Tag Archives: Broadstone

The Broadstone dry docks

See here for a slightly more detailed view from 1847. The third dry dock, at the junction with the main line, is here.

Mallett’s Insistent Pontoon is shown here marked “floating bridge”; the map also shows the drawbridge that featured in the attempted murder of Henry Garnett.

Royal Canal dry dock

Aidan Herdman has left a comment on my page about the Broadstone Line of the Grand Canal and has included in it a link to a photograph of Phibsborough cubs/scouts standing at the Royal Canal dry dock. I can’t recall ever seeing such a photo before. It’s an impressive structure and I’m grateful to Aidan for the link.

The opening of the Royal Canal

On 27 May 2017 the Royal Canal Amenity Group and Waterways Ireland are to commemorate the fact that

In May 1817 the Royal Canal was officially opened from Dublin to the Shannon ….

[Unfortunately I am unable to find anything about the commemorative event on WI’s website, although they did send me some information about it.]

I wondered how the opening might have been celebrated in 1817, but I haven’t been able to find out anything about it. I am hoping that some more knowledgeable person might be able to provide information: please leave a Comment below if you can help.

Ruth Delany gives 26 May 1817 as the date on which the contractors said that the western end of the canal (to the Shannon at Richmond Harbour) would be ready to hand over to the Directors General of Inland Navigation, who were running the show after the Royal Canal Company collapsed under the weight of its debts.

However, as far as I can see, the British Newspaper Archive contains no mention of any opening ceremony at any time in 1817. The Lanesborough Trader, the first boat to travel from the Shannon to Dublin did so in January 1818 [Saunders’s News-Letter 2 February 1818] and in May Mr Peel moved that a further £15000 be granted for completion of the navigation, where “shoals were
found to interfere” [Dublin Evening Post 23 May 1818].

Traffic increased later in 1818: in October the directors of the New Royal Canal Company went by boat

… from Dublin to Tarmonbury, and thence to the termination of the Canal, near the river Shannon, to inspect the works and give every necessary direction for the entire completion of that great and important undertaking ….
[Dublin Evening Post 20 October 1818]

The same newspaper reported that several boats of coal, found on the banks of the canal near Tarmonbury, had arrived in Dublin. It seems, therefore, that the canal was usable even if not entirely finished.

Later that month Christopher Dillon of Athlone, who had been trading on the Grand Canal and the Shannon, announced that he was moving his boats to the Royal Canal — but the western terminus for his boats was at Ballymahon, from which (although he did not say so) goods could be carried by road to Athlone: just the situation the Grand Canal Company had feared. [Dublin Evening Post 27 October 1818]

I have found no evidence of an opening ceremony in 1817; nor have I found evidence that the canal was actually open from the Shannon to the Liffey (or the Broadstone) in 1817, in that no boat seems to have travelled between the Shannon and the Liffey. At least one boat did so in 1818, but again I have no evidence of any opening ceremony.

There is one further mystery. The Royal Canal harbour at the junction with the Shannon is called Richmond Harbour. I presume that that is a compliment to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, His Grace Charles Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond, 4th Duke of Lennox, 4th Duke of Aubigny, KG, PC. But he had ceased to be Lord Lieutenant in 1813 and was presumably unable to dispense favours after that, so why was the harbour named after him? I don’t know when the construction of the harbour was begun or finished.

I have not visited the National Archives in Dublin to look at the papers of the Directors General of Inland Navigation, which may have something on the events of 1817 and 1818. Perhaps WI’s archive has something relevant too. I would therefore be glad to hear from anyone who has searched those archives or found other evidence about the period.

Newspapers cited here were accessed through the British Newspaper Archive.

 

The Lanesborough Trader

Inland Navigation

The numerous individuals interested in the prosperity of the Royal Canal, as well as the Public at large, must be highly gratified to learn, that the trade on the extended line of that navigation has commenced with all the spirit and activity that could have been anticipated by the most sanguine. The first boat from the Shannon (the Lanesborough Trader, Patrick Connor, owner) arrived at the Broadstone harbour on Saturday [31 January 1818], amid the cheers of numerous spectators, with a fiddler playing merrily upon her deck.

Saunders’s News-Letter 2 February 1818

Holiday tours in Ireland VII

On Lough Derg

There are two Lough Dergs in Ireland. One is in the County of Donegal, within four and a half miles of Pettigoe, and is celebrated for its St Patrick’s Purgatory. The lake is but six miles long and four miles broad, and can hardly vie for scenery with its namesake in the south.

