Uncle Arthur’s resting-place

Arthur Guinness founded his brewery in Dublin beside the City Basin, the reservoir that supplied drinking water to the city and was itself supplied by the Grand Canal (and in turn by various feeders, notably the springs of Pollardstown Fen).

A peaceful scene

A peaceful scene at Oughterard graveyard

Some Britons affect to believe that Guinness was brewed with Liffey water, but that is of course nonsense: it was made with good canal water (although nowadays that water, passed through filter beds off the canal, is used only for washing).

The round tower

The round tower at Oughterard graveyard

Uncle Arthur’s brewery was supplied by canal and in turn it distributed much of its product by canal. It also used its own fleet of barges on the Liffey to convey its product to the Dublin docks and thence to the thirsty millions in Britain, otherwise forced to drink inferior beer. The Grand Canal Company distributed Guinness along its routes within Ireland; the last cargo carried on the canal was Guinness to Limerick.

Oughterard graveyard at Ardclough

Oughterard graveyard at Ardclough

The ruined church

The ruined church

Inside the ruined church

Inside the ruined church

Uncle Arthur is buried at Oughterard graveyard near Ardclough, overlooking the Grand Canal (not the Oughterard in Co Galway).

The vault

The vault

The full inscription on the family vault

The full inscription on the family vault

In recognition of his contribution to Irish waterways, his ghost was recently presented with a bottle of Guinness at his family vault. These photographs record the ceremony.

The relevant portion of the inscription

The relevant portion of the inscription

Making the presentation

Making the presentation: the late Arthur Guinness is the stout fellow on the right

His graveyard is marked by a “ruined castle” icon on Map 4 of the Grand Canal Guide. The icon is between two roads; the entrance is from the road further from the canal, on the right just before the sharp bend shown on the map.

9 responses to “Uncle Arthur’s resting-place

  1. Your pictures are amazing!!! seeing as tomorrow is Arthurs day I would love to be able to visit him, however I am having a hard time finding the map for the grand canal gude that you refer to. could you please send me a link to the map or give me better directions so that I may be able to pay my respects to uncle?? Thank you so much. look forward to hearing back from you.

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  3. Louis

    I hope you got the email I sent you about that, because the copy didn’t show up here. This is what I said:

    See the Grand Canal map on the IWAI website. Towards the top right of the page, you can see a little castle symbol,
    which is roughly where the graveyard is. Notice that the road to the right of the symbol has a sharp bend; the entrance to the graveyard is just north of that bend.

    The orientation is slightly different on the google map but you’ll recognise the shape of the area enclosed by the roads. And
    the google map shows it in relation to the N7.

    On the Ordnance Survey map you can see the path leading in to the graveyard.


  4. There is an interesting parallel to the bottle for the ghost here:

  5. Nice one; thanks. bjg

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  9. A place of peace and beauty, a fitting place for a man of the Guinness.

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