Thursday Doors – The Navvy Bank

While visiting one of my sisters recently, she suggested a stroll to the Navvy Bank in search of Thursday Doors. We timed it so as to catch the colour changes in the sky as the sun was going down and we were not disappointed.

We even found a lovely old thatched cottage along the way.

The Navvy Bank is an artificial embankment that was constructed between Soldiers’ Point and the quays in Dundalk, County Louth. The plans were prepared by local engineer, John Macneill and legislation to build was passed in August 1840. The construction of the Navvy Bank (a total length of 7,006 feet) along with the necessary dredging works provided a considerable amount of employment during the Great Hunger (Irish Famine) of the 1840s. The name ‘navvy’ comes from the word ‘navigator,’ men who dug the canals and railway lines in the 1800’s. They were strong men and their pay was high compared to most other manual labourers but the work was extremely hard and often dangerous. A good navvy could shift 20 tonnes of earth a day.  Of the 250,000 navvies, operating in Britain at the height of the railway expansion in the Victorian era, roughly 1 in 3 was an Irishman.

This memorial bears the names of nineteen men and one woman who lost their lives when the SS Dundalk was torpedoed by a German u-boat during WW1. The stone is made from granite and the clock was reconditioned and came from the old Dundalk Steam Packet Company. The hands are permanently stopped at 11.10 pm, recalling the time that the ship was hit on October 14th 1918, less than a month before the end of the war.

The Navvy Bank is home to lots of waterfowl and wildlife and they are very well protected, thankfully.

The following bronze sculpture is 8 feet long and 15 feet high. It’s the work of County Louth artist, Ann Meldon Hugh and is a wonderful landmark along the Navvy Bank. She called it ‘Sea God Managuan and Voyagers‘ after a Celtic god of the sea. Mythology describes him as the leader of a group of the Fair Folk whose values are linked to the ocean.

I went a bit overboard (pun intended) on the photographs of this one but it was fascinating from every angle. The sky turning pink in the background reminded us that the evening was drawing to a close, so we continued on our walk, waiting for the clouds to change colour.

We reached the end of our walk along the embankment just as the sun was going down.

I managed to get in one last shot as a heron flew by, before heading home but there were plenty of street lights to guide us as the daylight disappeared.

I really enjoyed that walk with my sister, thank you for coming along, too. Norm has a great selection of Thursday Doors over on his blog for you to enjoy.


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, boats, History, Ireland, nature, social issues, Thursday Doors, Travel, victorian society and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Thursday Doors – The Navvy Bank

  1. JT Twissel says:

    I always wondered what navvy meant. Thanks Jean. Love those sculptures.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dan Antion says:

    Thanks for the wonderful photos, Jean. I love the different views of the statue. You really were there at a good time, I love the rich colors in the images.


  3. Ally Bean says:

    The sculptures are unique and timeless. I never knew where Navy came from. Interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Junieper2 says:

    The pink sunset is beautiful, overtaking the whole view, even that of the water – wow! Great tribute to the people who lost their lives in the war, Jean! Interesting depiction of the statue of the ruler of the sea.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Librarylady says:

    Great pics. As usual, I want to live there (especially in the thatched cottage).

    Liked by 1 person

  6. TCast says:

    I love that sculpture, Jean.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Norm 2.0 says:

    Lovely shots Jean. I can see why you went nuts on that sculpture, especially in that light.
    And bless you sister for enabling your door addiction 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. sjhigbee says:

    Oh what a fabulous selection of pics this week, Jean:)). Thank you so much!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for taking us along on your walk and sharing some history, Jean!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The post was wonderful but that last photo was proof that often the best is saved for last!


    Liked by 1 person

  11. sydspix says:

    Loved the history and I thought the sculpture was really interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

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