In order to reach this, probably one of the most exquisitely beautiful loughs in Ireland, it is necessary to make for the town of Killaloe. This can be done by leaving Euston at a quarter-past ten at night, when Killaloe is reached by 3.10 the following afternoon; or should the tourist prefer the Irish mail, he can leave at a quarter to nine in the evening and arrive at Killaloe at half-past eleven the following morning.

Few Irish towns contain so many antiquarian relics, combined with such beautiful scenery, for Killaloe stands on a hillside tufted with wood and surrounded by mountains. The old cathedral occupies the site of a church founded by St Dalua, in the sixth century. The present building dates from the twelfth century, with a central square tower whose effect is somewhat spoiled by a  modern crown. Its gem is a Hiberno-Romanesque doorway, which has, unfortunately, been blocked into the south wall of the nave. The precincts also contain a small stone-roofed church, said to date as far back as the sixth century.

The fishing is generally extremely good, though many prefer Castleconnell, some five miles to the south on the road to Limerick. In any case few portions of the United Kingdom furnish better salmon fishing than that reach of the river Shannon that lies between Killaloe and Castleconnell.

Lough Derg must, however, remain the greatest attraction of the district. It is twenty-three miles in length, and varies in breadth from two to six miles. Nothing can surpass the loveliness of the scene, especially on a fine summer’s day. On the one side the well-wooded and smiling hills of Limerick and Tipperary, where Thomthimia, with its slate quarries, slopes down to the water’s edge; while on the other the darker and more rugged mountains of Slieve Bernagh, Ballycuggeren, and the Crag form the most effective contrast.

Kincora was once the residence of Brian Boroimbh, King of Munster, and its magnificence was long the main theme of the ancient bards. But little now remains of the ancient palace beyond a long circular earthen fort, with a single vallum some twenty feet in height.

Inishcaltra or the Holy Island is, however, well worth a visit, and for this purpose it would be better to utilize the local service from either Scariff or Killaloe to Mountshannon, which faces the island. It possesses a round tower some eighty feet high, and seven churches, or cells, and oratories, the most remarkable of which is that of St Caimin, originally erected by him in the seventh, but subsequently rebuilt by Brian Borombh in the tenth century.

Scariff may this year be approached by steamer, and is a very prettily situated village, within access by road of Woodford, in County Galway, and Ennis in County Clare. The steamer then crosses the lake to Dromineer, at the mouth of the Nenagh river, where the ruins of the castle stand out with such picturesque effect. The bay is one of the most popular resorts, both of the angler and of the yachtsman; for to the latter it has earned a well-deserved reputation for its annual regatta.

The steamer then stops at Williamstown while a boat from Kilgarvan occasionally lands passengers and conveys them to the steamer. As soon as the new jetty has been constructed by the Board of Works, Woodford will be equally accessible; but there is no doubt that the approach to Portumna pier at the head of the Lough, lying as it does between the well-wooded demesnes of Portumna Castle on the one side and Belleisle and Slevoir on the other, presents one of the finest pictures that the lake discloses, for there we see the most striking contrast between the tame verdure of the river Shannon and the bold mountain scenery of Lough Derg.

It would be tedious to dwell on the varied beauties of those innumerable seats that dot the shores of the lake on all sides; suffice it to say that few parts of the United Kingdom present as many diverse attractions as this wide expanse of water. Much as one may appreciate Loch Lomond, Loch Maree, or the Caledonian Canal, this Irish lough certainly surpasses them; and much gratitude is due to the Shannon Development Company for bringing within such easy access of the average tourist a wealth of scenery that certainly equals, if it is not finer, the finest spots that either Scotland, Norway, or Switzerland can offer.

This is, however, but half the trip from Killaloe to Athlone. Portumna is chiefly remarkable for the ruins of a Dominican priory founded in the thirteenth century, as well as for the Castle, the property of Lord Clanricarde, in which he has not resided since his succession to the estate. The village of Lorrha, three miles further up, also contains the ruins of a Dominican abbey, an oblong pile 120 ft long, as well as a castle and two old ecclesiastical buildings called by the peasantry the English churches, owing to their having been built by Norman settlers.

The river now assumes a totally novel character, winding by graceful curves through low-lying but rich meadow lands. Their luxuriant appearance is largely due to the fact that they are usually submerged under the waters of the river during the winter months.

Meelick Abbey is next passed. It was founded by the Franciscans in the twelfth century, and was at one time a sumptuous structure, but is now a roofless and mouldering ruin; and a beautiful pillar which formerly supported the arches on the south side has been torn away with ruthless vandalism, in order to make headstones for the graves in the cemetery.

