Let's have a bit of fun.... in Navan

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Where: Blackcastle Lodge, Dillonsland, Navan, Co. Meath, Ireland

Try to find the spot where the photographer was standing.

When: Unknown

Try to find the date or year when this image was made.
For most recent photographs, with the exception of the DeValera image, we knew where if not the when or the who but today I believe we have a conundrum of sorts. The catalogue title on this says "View of Houses, Dublin City, Co. Dublin"! Now this is clearly an institution somewhere, perhaps not even in Dublin, and not a group of houses in the form of separate residences. What is it, where is it and when was this image likely to have been captured?

While it took part of the weekend (proving that "sleeping on it" is sometimes useful), the persistence of a number of editors have confirmed that this is St. Joseph's Mercy Convent in Navan. Almost certainly photographed after 1910. derangedlemur and Niall McAuley in particular were instrumental in finding and confirming the location, with Frank_C providing extra information on the foreground stream. The latter has since been culverted - and is seemingly part of Leighsbrook Lane in Navan...


Photographer: Unknown

Collection: Eason Photographic Collection

Date: Catalogue range c.1900-1939. After 1910.

NLI Ref: EAS_1734

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: 4803
eason easonson easoncollection easonphotographiccollection glassnegative 20thcentury nationallibraryofireland houses institution location church religious steps toughie hin navan ardmulchanhouse countymeath stream leighsbrook stjosephs conventofmercy convent school stjosephsconventofmercy leighsbrookstream culvert locationidentified

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  • profile

    Dr. Ilia

    • 20/Oct/2017 08:00:07

    nice capture!

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    Niall McAuley

    • 20/Oct/2017 08:07:10

    WAG: it's a new convent school beside a river, before 1910.

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    BultacoFan

    • 20/Oct/2017 08:12:50

    I was going to say convent as well.

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    DannyM8

    • 20/Oct/2017 08:47:52

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] or beside the sea?

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    derangedlemur

    • 20/Oct/2017 09:00:06

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] I think so.

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    derangedlemur

    • 20/Oct/2017 09:06:51

    In terms of location, Loreto in Balbriggan seems likely. It's beside the sea.

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    derangedlemur

    • 20/Oct/2017 09:08:26

    Though it doesn't seem to look much like it in Streetview. Maybe not.

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    Dún Laoghaire Micheál

    • 20/Oct/2017 09:51:55

    No sign of any electrical or telegraphic connections. Foreground vegitation seems more in keeping with a riverside environment rather that seaside.

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    derangedlemur

    • 20/Oct/2017 10:05:20

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] It's an odd one, that. I've only ever seen that sort of shoddy concrete retaining wall with the drainage holes beside the sea or an estuary, but as you say, the plants don't look that coastal.

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    sam2cents

    • 20/Oct/2017 10:23:46

    The vegetation along the wall looks way more like the sort you would see by a river. Could this be somewhere in the region of the RDS or somewhere similar?

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    sam2cents

    • 20/Oct/2017 10:27:39

    Actually, the drains in the walls suggest that it is a river and they are drains to allow rainwater runoff. And maybe to allow the overflowing river to drain back again when flooding subsided.

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    guliolopez

    • 20/Oct/2017 13:38:08

    Oooh. A tough one. I am personally stumped. And not even sure where to start. It this is in Dublin, it's a scene I'm not familiar with. We've seen images with even fewer "clues" identified before. But, short of some kind of left-field eureka moment, it ain't gonna come from me today :)

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    derangedlemur

    • 20/Oct/2017 13:49:04

    Clues so far: We have a cross down the far end in the middle of a roof ridge. That probably makes that the front of the complex. These dormitory looking bits in the foreground have fancy(-ish) facades, so that's probably the front of them. The free standing building on the left has a cross on it, but it's two-storey, so may not be a chapel. Ergo, we can't deduce which way is east from it. The buildings in the background look substantially older than the ones in the foreground. Looks like we have at least three different eras of building. We have a road along the front of the dormitories, with probably some sort of water feature in front of that. Based on the numbers of windows, the dorms almost certainly aren't facing east or north, because that would be daft. Facing west would be consistent with the left-hand building being a chapel. The vents on the top make it an institution; those are sheds for keeping people in - Hospital? School? Workhouse? Barracks?

  • profile

    derangedlemur

    • 20/Oct/2017 14:10:21

    And of course, Eason was a big fan of photographing Navan.

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    outdoorwanderer2018

    • 20/Oct/2017 18:18:10

    Reminds me of Balbriggan.

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    abandoned railways

    • 20/Oct/2017 20:31:16

    All the windows are open, is this to allow drying out of a new building. The steps are down to the water, possibly a ferry crossing.

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    abandoned railways

    • 20/Oct/2017 20:35:28

    All the windows are open, is this for drying out a new building. The steps lead down to the water, possibly for a passenger ferry common before vehicles and a distance from a bridge.

