Thursday Doors – Blackrock Sculptures


Last week I paid a visit to my native village of Blackrock and captured some colourful Thursday Doors and buildings to share. If you’ve read any of my Irish Saga you might recognized the Cooley Mountains, as shown in the above photo, from their description in the books. I referred to them as ‘an arm stretching around the bay’ as if to protect it.


For the first of my doors, let me introduce you to the home I lived in as a child. It was called Seaside Stores in those days and sold the usual beach toys, ice-creams and sweets that you would expect to find in a shop directly across the road from the sea. When my parents moved us to another county my grandparents took over the business and we spent most summers there until my grandmother passed away and the shop was sold. However, I still had another grandmother living in the village, just a few doors up, plus aunts, uncles and cousins so our visits didn’t stop, thankfully.


I can still hear the sound of the waves as I lay in the bed I shared with my sister, as they lapped gently on the shore or crashed thunderously, which is what they were doing the day I took the above photo. This next door is one of my favourites in the village.


I had to take most of my photographs from across the street as there were cars parked in front of most the buildings. I love that cheerful yellow door.


You can see how interesting and individual each building is in Blackrock but even in the past, there was a good variety of shapes and sizes in the village.


Some of the houses have remained unchanged for almost a hundred years, like this fisherman’s cottage.


I’ll save the rest of my doors for next week’s post because now I’d like to show you some of the beautiful sculptures that can be found along the promenade.

The sculpture Bradáin, the Irish word for salmon, was carved from Kilkenny limestone. It’s the work of artist Richard Perry who tells us that “The silhouette of ‘Bradáin’ refers in a very simple and direct way to the soft, rounded shapes of the Cooley Mountains, with the salmon referring to the origins of Blackrock as a fishing village.”

Blackrock Millennium Sundial is apparently the largest sundial in a public place in Ireland and was commissioned by Blackrock Tidy Towns to mark the millennium in the village. It was unveiled in 2000 and has a time capsule with photographs and documents from the millennium year in the village buried in its foundations. The bronze sculpture Aisling is by local artist Tanya Nyegaard. If you look at where the shadow lies in the photograph you’ll see it was 12.30 when I took the shot.


The Cockle Pickers by local artist Micheál McKeown also represents the maritime traditions of the village. Cockles would have been an important source of nourishment during the years of the Great Hunger (sometimes called the Irish Famine) of the mid 1800’s. The artist used interwoven stainless steel strips to create the two figures. I’m very fond of this sculpture as it was an activity my ancestors partook of going back through the generations.


I hope you enjoyed our tour of this lovely seaside village, thanks for coming along. I’ll have more photos on next week’s post and a bit of local history to go with them. If you would like to see a few more Thursday Doors, carry on over to Norm’s blog for an interesting selection.



About Jean Reinhardt

Author of 'A Pocket Full of Shells' an Amazon International best seller, Jean writes young adult and historical fiction. She has been known to shed a tear over Little House on the Prairie.
This entry was posted in Art, books, Ireland, nature, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors, Travel and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Thursday Doors – Blackrock Sculptures

  1. Dan Antion says:

    I want to visit that Inn! I also like that sculpture at the bottom, a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a delightful visit, Jean. I like the salmon sculpture. The buildings in Blackrock are so attractive and the doors as well.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ally Bean says:

    Such a pretty place to visit. I want to go to the Bayview Inn. The yellow door is charming and a beer is calling to me right about now. 🍺

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Junieper2 says:

    Your beach and sea captures are so beautiful with the atmosphere of the sea I so love. You know so much details about your background – so interesting about the store! The nice door is one which I would expect of a respectable Inn:)
    You told me that you lived in Spain, but I always assumed that was when you were an adult (because you mention here that your parents took you to another country …) Maybe you already referred before to what cockles are? I like that sculpture too! Nyegaard sounds Dutch or Belgian – is she?

