Thursday Doors features some cottages from Blackrock in County Louth this week. Most of the photographs that I’ve posted of my native seaside village have been taken of the main street and promenade so I thought I should feature the north end of the village and beyond, for a change. This first wee cottage is so neat and very typical of a fisherman’s home in bygone days. It might be tiny but it has a massive view, one I would never tire of looking at.
Most of the houses in this week’s post have the same view – the Cooley Mountains on the north side of Dundalk Bay.
A lot of the old stone walls and some of the properties were built from the stone of a local quarry which is marked on the historical maps but went out of use many years ago. You can see part of it in the next image.
This next cottage has been very nicely refurbished but it’s the house behind it, on the same grounds, that interests me.
You might be thinking the larger house has been there for as long as the cottage but you’d be wrong. The big house is a new build in the garden of the smaller one. Even the gutters and downpipes look authentic and both chimneys have a row of pots, like you would find on Victorian and Edwardian houses. The owners have done a great job of making a brand new building look as if it has always been there.
In the Square at the north end of Blackrock two houses have gone up for sale and if I had the money I would buy them. They need a lot of work but the location is great and there’s a good sized garden to the rear. Less than a five minute walk brings you to the beach.
This is what they looked like a century ago. Both photos include the mode of transport of their era. The older form appeals to me but maybe not if I was in a hurry and certainly not on a cold, wet day.
The smaller house must have been altered at some point, as the roof and upper windows are now level with the end one. My great great grandmother lived close to the Square and reached the grand old age of 102, so that area of the village is a favourite of mine. The property to the left of the old photo was called the Violet Pub and Hotel. Researching our family history, I came across a record of my great great grandfather and his father-in-law being fined in a Petty Sessions court for drinking on the premises after hours. The owner of the Violet was also fined for serving them. This pub was the inspiration for the fictitious Paddy Mac’s in my Irish Family Saga books so I was gutted when it was demolished a few years ago.
The last house featured this week is hidden from view but you can just about see the roof. There’s a tiny old cottage inside the gates, behind the white pillar. The stone walls are typical of the area and you’ll find them all around the village. Although I couldn’t get a better shot of the house I did find some photos and details about it on Buildings of Ireland if you’d like to have a closer look.
Before I go, I have an update on the frog in our garden. After discovering him in a labyrinth under some old bricks I thought the name Bowie would suit him, as he starred in the movie, Labyrinth. I half-buried a clay pot containing sand and compost close to where I found him. He has plenty of shade and a water dish close by and a good supply of snails and slugs.
As always, thanks a mil for stopping by this week. Dan has a feast of doors over on his blog. Later in the year I’ll be making another trip to Blackrock to photograph some ancient ruins in County Louth for a future Thursday Doors post.