Thursday Doors and Nova Scotia


Why am I posting an image of trees on this week’s Thursday Doors? If you look closely, you’ll see strange decorations on some of those trunks.

These are ‘fairy’ doors, placed there by some children, a practice that has been going on for some years now. I posted about Glenbower Woods in Killeagh back in 2015, when I called it my Happy Place. On this visit, my daughter came along to take some photographs for a project she was working on as part of her Art course. Oh, there she is……


It seemed that every time I went to take a shot, she photo-bombed it while taking one of her own. Glenbower has that effect on you, it’s beauty and tranquility absorbing all your thoughts. The sound of a river running through the woods only adds to the peacefulness of the place. Oh, there she is again……


By now, you’re probably wondering what a woodland in Ireland has to do with a place in Canada. In 1786, a group of Irishmen in Halifax, Nova Scotia (Canada) founded a society to provide relief to those reduced by ‘sickness, old age, shipwreck and other misfortunes,’ whether they be Catholic or Protestant. It was called The Charitable Irish Society of Halifax and its first President was Richard John Uniacke, who was born in Castletown, Glenbower Valley in 1753. In the 1980’s, the society celebrated 200 years continuous charitable works, honouring Richard Uniacke by erecting a plaque in the woods of his birthplace.

The Uniake family has a long connection with Killeagh parish and Glenbower. Samuel Lewis’s Topographical Dictionary of Ireland (1837) has this to say about it;  ‘Mount Uniacke, the seat of Norman Uniacke, Esq. It is an ancient family mansion, situated among mountains which have been brought into cultivation, and is surrounded by a grove of fine trees, and commands extensive views of the sea and the vale of Imokilly.’

Originally Roman Catholics, the Uniacke family suffered a lot of repression during the periods of Tudor and Cromwellian rule in Ireland. However, by the early 1700’s they had become staunch Protestants, adhering to the British crown. At the age of sixteen Richard John Uniacke was influenced by a priest who opened his eyes to the unjust treatment of Catholics. This did not go down too well with his Protestant family and he was sent to  Dublin to study law. While there, Richard joined the Irish nationalist movement, which sought greater political autonomy for Ireland. This caused more damage to his already fragile relationship with his father and his allowance was cut off. The young man refused to return home and as he was penniless abandoned his studies to seek his fortune elsewhere.

He arrived in Philadelphia in 1774 and formed a partnership with a trader from Nova Scotia, Moses Delesdernier. After a dangerous voyage they arrived at Hopewell Township where Delesdernier became an agent. In 1775, Uniacke married Delesdernier’s 12-year-old daughter, Martha Maria (yes, she was only twelve years old) and was apparently devoted to her until her death in 1803. They had six sons and six daughters.

Richard joined the American rebels in the Battle of Fort Cumberland in 1776. They terrorized those of the local population who were loyal to the British and while trying to commandeer supplies he was captured and sent as a prisoner to Halifax. He faced being charged with treason and if found guilty could have been hung but, possibly due to the fact some of the military officers in Halifax had been stationed with his brothers, he was released. Providing evidence for the crown also helped in sparing his life.

Some years after the American Revolution, Richard Uniacke became a member of the House of Assembly. As an abolitionist, he wanted to emancipate not only Catholics but also those who were still slaves in Nova Scotia. Having lost his first wife in 1803, he married Eliza Newton in 1808 and they had one son. Three of his sons were lawyers and one became a clergyman.

The Dictionary of Canadian Biography says this about him; ‘Contemporaries remembered Uniacke mostly for the sheer force of his character and his exuberance. He loved life, and family and friendships were essential to his existence. His was a personality of exaggerations and his judgements of men and events were sometimes clouded by raw emotion. He was ambitious for himself and his children, and although his ambitions were never entirely fulfilled, he achieved more than most men. Nowadays, Mount Uniacke Estate in Nova Scotia is a museum and open to the public.’ *

Richard John Uniacke died at Uniacke House, Mount Uniacke, Nova Scotia in 1830 and had been an Attorney General for thirty-three years.

I’ll finish off this post with a photograph of a ‘proper’ door and a red one, at that. It was taken from the car on our way to Glenbower Woods.


If you’ve enjoyed this little bit of history (and the door photos) have a look at what Norm has shared about some more Irish-Canadian connections, on his Thursday Doors post.

Source *

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Thursday Doors


At the bottom of this very nondescript lane you’ll see an old stone arch and as this is a Thursday Doors post, I’ve taken photographs of a couple of doors on my way through the lane. There’s even a few fake windows thrown in for good measure – alongside the blue door.

Of course, it’s the oldest structure that often steals the show when you come across a mix of architecture from different eras, and that’s certainly the case down Quay Lane in Youghal (Yawl), County Cork.