    Liked by 1 person

    • We moved from county Louth to county Dublin, Jesh, there are 32 counties on the island of Ireland. I had to check that I had the right word in the post, lol, what a difference an ‘r’ makes. I was an adult when I moved to another country. I couldn’t find out much about Tanya Nygaard, except that she is a Blackrock artist.


  5. It looks like a wonderful place to grow up. I love the red and white shop and yellow door.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. JT Twissel says:

    What a delightful village!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, what a beautiful village, and so nice to have so many relatives in one spot! I like that yellow door as well and my favorite sculpture is the round fish!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Norm 2.0 says:

    Just wonderful Jean, the kind of place I’d love to visit, but on a warm sunny day, if I may 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lovely village, oh how I would love to visit Ireland.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you! This was like a mini tour, and I loved it. Doors are great, especially the yellow one and your old home one. Handsome sculptures were a bonus.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh Jean, this is such a special post! I can see that you grew up in a happy place, with the sea opposite no less. Just perfect! I love the happy houses and all three statues are extraordinary! Lovely sky as well. Looking forward to the next week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Manja. I have always lived near the sea, even in Spain, until now. However, we are living in a part of Ireland that has over 300 lakes and many rivers, so I’m still close to some wonderful bodies of water. Thankfully, our house is at the top of a hill.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Thanks for the tour, Jean. Good memories of where you were raised is always good for the soul.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Val says:

    How nice having your childhood in a shop (presumably living above it?) Did you over-eat the sweeties? 🙂 I love the cockle pickers sculpture.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Pingback: Thursday Doors | homethoughtsfromabroad626

  15. Pairic Duffy says:

    Hi Jean, i just found your posts. I too spent time in my early years on Main Street in Blackrock. My grandparents also had a shop selling Ice Cream, Sweets, Buckets and Spades etc. directly opposite the Millennium Statue and was called Sheelagh House. The Fisherman’s Cottage in your photo was Paddy White’s house. He lived next door to my Granny’s house across the Alley. It was sold recently. My cousins the McArdles lived at the top of the alley behind my grandparents house. My aunt Una McArdle lived there until she died some years ago.
    When I was there as a child your grandparent’s shop was known as Parker’s shop as far as I can remember. It became a video store in later years. Lovely photos.
    Páiric Duffy

    Liked by 1 person

    • So lovely to hear from you, Pairic. My mother’s parents lived in the house in the courtyard beside Paddy White’s. They were Kate and Bernard Breen. I think Una McArdle was a cousin of my mother’s. She told me stories of what mischief they got up to as children. My mother married Jack Parker, whose parents owned the shop Seaside Stores. I remember Sheelagh House. I think we might be related. Thanks for leaving your lovely comment and please do keep in touch.


      • Pairic Duffy says:

        Hi Jean, we are indeed related, our Mothers are First Cousins. i spoke to my mother Mary, she is 91 and still going strong thank God, as is her sister Nan. She was 90 at New Year. Both are coping well inspite of this cursed Coronavirus. I told my mother of finding your posts. She is of the opinion that Parkers owned the Blackrock Hotel. But when I was growing up a Mr Steeples owned it. After that Mr O Reilly bought it before it came into the ownership of the present owners. Mr Steeples used to call to see my grandfather and always brought me a slim bar of Cadburys chocolate. My Grandfather and he had an interest in Greyhounds.
        If you send me your email address I will send you some poems I have written that feature my days growing up in Blackrock.

        Liked by 1 person

        • My email is and I would love to read your poems. My grandmother’s parents, Patrick and Catherine Sharkey owned the Blackrock Hotel back in the early nineteen hundreds, I’m not sure when it was sold out of the family, could have been in the 30’s or 40’s. I think my uncle Patsy Breen once had a share in a prize winning greyhound with a Paul Steeples but I could be wrong. Patsy is my mum’s younger brother and he lives in the family home just behind what used to be Sheelagh House. Your mother and aunt are a great age, bless them. I must pass on your message to my mum. Looking forward to your email, Pairic, thank you.


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