Hotel, Pontoon, Co. Mayo

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Where: Rock House, Knockaglana, Foxford, Co. Mayo, Ireland

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When: Unknown

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This was the shot that should have been posted for Halloween and we might have discovered the man with the cloven hoof? Having said that, this shot by Mr. French shows a heavenly scene. And, way back when this photo was taken, it must have so restful and peaceful it seemed to be heaven?

From today's contributions we learned that Healy's Hotel (in Pontoon, County Mayo) has operated on the shores of Lough Cullen since the 1830s/1840s. After a recent downturn in fortunes, apparently it has been bought recently for development (good news). But that development may involve demolition of the original structure and a rebuild (perhaps less good news).....


Photographer: Robert French

Collection: Lawrence Photograph Collection

Date: Catalogue range c.1865-1914

NLI Ref: L_CAB_07304

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: 2236
robertfrench williamlawrence lawrencecollection lawrencephotographicstudio thelawrencephotographcollection glassnegative nationallibraryofireland pontoon comayo bay hotel shore healys healyshotel pontoonanglershotel loughcullin lake pontooncountymayo countymayo loughcullen anglershotel patrickhealy pontabhann

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  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 03/Nov/2017 09:16:13

    Must have been a very high tide ? Streetview - www.google.com.au/maps/@53.9766808,-9.2124243,3a,75y,53.1...

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    Niall McAuley

    • 03/Nov/2017 09:18:51

    "Demolition of 19th-century Healy’s Hotel opposed" - 5th September 2017, Mayo News

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 03/Nov/2017 09:19:00

    There is an extra bit (4 windows) built on the right-hand end since this photo - when ?

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    John Spooner

    • 03/Nov/2017 09:22:39

    "We never remember to have experienced so much gratification at any public event, as we did at witnessing the festivities, by which the opening of the new PONTOON Hotel was celebrated." Mayo Constitution on Tuesday 4 October 1836. The article describes how the area had been "opened up" - the land had been "of a nature so forbidding, that even the attempt to run a road through it at one time seemed chimerical". The opening was marked with feasting ("an unlimited supply of beef, mutton, and bread"), an Amateur Band playing in a boat which had been towed offshore, and sports including horse races, donkey races and boat races. Not only the tenantry and workman - no-one who turned up was refused entry. All due to the generosity of the Earl of Lucan.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 03/Nov/2017 09:23:17

    "The existing building has been open to the public since the 1840s as a bar, hotel and restaurant. "

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    John Spooner

    • 03/Nov/2017 09:41:55

    An 1865 article in the Mayo Constitution describing a visit to the estate of the Earl of Arran, and "an ever varying and beautiful natural panorama" states;

    A lodge, the property of the Earl of Lucan, and formerly the Pontoon Hotel, combining all these advantages for a summer residence, bears evident signs of being untenanted for some time

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    DannyM8

    • 03/Nov/2017 09:44:21

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] Its a lake - no tide

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 03/Nov/2017 10:56:36

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] Oops!

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 03/Nov/2017 12:13:31

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] Make allowances Danny, living upside down can have that effect on one!

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    Niall McAuley

    • 03/Nov/2017 13:10:41

    The seemingly high tide is because of the unwise 20th century fascination with draining rivers and lakes

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    John Spooner

    • 03/Nov/2017 13:58:32

    At some point before 1913 it became known as the Angler's Hotel. see historicalpicturearchive.com/product/mo-00079/ (pictured when the wind was in the opposite direction) And the Leeds Mercury of Thursday 16 October 1913 reported that the Fishing Gazette head heard from

    Mr. F.G.C. Shepherd, staying at the Angler's Hotel, Pontoon, Foxford, co Mayo, that he has killed a 34lb pike in Lough Cullen with [technical details of tackle omitted]. The fish was played for about an hour. Its length was said to have been about 52½ in., girth 26 in.

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    John Spooner

    • 03/Nov/2017 14:18:02

    Since Halloween was mentioned, anyone else spot the spooky face in the trees behind the hotel? Spooky face

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    maigheo1

    • 03/Nov/2017 14:42:38

    The water table in this area dropped dramatically when the river Moy which services this lake was dredged/deepened in the 1960’s to help the farming community. The river used to flood constantly and would take ages to clear. The Hotel “Healy’s” has been through a few ownerships over the years. The recession 2008-2012/3/4/5 has not been good for business. Lovely place for Sunday lunch and would have had recurring business from angling over the years.

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    swordscookie back and trying to catch up!

    • 03/Nov/2017 16:36:12

    Poor morning Mary is getting confused in referring to the man with the cloven hoof though she is not the only one! The story of the devil appearing at a ballroom was in Toureen and not Pontoon though the location moves depending on who tells the story! I got this on the GAA Messages Board and it came originally from the "Western People" In the late 1970s, Michael Henry from Cappagh, Tooreen, who now resides in Oxford, wrote to the "Western Journal" newspaper (which then operated out of Ballina) rekindling debate on an event that had fascinated the people of the region 25 years earlier. "One Sunday evening in 1954, some lads and I were standing outside Tooreen dance hall when we saw a local girl (who shall be nameless) coming out in the company of a tall, dark, very well-dress stranger. "As they passed us, I noticed that there was something odd about the shape of his feet, and I said to a friend: 'He looks a fierce devil.' "The couple got into a large black car which I had not noticed up to then, and as the engine started up I noticed a strong smell of sulphur from the exhaust. "Suddenly, I heard the girl scream: 'Take your filthy paws off me, you dirty devil' and the car seemed to vanish, leaving the girl screaming by the roadside and a large black goat on the grass verge. "At that point we rushed into the dance-hall crying that we had seen the Devil. People ran out to see, but as the crowd approached, the goat ran off leaving behind a patch of charred grass, where nothing has grown to this day. "For the sake of the girl, things were kept quiet and it is only now that I am able to tell the true story and to refute the diabolical stories about me."