The Water Gate (known by locals as Cromwell’s Arch) is a 19th century reconstruction of one of five medieval gates, set in the old town walls. 400 years ago, you would be looking at the sea through that arch. This particular gate was probably the most important because it controlled the sea trade of Youghal. The town’s medieval harbour was located just outside the Water Gate but was infilled in the mid 1700’s. The reason the gate is known locally as Cromwell’s Arch is because Oliver Cromwell left through it in May 1650, to board the frigate President, bound for Bristol.

He had arrived in Youghal in August of the previous year. His reason for being in Ireland was to quell a rebellion. Having decided to winter his army of 10,000 cavalry and foot soldiers in the town, Cromwell lodged at the old priory of St. John’s on North Main Street (pictured below). The arched doorway is still in its original state, just as it was when Cromwell walked through. So too, is the long, narrow window above it. The red and white door and window are much later additions as is the wooden door in the old arch.

After spending nine months fighting Irish rebels, Cromwell received news that Scottish loyalists were planning an invasion of England and he left Ireland through the Water Gate in Youghal, transferring his command to his son-in-law, Henry Ireton. Those Gaels (Irish and Scottish) certainly gave him a run for his money, didn’t they?

I hope you enjoyed your visit to medieval Youghal today. For more Thursday Doors of varying age and condition, hop on over to the blue ‘frog’ link on Norm’s blog and see what surprises await you.

Posted in castles and ruins, Historical buildings, History, Ireland, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , , , | 43 Comments

Thursday Doors – Remembering Titanic



This weekend marks the 105th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic and as I live only a short drive from where the ill-fated ship set sail for America (which took place on a Thursday from Cobh, County Cork) it’s only fitting that it should feature on this week’s Thursday Doors. The entrance in the photo above leads to a restaurant that looks out onto what’s left of Heartbreak Pier, the last place some of Titanic’s passengers touched dry land. The ship arrived in Queenstown (now called Cobh) in county Cork to pick up mail and 123 passengers, before setting out on her first trans-Atlantic voyage. There were over 2,000 passengers and crew on board as she left the harbour at 1.30 pm on Thursday 11 April 1912, bound for New York.

titanic experience cobh cork

Heartbreak Pier

The Titanic exhibition is housed in the old White Star Line office building, which looks much the same now as it did back then.


Of the 123 passengers who boarded from Cobh, three were first class, seven were second class and the remaining 113 were third class or steerage. Only 44 survived, ten of those being from Cork. When you receive your ticket for the guided tour you are given the name of one of the passengers who boarded Titanic from Cobh that day. At the end of the tour you find out whether or not you were among the survivors. The first time I took this tour, the name on my ticket was that of Katherine Buckley, aged 22, a young Irish woman from county Cork. You can find out what happened to her by following the link at the end of this post. This time my ticket belonged to Mary Canavan, a single woman aged 22.



She was one of nine children, a farmer’s daughter from County Mayo and embarked as a 3rd class passenger. Her ticket cost £7 and 15 shillings (approx. £700 in today’s money). Mary’s elder brother Patrick had emigrated to America the year before and she was to join him. She traveled in a group of fourteen men and women from her parish, Addergoole* in Mayo, but lost her life, along with two of her cousins, Patrick Canavan and James Flynn, when the ship went down. Only three of the group survived.

Katherine Buckley’s fate –  A Titanic Experience

If you sail on over to Norm’s blog you’ll find an interesting selection of international Thursday Doors by clicking the blue ‘frog’ link at the end of his post.

Source *


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Thursday Doors

Continuing on from last week’s Thursday Doors in Dublin, I have a question for you. What do vampires and Stephen’s Green have in common? Why should I be reminded of something that scared the life out of me in my teens – even in a black and white movie – on such a lovely sunny day? Okay, that was two questions. While you ponder over them, walk with me through the Fusiliers Arch that leads into the park.


Apparently modeled on the Arch of Titus in Rome, it was erected in 1907 and is dedicated to the men of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers who fought and died in the Second Boer War (1899-1902). The names of 222 of them are inscribed on the underside of the arch.  Inside the park, spring flowers were in bloom everywhere and the grass was even dry enough to sit on. Click on any photo to view a larger image.

There are lots of monuments throughout Stephen’s Green park and one of them is the Famine Memorial by Irish sculptor Edward Delaney (1930–2009).


By now you must be wondering why on earth I mentioned vampires. Have a look at the next photograph, the Top Shop building in particular (with the horse and carriage standing in front of it).


In 1877, Bram Stoker (author of Dracula) lived above the shop at number 7, Stephen’s Green. It wasn’t a high street fashion store in his day, but a grocery and wine shop. Not too far away stands the Shelbourne Hotel, where in 1876 Bram Stoker and Henry Irving began a lifelong friendship. Irving was an English stage actor in Victorian times and is widely acknowledged to be one of the inspirations for Count Dracula. He was the first actor to be awarded a knighthood. You can see from the old photograph below how little Stoker’s old residence has changed. It’s on the left of the image. There was even a horse and carriage parked outside back then.

