Harbour, Queenstown, Co. Cork

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Where: Rockville, Lake Rd, Kilgarvan, Cobh, Co. Cork, Ireland

When: 01 January 1896

This Lawrence Cabinet sized glass plate shows a great view of Queenstown Harbour with Spike Island, a corner of Haulbowline and the Royal Yacht (I think?) on a fine clear day! Should it be the Royal Yacht then dating the image should be relatively easy?

As it happens though, dating this image hasn't been as easy as we'd imagined. Firstly, we learned that this isn't the Royal Yacht at all - but the battleship HMS Howe. As the HMS Howe was a "port guardship" in Cork Harbour from 1896-1901, we might surmise that this image dates that period in the late-1890s. However, there's a suggestion that we should also perhaps be able to see an 1890s storage shed on Haulbowline (right middle-ground). While the absense of this shed might imply a slightly earlier visit, as we understand Howe had just two main guns until 1890 (and we clearly see four here), we're likely after that date....

Photographer: Robert French

Collection: Lawrence Photograph Collection

Date: Catalogue range c.1865-1914. Almost certainly 1890-1901. Likely mid-/late-1890s. Probably c.1896.

NLI Ref: L_CAB_01000

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: 4998
robertfrench williamlawrence lawrencecollection lawrencephotographicstudio thelawrencephotographcollection glassnegative nationallibraryofireland queenstown cocork cobh spikeisland haulbowline irishnavalstation royalyacht sails boats hms howe battleship hmshowe corkharbour fortwestmoreland guardship

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    MukeshPhoto

    • 08/Mar/2017 08:47:44

    Stunning

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    beachcomberaustralia

    • 08/Mar/2017 08:50:55

    I don't think its a Royal Yacht with those huge (ridiculous!) cannon. How about HMS Howe (1885)? Stationed in Ireland 1896-1901, [ed.] as Port Guardship at Queenstown.. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Howe_(1885)

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    O Mac

    • 08/Mar/2017 08:53:13

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] I don't think the Royal yacht would have so many big guns? The Megazoom link above ain't working BTW.

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    derangedlemur

    • 08/Mar/2017 08:54:30

    You've stuck up a flickr link instead of the catalogue reference.

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    O Mac

    • 08/Mar/2017 09:02:45

    HMS Howe, Queenstown Guard/Flagship, 1897 to 1901 catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000321374 en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Howe_(1885)

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 08/Mar/2017 09:03:57

    [https:[email protected]] [https:[email protected]] Corrected now, I had put the Call Reference in twice! BTW I thought all the big guns travelled on the Royal Yacht???

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    O Mac

    • 08/Mar/2017 09:09:51

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] Boom Boom

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    beachcomberaustralia

    • 08/Mar/2017 09:12:14

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] Boom boom! [Ed. snap @ O Mac!] Details of those monsters - "Unlike Collingwood, the later four Admiral-class ships had a main armament of 30-calibre rifled breech-loading (BL) 13.5-inch (343 mm) Mk II guns, rather than the 12-inch (305 mm) guns in the earlier ship. The four guns were mounted in two twin-gun, pear-shaped barbettes, one forward and one aft of the superstructure. The barbettes were open, without hoods or gun shields, and the guns were fully exposed. The 1,250-pound (570 kg) shells fired by these guns were credited with the ability to penetrate 28 inches (711 mm) of wrought iron at 1,000 yards (910 m), using a charge of 630 pounds (290 kg) of smokeless brown cocoa (SBC).[5] At maximum elevation, the guns had a range of around 11,950 yards (10,930 m) with SBC; later a charge of 187 pounds (85 kg) of cordite was substituted for the SBC which extended the range to about 12,620 yards (11,540 m).[6] There were significant delays in the production of the heavy guns for this ship and her sisters, due to cracking in the innermost layer of the guns, that significantly delayed the delivery of these ships. Even as late as early 1890, Howe only had two of her guns installed.[7] ... " [From wikipedia link above]

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    Niall McAuley

    • 08/Mar/2017 09:44:27

    This streetview from the Cathedral is too far East, and a bit low. This one is a little too far West, but close. Nice, but too far West. Consider the chimney pots at bottom right of the image, and see bottom left here.

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    guliolopez

    • 08/Mar/2017 09:49:46

    I've nothing to add on the ship - certainly the HMS Howe as [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] suggests, and hence almost certainly between December 1896 and October 1901 (when she was at Cobh/Queenstown). The other main subjects include: • Reclaimed/landformed corner of Haulbowline in the right middleground. This part of the island was then part of the naval yards, and later site of Irish Steel (this corner still under a €60m clean-up project to remove all the toxic waste and carcinogens they left behind. 'Cause célèbre' for Erin Brockovich and others) • Fort Westmoreland and Spike Island in the centre background • Fort Carlisle (now Davis) and Fort Camden (later Meagher) in the rear ground - which we've visited before.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 08/Mar/2017 10:03:30

    For comparison, that 11,500 meter range would let the Howe shell Midleton from anchor here, or the Douglas Court shopping centre.

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    O Mac

    • 08/Mar/2017 10:31:19

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] Or the Dundrum Shopping Center had she been at anchor in Kingstown Harbour.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 08/Mar/2017 13:27:14

    And 570 kg is heavier than a racehorse. The Howe could fire four racehorses weight from Cobh to Midleton.

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    oaktree_brian_1976

    • 08/Mar/2017 13:44:05

    Seems to have the White Ensign on the front, the Royal Navy flag, on the bow. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Ensign

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    Melinda Stuart

    • 08/Mar/2017 14:23:03

    Point of embarkation for so many. . . . .

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    XPAT-Polska

    • 08/Mar/2017 18:58:54

    A fine image.