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    sam2cents

    • 20/Oct/2017 20:58:27

    All of the windows are open, which could mean it was an extremely warm summer, but I'm wondering if it might actually be a sanatorium. It was common practice to keep windows open to allow ventilation which was considered beneficial to TB patients.

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    Vab2009

    • 20/Oct/2017 23:20:41

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/sam2cents] Which might fit with the rooftop ventilation system?

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    Vab2009

    • 20/Oct/2017 23:29:21

    Whatever it is the garden is very newly planted which matches the look of the foreground buildings.

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    sam2cents

    • 21/Oct/2017 00:37:51

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/vab2009] That's a brilliant observation. I only looked at them as architecture and never even considered the purpose.

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    derangedlemur

    • 21/Oct/2017 08:09:00

    It's fairly distinctive; I'm surprised nobody has just recognised it yet. I'm also not having much luck with NIAH which makes me wonder wonder if it's gone already. Could be in the Black North*, of course. *No NIAH, no OSI - that's a blackout in my book.

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    derangedlemur

    • 21/Oct/2017 09:42:56

    The gables and the chapel door are very 1840s workhouse style, but the windows seem a bit big and cheerful.

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    derangedlemur

    • 21/Oct/2017 15:11:49

    I think this one's shaping up to be more of a Labourer's Cottages than a Linen Bleach Green.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 22/Oct/2017 07:11:17

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] Keep at it!

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    derangedlemur

    • 23/Oct/2017 07:12:10

    It must be in Navan. Everything around it in the catalogue is Navan (Ardmulchan house, Athlumney castle, Navan town), and it looks like Navan.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 23/Oct/2017 08:05:04

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] I think it may be St Joseph's Mercy primary school in Navan. Bing aerial view, another angle, check the windows in the building at left in this streetview. I think from the 6" map (hard to tell in the 25" B&W) that there used to be a stream here, called Spawell? Chalybeate?? now paved over.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 23/Oct/2017 08:17:57

    Morning Mary here and it seems we have had a wee bit of fun? It would be great if you are correct Niall because we need to move on and we don't want to be left hanging!!!

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 23/Oct/2017 08:40:22

    From their website: In 1910 the present Primary School was built.

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    derangedlemur

    • 23/Oct/2017 08:56:56

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] I was thinking that as well. The one photo I could find of their orpahanage (gone now) looked like bits of this.

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    derangedlemur

    • 23/Oct/2017 08:58:22

    Bingo: www.stjosephsmercypsnavan.ie/history.html It's the addition of "1910" to the search that gets this, which is why we didn't get it sooner.

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    Frank_C

    • 23/Oct/2017 08:59:12

    I think Niall is correct. Looking at the OSI Historic Map 1888-1913 for Navan, the layout of the convent buildings seems to match exactly - even including the slight wall protrusion on the nearest part of the building.

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    Frank_C

    • 23/Oct/2017 09:08:31

    Photo of the stream here : www.navanhistory.ie/index.php?page=leighsbrook-2

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    O Mac

    • 23/Oct/2017 09:39:51

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] Well done Niall.

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    derangedlemur

    • 23/Oct/2017 09:53:37

    May as well have the OSI: maps.osi.ie/publicviewer/#V2,686753,767523,12,9

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 23/Oct/2017 10:24:55

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] [https://www.flickr.com/photos/frankc_ie] [https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] Fantastic work gentlemen and especially Niall, I thought that was going to be one of those that got away! Virtual rosette on its way to you as we write Niall!!!!

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 23/Oct/2017 10:58:44

    It was the Lemur's conviction that this must be Navan that helped me find it.

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    guliolopez

    • 23/Oct/2017 12:38:38

    Well done lads!

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    sam2cents

    • 23/Oct/2017 13:18:19

    Bravo! Very impressive. So the details written on it must refer to another photo it was next to... or does it represent an earlier attempt at identification?

  • profile

    derangedlemur

    • 23/Oct/2017 13:40:57

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/sam2cents] It's not clear. The two before it in the digitised catalogue it both also said Dublin and aren't, and on top of that, Ardmulchan house is listed as a church. I don't think we know which shoebox they would have originally come out of though.

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    sam2cents

    • 23/Oct/2017 13:45:25

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] Well, whatever the shoebox, they are in excellent condition and you certainly solved that mystery. By the way, I've never been to Cavan... but I have been to Navan. I think the big newspaper printer's is nearby.

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    derangedlemur

    • 23/Oct/2017 15:47:22

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] It's a fair enough win. After all, it's not like I hadn't known for several hours before you that it was in Navan. (Damned gazumpers, harumph)

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    Dún Laoghaire Micheál

    • 23/Oct/2017 16:38:10

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] Well done - super detective work!

  • profile

    DannyM8

    • 24/Oct/2017 06:37:22

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] Well done.