Image from Bram Stoker Estate website.

Follow the link if you would like to find out more about Bram Stoker’s Dublin

Thank you for your company on this stroll around Stephen’s Green. If you carry on over to Norm’s blog you’ll find another fine selection of Thursday Doors with a link at the end of his post that will transport you to various parts of the globe.

Posted in Historical buildings, History, Ireland, nature, Thursday Doors, Travel, victorian ireland, writers | Tagged , , , , , | 36 Comments

The Beauty of County Cork

I just had to share this video of the county I live in. It was posted online by Cork County Council and if you’ve been following my blog you might recognize some of the places featured, ‘Stone Mad’ in Kinsale and ‘Titanic’ in Cobh, among them. If you’re planning a trip to Ireland or if you live here and fancy a ‘staycation’ at home, this video will give you a taste of what’s on offer in Ireland’s largest county. Enjoy 🙂 Like Ireland Love Cork

More lovely views of Ireland at Aircam Ireland

For information on travel and tourism; County Cork

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David Lawlor’s The Best Streets in the World.

Some lovely Dublin street scenes from David Lawlor’s guest post on Robert Horvat’s site. You’ll find a few Dublin doors included. Enjoy.

If It Happened Yesterday, It's History

Every now and then I will invite a special guest to write about their five favourite streets (or places) in their own city and or somewhere around the world that they have managed to travel to. Today, I am honoured to have David Lawlor as my special guest. I must confess, David is someone whom I admire and have gained plenty advice from over the past few years. I am especially excited today by his choice to focus on his hometown. It is truly a city close to his heart. Without further ado I will let David take you on his tour of his favourite streets/places in Dublin, Ireland.

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This is one of the five ancient roads to Tara, the home of Ireland’s ancient High Kings. It also happens to be the working-class neighbourhood in which I grew up. Being from the inner city and on the northside of the…

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Thursday Doors


Last week’s Thursday Doors photos were taken as we drove through Dublin city headed for Marconi House, headquarters of one of our national radio stations, Today FM. I had been invited by The Last Word host, Matt Cooper, to participate in a program on self-publishing in Ireland and couldn’t have asked for a nicer day for the car trip. We arrived with plenty of time to spare, so decided to have a wander around one of our favourite haunts as teenagers – St. Stephen’s Green shopping center (although it wasn’t a shopping center back then). In our day it was called ‘The Dandelion Market’ and was situated on the site of a former lemonade bottling plant. This was where I bought most of my lovely ’70’s fashion items such as cheesecloth dresses and shirts, tie-dyed tops, denim jackets and flared jeans. It was also our biking days, as you’ll see from the forty year old photos below – I can’t believe it was four decades ago.

Did you notice the Dublin doors and the old telephone kiosk?

Among the many young bands to play their first gigs in the Dandelion Market, entertaining the stall browsers, was one you might have heard of – U2. I’m sure Bono and the lads have fond memories of the Dandelion. By 1980 preliminary work had begun on the new shopping center and the market had to go.


Although the entrance doors are not too spectacular, the beautiful facade more than makes up for that. Opened in 1988, Stephen’s Green was the first premium shopping center to be built in Ireland. The glass dome and ornate iron structure replicates older, more historical buildings, which helps it to blend in well with the surrounding Victorian and Georgian architecture. Situated at the top of a pedestrianized Grafton Street, the center is directly opposite St. Stephen’s Green Park, in the heart of Dublin’s prestigious shopping and cultural quarter.
Inside is just as ornate as the outside, with modern stores, kiosks and art galleries spread across three floors.


Look at that beautiful blue sky – I told you it was a lovely day for our trip. Let’s step onto the elevator to get a close look at a gigantic clock suspended over the center.


This is the second floor and it was in a nostalgic little retro shop on this level that I bought a Batman poster (lots of stuff in there reminded me of the Dandelion Market). From this vantage point you can see how well the architecture evokes a Victorian greenhouse.


Here’s the view from the top floor.


Well, I certainly enjoyed my trip to Dublin and down memory lane. I hope you did, too. Over on Norm’s blog you find a link to lots more Thursday Doors from all over the globe. Enjoy and thanks for visiting.

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Thursday Doors


Not the best quality images for Thursday Doors this week, as they were taken from the car as we traversed Dublin city, so you’ll have to forgive me. I couldn’t pass them without capturing a few shots, Dublin is famous for its colourful doors, as you can see from the first photo.


It must have been bin day, but the doors are anything but rubbish.


I’ve included these because of their unusual colour. Dotted all over the city you’ll find black, red, all shades of blue, green and even bright yellow doors – this particular row had apricot and tan.