Banagher can boast of a fine stone bridge, opened some fifty years ago to replace the preceding structure, which displayed no less than twenty-three arches of various forms, with massive piers between, and was so narrow that only one carriage could pass at a time.

Shannon Harbour is best known from the description of its hotel in Lever’s Jack Hinton, but that building is now let in tenements. Shannon Bridge is one of the three fortified passes built to guard the Shannon, and is but four miles from Clonfert, whose cathedral, now being restored, contains one of the finest Hiberno-Romanesque doorways to be found in the three kingdoms.

Few spots, however, offer greater attractions to the antiquary than do the celebrated seven churches of Clonmacnoise. The most remarkable of these are the Diamhliag Mhor or Great Church, which dates from the fourteenth, and Fineens Church, built in the thirteenth century. The former was originally the work of Flann, King of Ireland, in 909, and contains several bits, more especially the sandstone capitals of the west doorway, that may be traced to the earlier period. Besides these churches, there is much to be seen at Clonmacnoise, which includes among its ruins the episcopal palace and castle of the O’Melaghlins, a nunnery, two round towers, Celtic crosses, and inscribed stones. The grand cross, formed of a single stone 15 ft high and elaborately carved, surpasses every other in beauty of execution and elaborate detail.

Though the tourist may gaze upon Clonmacnoise as he approaches and leaves it and enjoys a particularly fine view of its beauties as he passes by the curve of the river on whose banks it is situated, no provision has yet been made to enable him either to land or to make a closer acquaintance of its many beauties as he passes by. This is due to the refusal on the part of its proprietor to meet the proposals of the company. It is, however, to be hoped that more favourable terms may be made in the future, as the traveller must now proceed straight to Athlone and visit the ruins from there either by road or by water.

Much more might be said of Lough Derg as well as of the Shannon from Killaloe to Athlone. Fair hotel accommodation may be obtained at Killaloe, Dromineer, Portumna, and Athlone at from eight to nine shillings a day. Lodgings can also be procured at Killaloe, where the proprietors have learned to cater for the requirements of those anglers who frequent this highly-favoured spot.

Return tickets may be obtained from Euston to Killaloe by the North Wall at
£4 13s 6d first, £2 16s second, and £2 third class. Lough Derg may also be visited from Athlone by the Midland Great Western Railway from Broadstone. The fares by Kingstown and the mail are somewhat dearer.

Pall Mall Gazette 1 August 1898

From the British Newspaper Archive run by Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited, in partnership with the British Library.

REWARD — OUTRAGE

Whereas, on the Evening of Sunday, the 3d inst, several Men entered the Yard of the Royal Canal Company, at the Broadstone, and, with sledges (with which they came prepared), did break Ten Casks of Porter, which had been left there the previous evening, to be forwarded by the Canal.

Now, We, the undersigned, being desirous of bringing to punishment the persons who committed this outrage, and also those parties who, from mercenary motives, are supposed to have instigated them to the act, do hereby offer a Reward of

FIFTY POUNDS

to any person who shall, within Three Months, prosecute to conviction the persons who committed said act, or those who may have instigated them to its commission.

ARTHUR GUINNESS, SONS, & Co
James’s-gate Brewery, Dublin, Sept 8 1837


The Court of Directors of the Royal Canal do hereby offer a further Reward of

FIFTY POUNDS

for the Conviction of the Persons guilty of the foregoing Outrage.

By order, Samuel Draper, Secretary
Royal Canal House, 8th Sept, 1837

Freeman’s Journal 9 September 1837. From the British Newspaper Archive run by Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited, in partnership with the British Library.

Blessington Street basin

Blessington Street Basin (Michael Geraghty) November 2015 01_resize

Blessington Street Basin (Michael Geraghty 2015)

One of North Dublin’s less-well-known treasures, this is Blessington Street Basin, off the (former) Broadstone Line of the Royal Canal. Thanks to Michael Geraghty for the photo, taken in November 2015.

Remember, remember the twenty-fifth of November

25 November 2015 will be the 170th anniversary of the sinking of the Royal Canal passage-boat Longford and the deaths of fifteen people.

This was not (pace Ruth Delany in Ireland’s Royal Canal 1789–2009 Lilliput Press, Dublin 2010) “the worst accident ever to happen on the Irish waterways”: that melancholy distinction belongs to the drowning at Carrick-on-Suir of about 111 people in 1799 [see “The cries at the bridge” on this page], while the second-worst was the drowning of twenty people on Lough Corrib in 1828, the event commemorated by Antoine Ó Raifteiri in his poem Eanach Dhúin.

