley

    • 01/Dec/2016 10:34:12

    This one shows the 2 storey building with the old church.

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    sharon.corbet

    • 01/Dec/2016 10:36:19

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] I think that todays shot dates from the same time as the Stereo Pair i.e. 1860-83. Then comes this one, followed by the 2 storey version (possibly an extension rather than a new building). Poole also visited in 1925.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 01/Dec/2016 10:42:52

    The 25" is dated 1904, and I think it shows the 2 storey building...

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    Niall McAuley

    • 01/Dec/2016 11:00:50

    [https:[email protected]] Not only does the Stereo pair show guys waiting around, they are the same guys!. Tall bowler hat man, short bowler hat man and a priest with a fedora (?) have moved between shots, but are clearly the same men on the same day. Definitely 1860-1883. Does the 1865 start for this collection mean 1865-1883?

  • profile

    Canadian Son

    • 01/Dec/2016 11:28:00

    the Second Coming?

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 01/Dec/2016 23:50:26

    Thanks all! If this oddly posed image does date to the late 19th century (and we have no reason to doubt that it does), then we can rule-out a guard of honour for the arrival of the new lord abbot (that we'd also mapped to the same spot - below). Or at least, if they are waiting for the abbot, they will be waiting quite some time..... :) The more I look at the stance, I wonder if they are watching something. Or perhaps in a shared (perhaps timed) contemplative period - maybe an observance like the sixt or none of the liturgy of hours(?) Whatever the case, description, map, date and tags all updated! www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland/6291514980/

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    philfluther

    • 02/Dec/2016 20:50:39

    Stock?

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    jamica1

    • 06/Dec/2016 18:52:24

    Maybe someone could just ask them www.mountmellerayabbey.org/index.php/contact

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    Karin Joy Passmore

    • 11/Dec/2016 08:58:33

    Ask, very good idea! My wild guess is they are positioned to show the proportion of the building, wall, street, whatever, to man. The man standing in the front doorway illustrates that the door is taller than one might have thought...

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    Dr. Ilia

    • 14/Dec/2016 09:00:06

    Amazing shot