If any of you are familiar with horse racing this side of the Atlantic you will recognize the place name on the sign (if you have great eyesight it will help – sorry this one is so blurred). This is Cheltenham Place and the Cheltenham races were on that week in the UK. Unfortunately, Mr. R. picked up speed just as I was taking the shot. I think the name of the street had an affect on him, I must stop giving him oats for breakfast.


These poor neglected old houses have no doors at all. I wonder why they were all painted white. On the other side of the canal, the houses were in much better condition, as you can see from the next photograph.


I’ve put some more into a slideshow, including one of the beautiful ornate streetlamps you’ll find throughout the city.

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This is what Dublin Doors would look like should they be placed next to each other. A rainbow of portals to feast the eyes on, colourful if somewhat blurred:


Many thanks for stopping by and sorry about the quality of the images but next week’s Thursday Doors will be a lot better as they were taken from the street – not the car. For a great selection of doors why not pay a visit to Norm’s blog and see what surprises await you there.

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Thursday Doors

You will have to put a hard hat on for this week’s Thursday Doors. This post is an update on the progress we are making with our house renovation – although you might not consider it progress when you see the rest of the photos. Now that the ivy has been hacked away from the back door there’s a lot more light getting inside.

There was a really nice stairs in the house but we needed to make more room so it had to go but we’ll be replacing it (as soon as we figure out where to put the new one). We moved the walls and ceilings to another location, too.


There they are, in the back garden. Any suggestions as to what we could use that oil tank for? It’s way too big for our needs, in such a tiny house.

Lots of doors but no walls to put them in. Downstairs will be open plan but we might be able to use two of them for the upstairs bedrooms.

What’s left of the pink wall will be joining the ceilings in the back garden soon. If you look carefully, you can see the fireplace peeping out from behind those planks of wood.

I know it all looks a bit of a mess but I’ve been saving the best till last. The new roof is looking good – inside and out. The Velux windows (roof lights) are in place and it won’t be long before we have the new joists and floor fitted.


If you think the house is tiny, take a look at our alternative accommodation.


It might be small but look at the size of the ‘back garden’ – and what a view. The river was like a mirror and the warm sunshine gave us a perfect spring day.


Although we really appreciate unusually warm, sunny weather so early in the season, in Ireland we tend to worry that it will be the last bit of heat and sun we’ll get for the rest of the year. You would have to experience some of our dull wet summers to understand this seemingly irrational anxiety.

I hope you enjoyed the renovation update. The next time I post some photos of the house it should look a lot less frightening. For some more unusual and interesting Thursday Doors have a look at Norm’s blog.

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Thursday Doors


Welcome to another Doirse Déardaoin, which is the Irish way of saying Thursday Doors. Although the small section of door you can see to the right of this photograph is nothing spectacular to look at, the top half of the building more than makes up for it.

I looked up the history of Property House, 29 Grand Parade, Cork city and found a reference to one of its former uses. Historical business directories of 1845 record that it was occupied by a James Tancred, glove manufacturer. In an earlier directory of 1824,  a James and Moses Tancred are listed as ‘glovers’ in Cockpit Lane and Hanover Street.

It seems the business in Grand Parade had a bad year in 1846 (there was massive starvation and evictions countrywide at the time, which might not have helped). According to historical records, there were at least three other glove shops in the same street, so lots of competition for James Tancred to contend with. In 1846, a John Tancred arrived in Cork from Dublin and filed for insolvency with regards to the glove business in 29 Grand Parade. Apparently, he had been in the trade for forty years but had ceased operating in Dublin. He had also been indicted for causing a nuisance by setting up a glue yard (the poor man was probably hoping to become solvent – financially speaking). This was either James under a different name or a family member, possibly his father.

The only creditor objecting to the insolvency was the owner of number 29 Grand Parade, a Miss Mary O’Neil, to whom Mr. Tancred owed £70, a full year’s rent. She may have been in a bit of a pickle herself, as the lease was being held by her bank as security for bills. The result of the case was that ‘The Insolvent’ was discharged, undertaking to give a consent for judgment and gave up the house to Miss O’Neil. *

Fast forward to 2017. If you’ve lost your gloves on a cold day in the city, there’s no point in calling to Property House to buy a new pair. The ‘Bean & Leaf’ coffee house now operates from the premises (they do lunches, too). They have only recently opened for business and I haven’t been to the city to try it out yet – but I will. This is the photo from their pinned tweet. That first floor looks inviting. I hope they get lots of support, it’s so good to see a lovely old building in use.

bean and leaf

There’s a Bean & Leaf in Mahon Point Retail Park and Carrigaline, too.

Sláinte for now and don’t forget to check out Norm’s blog for more Thursday Doors.

Source: * History

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