This week’s Thursday Doors features Edgeworthstown in County Longford. There are some interesting murals on the walls of a car park, painted by artist Phil Atkinson, depicting the family the town is named after. One of its members was an inventor, another a writer. Richard Lowell Edgeworth was born in Bath, England in 1744 and taken to Edgeworthstown when he was three years of age. He was an inventor and an educationalist who carried out extensive repairs and renovations to the family mansion, built by his father in the mid 1720s.
Many labour-saving devices were invented and installed in the house, including sideboards on wheels, leather straps to prevent doors banging and even a water pump which automatically dispensed a half-penny to beggars for each half-hour they worked it. This was perhaps more successful than Richard’s attempt at building a wooden horse that would be able to jump over the stone walls of the locality. I’ll put some links at the end of this post if you would like to read more about this inventive man and his family history.*
Richard Edgeworth was married four times and had over twenty children. His eldest daughter, Marie, never married. She had a lot of acquaintances in literary and scientific circles and Sir Walter Scott and Jane Austen were admirers of her writing. Between 1809 and 1812 she published her Tales of Fashionable Life in six volumes. They include one of her best novels, The Absentee, which focused attention on a great contemporary abuse in Irish society: absentee English landowning. A sample of some of Marie’s work is included in the murals.**
The area’s original name was the Irish ‘Meathas Troim’ which was anglicized to ‘Mostrim’. In 1935 Longford County Council officially changed the town’s name to Mostrim but in 1974, a local government order reverted the name back to Edgeworthstown. Today, both names are in use.
If only that car had been parked somewhere else but at least you can still the beauty of this building with its lovely yellow door. Thank you for visiting this week. Along with my Thursday Doors of Edgeworthstown there are links to lots of interesting places over on Dan’s blog.