But the 1845 accident, between Porterstown and Clonsilla Bridges, was the worst to occur on an Irish canal. Evidence at the inquest and subsequent trial suggests great laxity in the management of the Royal Canal Company’s affairs, even if the immediate cause was an act of insane irresponsibility on the part of the boat’s temporary steerer.

I do not know whether any plaque or other artefact commemorates the event.

Broadstone Luas works

Thanks to Niall Galway for these photos of work under way at the Broadstone for the new LUAS line.

Broadstone October 2015 (Niall Galway) 01_resize Broadstone October 2015 (Niall Galway) 02_resize Broadstone October 2015 (Niall Galway) 03_resize Broadstone October 2015 (Niall Galway) 04_resize Broadstone October 2015 (Niall Galway) 05_resize Broadstone October 2015 (Niall Galway) 06_resize Broadstone October 2015 (Niall Galway) 07_resize

 

Royal Canal drawbridge

According to the Freeman’s Journal of 5 April 1837, Henry Garnett was

superintendent or agent to the èxtensive and highly respectable firm of Purcell and Jameson, coach proprietors.

Their offices were in Sackville Street. On Sunday 2 April 1837 Mr Garnett had been on his way home to [Royal] Canal Terrace when

as he ascended the hill at the bend of Upper Dominick-street he met a man habited in a dark cloak, and having a cap on his head, who, after looking him steadfastly in the face, opened the cloak, and fired at him.

The man was not more than a yard away, so close that the powder scorched Garnett’s hand, but the bullet struck a suspender button, wounding but not killing the victim.

The scene of the crime

The scene of the crime [OSI ~1840]

William Cagburn heard the shot and also heard Garnett calling out

I am shot — stop the murderer, he has run in the direction of the aqueduct.

Cagburn gave chase:

He instantly pursued, crossed the draw-bridge, and came under the aqueduct, when he saw the prisoner running along the Phibsborough road.

Cagburn and the watchman seized the man; the watchman took two pistols from him and another witness found a third, discharged, pistol nearby on the pathway.

The prisoner, Christopher Clanchy, had been a road maker for eight years. The Freeman’s Journal said:

While a contractor for repairing part of the Ashbourne road, in the employment of Messrs Bourne, he [Clanchy] was allowed to travel free by Mr Purcell’s coaches, and Mr Garnett in the discharge of his duty having occasion to withdraw this privilege, hence proceeding his desire to be revenged. […] We are happy to state Mr Garnett is not likely to suffer any inconvenience from the injury.

But of more interest for this site is the route taken by William Cagburn. What or where was the drawbridge he crossed?

Foster Aqueduct

Upper Dominick Street and the Foster Aqueduct [OSI ~1840]

I haven’t come across [or at least I haven’t noticed] any previous mention of a drawbridge in this area. I presume that it was across the canal. And, looking closely at the map extract above …

Possible site of drawbridge

Possible drawbridge [OSI ~1840]

… I see what might be a bridge just to the left of the F of Foster. It shows up more clearly on the black and white OSI map. At Clanchy’s trial before the Commission of Oyer and Terminer, reported in the Freeman’s Journal of Monday 26 June 1837, the bridge was said to be a wooden bridge; George Cayburn [probably the William Cagburn named in the earlier report] described it as “the swinging bridge”.

Perhaps Mallet’s Insistent Pontoon merely replaced an old nuisance with a new.

Clanchy, incidentally, was found guilty: there were suggestions that he was insane, but the jury rejected them. Baron Richards said [Freeman’s Journal 1 July 1837]

The court had no discretion but to pass the extreme sentence of the law, that he should be hanged by the neck […].

Purcell, Garnett’s employer, had requested a commutation of his sentence; Richards said that it was open to Clanchy to memorial for a commutation, and the court would put no obstacle in his way; indeed it hoped he would meet the mercy “which he would have denied his intended victim”. I do not know what happened to Clanchy.

Update December 2016

The Warder and Dublin Weekly Mail of 26 September 1835 mentions the bridge:

Monday night a respectable looking elderly man fell into the Royal Canal Basin, at the Broadstone, on the Dominick-street side, within a few yards of the draw bridge.

A canal employee called Keybourne hauled Mr White out within a few minutes, but he was DOA at the Richmond Hospital.

This seems to confirm that the bridge was moveable and was where the OSI map suggests.

From the BNA

My OSI logo and permit number for website