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    O Mac

    • 08/Mar/2017 19:52:31

    [https:[email protected]] The White Ensign is on the stern. The bow is to the left in the picture. You should be keel hauled.

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    sam2cents

    • 08/Mar/2017 21:40:57

    The photographer got the perfect angle. And those are some very impressive gun turrets.

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    guliolopez

    • 09/Mar/2017 01:05:52

    [https:[email protected]] - Depending on the date of the above comparison image, I might of course be wrong; But I think the reason we can't see the shed, is not because (in "our" image) the shed hasn't been built yet, but because (in the other image), the land hasn't been "built" yet. (In the very early 1800s Haulbowline was about 22 acres in size. Through successive land reclamation it was increased to 26 areas (by the 1820s), to 60 acres (by the 1870s), and to its current 86 acres (during the 20th C). So, while in the image above, the shed marks the extreme easterly point of the island, I think that, by the time of the Lawrence image, the most easterly point had "moved".) Happy to be corrected, but I think the shed is just out of shot and slightly to the right.

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    oaktree_brian_1976

    • 09/Mar/2017 01:06:52

    [https:[email protected]] argh, you nautical guys.

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    O Mac

    • 09/Mar/2017 03:31:55

    [https:[email protected]] Hmmm!!! That's what I thought at first but looking closer, that vertical black smudge looks like it might be a crane and to the right of it is the basin quay wall ( bright stonework) where bollards can be seen. If so the tapered land between this quay and left shore is no more than that which can be seen in this aerial shot from the 1930's. I think the workshop should be there if photo taken post 1890. Happy to be corrected too. [email protected]/32491177824/in/datepos...

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    beachcomberaustralia

    • 09/Mar/2017 07:21:26

    [https:[email protected]] [https:[email protected]] Don't know if these photos of the 'Admiralty Yacht' at the same(?) buoy are any help with dating? Amazing to see the beautiful yacht the Admirals floated around in - good enough for Royalty - HMY ???? catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000339298 catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000321821

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    O Mac

    • 09/Mar/2017 10:34:40

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] Ah! There's the smudgy crane again. The Royal yacht was in Queenstown August 1903 on King Edward V11's visit. Those photos do tell us is that the workshop was not there when our photo of HMS Howe was taken. So our photograph taken Pre 1890. if the Niah and other anonymous sources are to be believed and before the Howe went on Flagship station. (1896-1901)

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 09/Mar/2017 12:27:31

    Thanks all - As the only uncertainty is date (location and subject are pretty unequivocal), I'll try and reflect the discussion on whether it could be when Howe was guardship - or a slightly earlier visit.

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    guliolopez

    • 09/Mar/2017 13:24:11

    [https:[email protected]] [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] [https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] - Agreed. I guess it could be either (pre-1890/pre-shed visit, or post-1896/post-landfill guardship). If it was before Howe's time as guardship, then Warspite is probably lurking off-camera somewhere. HMS Warspite was guardship from c.1893-1896. We've met Warspite before. Below. Maybe Howe is one of the unnamed vessels lurking in the background here: www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland/7836986082/

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    beachcomberaustralia

    • 09/Mar/2017 13:40:05

    [https:[email protected]] But ... the wiki article (quoted above) says "There were significant delays in the production of the heavy guns for this ship and her sisters, due to cracking in the innermost layer of the guns, that significantly delayed the delivery of these ships. Even as late as early 1890, Howe only had two of her guns installed.[7]" Definitely four guns here. And ... "Finally fully armed, she was assigned to the Channel Fleet in May 1890.[12] On 2 November 1892, she ran aground on a shoal off Ferrol, Spain, due primarily to faulty charts,[13][14] and was salvaged with great difficulty, being finally freed on 30 March 1893.[15] The ship paid off at Chatham Dockyard for repairs and an overhaul that cost £45,000." Hmm ...

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 09/Mar/2017 13:51:37

    Thanks [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] - I think the "four guns since 1890" clinches it for me. Will update to reflect post-1890.

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    O Mac

    • 11/Mar/2017 03:18:05

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] You're quite right. It would appear that the Howe wasn't fit to come to Queenstown before being stationed there from March 1896. Re. The Shed.. It would also appear that the Niah are a bit off with their 1887-90 date. From what I can see from trawling the House of Commons debates Haulbowline seemed to have been quite neglected by the Admiralty in so far as there was no workshops or equipment there with which to repair ships right up to 1896. ( Works started 1870's). It was after pressure from Irish MPs that works were undertaken to make it a more viable dockyard. From this exchange it could be that the photograph was taken around 1896-97. as the road and crane are in place. Note heaps of stones on road. HMS Empress of India was Flagship 1901-1902 after the Howe showing finished workshop.

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    abandoned railways

    • 13/Mar/2017 12:44:44

    The remains of the wooden walkway between Spike Island and Haulbowline can be seen in the channel between the two islands. This fell into dis-use early 1800,s.

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    guliolopez

    • 13/Mar/2017 13:56:11

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/abandonedrailsireland] At one time (in the 18th century?) you could *walk* from Haulbowline to Spike? I though I knew a bit about both islands - I never knew that....

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    O Mac

    • 14/Mar/2017 23:26:06

    [https:[email protected]] The "walkway" looks to have been intact up to the 1880s. Here's view from Spike Island catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000339150 And another from Queenstown catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000337504 These photos would indicate that the spit [https://www.flickr.com/photos/abandonedrailsireland] refers to are the remnants of a breakwater that once protected the bridge rather than the remains of the walkway itself.

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    guliolopez

    • 15/Mar/2017 09:28:57

    Excellent [https:[email protected]] and thanks [https://www.flickr.com/photos/abandonedrailsireland]. That's why I love LOVE this stream - always learning something new. Muchas gracias!