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    Bernard Healy

    • 03/Nov/2017 19:29:27

    OSI Map. From what I can tell, the photo was taken near enough to where the 'Constabulary Barrack' is marked on the OSI map. Curiously, whilst the RIC Barracks is included in the 1901 Census, it doesn't appear in the 1911 Census. One assumes that it was closed at some stage between the Censuses. It appears on this c.1890 list of Barracks, but is gone from the 1910 constabulary list. One wonders if Sergeant Healy was based at Pontoon & bought the Hotel for his retirment? From what I can tell, one could retire on a pension after 25 years service. He was dead by May 1919 when probate was granted for his will.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 03/Nov/2017 20:07:57

    Thanks all! Map, description, etc all updated. Have a great weekend all. (FYI - If stuck for some weekend reading, some may be interested in the ongoing coverage of the Photo Detectives exhibition - including a few 'shout outs' to contributors here :) )

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    Bernard Healy

    • 03/Nov/2017 20:32:23

    TALL TALE KLAXON! I managed to pull up an archived copy of the hotel's defunct webpage where this dubious story is told: The original building was a Coachman's House, built in the 1800's and owned by Lord Lucan who lived nearby. Healy was a sergeant in Lord Lucan's police force. One day while Lord Lucan and his daughter were riding in a side-car when she lost a very valuable ring. Healy found the ring and Lucan was so happy that he sold the Coachman's House to him for just half a crown. While Lucan was travelling in Europe, Healy tried to obtain a drink licence for the premises, but Lucan objected, on his return, as he felt the locals should not have such amenities. Lucan took Healy to the highest court in the land, but failed to prevent him from obtaining his licence. That story sounds a bit fishy to me, but if there is a grain of truth, then the "Lord Lucan" in question may have been George Bingham, the 4th Earl of Lucan who succeeded to the title in 1888. That would make the daughter Lady Rosalind Cecilia Caroline Bingham who became the Duchess of Abercon and was the great-grandmother of Princess Diana. Alternatively it may have been his father George Bingham, 3rd Earl of Lucan who was blamed for the loss of the Light Brigade in Crimea. For his harshness during the famine he was known as The Exterminator. An even more implausible version of this story can be found here. Healy's Country House Hotel was built in 1880 as a Bianconi Halting Stop. According to local legends, the Landlord Lord Lucan arrived one day on his motor bike, accompanied by his beloved wife in the sidecar. At journey's end she noticed that she had lost a very valuable diamond. Distressed, she requested help in finding the family heirloom. It was found by the local Constable Healy who returned it to the owner. Struck by his honesty, Constable Healy was rewarded with, what one could only call a 'gift' - the Halting Stop was offered to him for half a crown and thus............. the beginning of Healy's Hotel. From little acorns comes a big tree - Healy's Restaurant and Country House Hotel - Pontoon, Opened originally in 1887 and now recently refurbished it still has that "Home away from Home" ambiance One doubts that the 3rd Earl of Lucan (born 1800) was driving around Mayo in a motorcycle (invented 1885) at that time. :)

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    Bernard Healy

    • 03/Nov/2017 21:11:52

    Finally, the 1937 Schools' Folklore Collection contains material from the local school including folklore provided by Patrick Healy's grandchildren, including stories collected from his wife Sarah/Sorcha. In one of Sarah's contributions she notes that the Angler's Hotel was once a stage where the Bianconi cars changed horses.

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    Bernard Healy

    • 03/Nov/2017 22:03:22

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnspooner] Comparing the OSI 6" and the OSI 25", I think the "Pontoon Hotel" and the "Anglers' Hotel" are two different buildings. The former was opened in 1836, and later closed. It's marked 'Lodge' on the 25" map. The Anglers' Hotel is not marked as a hotel on the 6" map, but is on the 25" map. Our picture is of the Anglers' Hotel, which seems to have been converted from a coach house or a Bianconi halting station into a hotel later in the 1800s.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 03/Nov/2017 22:36:35

    Mensch! www.atlasobscura.com/articles/photo-detectives-ireland-ir...

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    mcginley2012

    • 04/Nov/2017 00:03:08

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/swordscookie] We were told as children that the devil story was put out by Monsignor Horan the manager of the dance hall at the time, to boost attendance at the dances.

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 04/Nov/2017 07:58:03

    To complicate things further, Mr French / Lawrence visited earlier (probably 10-20 years before by the growth of the trees) when Healy's was a different shape, one storey at left. Also see the Police Station and previous Pontoon Hotel as on the 6" map. Confusing! - catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000333006 catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000320963 catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000333006 More 'Pontoon' photos - catalogue.nli.ie/Search/Results?lookfor=pontoon&type=... And a 'Lawrence Photographic Project' in 1990 equivalent showing the extensions at both ends of the building - catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000355157

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 04/Nov/2017 08:13:57

    Red Herring - the nearby Pontoon Bridge was fabulous - a shame it is no longer there - well worth a sticky-beak - catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000320966 catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000333008 catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000333007 catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000558810

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    Bernard Healy

    • 04/Nov/2017 10:28:28

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/] It seems to me that the Anglers’ Hotel on the 25” map matches the older photos (with the 1-storey section) rather than our picture above. I’d suggest that our photo is therefore _later_ than the 25” map sheet. I’ve not been able to date the map, though.

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    John Spooner

    • 04/Nov/2017 10:40:20

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardhealy] Ah, that (2 differnt buildings) makes sense - the reported state of the original building, the 1880 date of the Hotel, and the apparent change of name.