Let’s start off this week’s Thursday Doors with a bit of colour from around the town of Belturbet, County Cavan. A local man went to work in the gold mines in the Yukon region of Canada and when he returned home in the late 50s he brought with him a wife and enough money to buy a pub. It’s a family run business today and has an off license with a good selection of very nice wines. The bar has been closed, like the rest of the hospitality industry, for the better part of a year but the off license has been able to remain open. In the summertime, hanging baskets adorn the front and a sheltered beer garden at the rear is a lovely place to take a sip and admire the river view.
Just up the street from the Yukon is this lovely old house, well looked after with a fine sized garden. A little further on and we are in the center of the town.
That’s the town hall you can see straight ahead, facing down the main street. In 1927 the Market House was demolished and the present Town Hall was built on the site. I posted this image in black and white so you can compare it with an old photo taken from much the same angle. It’s on display on an information panel outside the Town Hall. Not too much has changed over time but you can see that the old Market House has been replaced.
If we carry on past the Town Hall we will come to the two churches in the town. This first one is the Catholic Church, built in 1954 in the Romanesque Revival style to replace St. Mary’s Catholic Church, a stone building that was located further down the hill.
Directly across from the Catholic church stands a Protestant Church built on the site of a 17th century star fort and where O’Reilly’s castle once stood. The tower was added to an earlier structure in 1814, while the main body of the church was rebuilt in 1828 in the Gothic Revival style.
A star fort is a fortification in a style that evolved during the age of gunpowder when cannon came to dominate the battlefield. It was first seen in Italy in the mid-15th century when an attempt was made to improve the defence of a fortress. Covering fire had to be provided, often from multiple angles and the result was the development of a star-shaped fortress. In the nineteenth century the explosive shell arrived on the scene and this changed the nature of defensive fortifications and star forts became obsolete. Many still exist around the world and there are a few in Ireland.
Our walk continues down Mill Hill towards Turbet Island and next week we’ll finish off the tour at another heritage building. Thanks for accompanying me around the town for this week’s Thursday Doors and if you’d like to carry on to Dan’s blog, there’s a lot more to see.