Belvelly Castle, Fota, Co. Cork

Download this image

More from this collection

Related by When

Related by Where

Research Help!

Where: Cork, Ireland

Try to find the spot where the photographer was standing.

When: Unknown

Try to find the date or year when this image was made.
For our Cork supporters today we have an old and very clear shot of the castle at the bridge from Fota.

This shot generated a number of good stories today - leaving us with a tough job to select the most interesting ones. With thanks to all of today's contributors, without your help and support we would be at nothing: sharon.corbet, Niall McAuley, beachcomberaustralia, Carol Maddock + guliolopez.

Ultimately perhaps Carol's "Blarney Castle" story wins by a whisker :) Even though Carol's find refers to events during WWI, Beachcomber references a similar story from 1904 - you would have to be up early in the morning to best the jarvies!

Found this headed A Counterfeit Castle in Quidnunc’s An Irishman’s Diary...

During the war [WWI] Queenstown, with its magnificent harbour, was the naval base for the American Fleet “operating in European waters”. Consequently, the town was constantly crowded with sailors on “shore leave”. Cork City was out of bounds, and the people of Queenstown were hard put to it to provide entertainment for these warriors of the sea. Now Blarney Castle proper stands about 21 miles from Queenstown, too long a journey for a horse to do in an afternoon, so the enterprising jarveys of the district evolved a scheme which brought much diversion to the Yankees and a golden harvest to themselves. Fortunately for that scheme, the American sailor is not of so inquiring a mind as his countrymen of the tourist class. About two miles from Queenstown there stands an old ruin, Belvelly Castle. Structurally, it is somewhat similar to Blarney Castle, sufficiently so, at any rate, to deceive the sailor from overseas. And here he was brought in dozens to see the Castle and kiss the Stone! I once inquired from a jarvey which stone they represented to be the famous one. “Yerra, anyone at all, sir, as long as ’twas a bit hard to git at”, he replied. “Most of them stones round the top have had their share. Shure, there’s bits of chewing-gum stuck all over them”. Thus was this complete, but harmless, deception successfully carried out.

Irish Times, 27 November 1928



Photographer: Robert French

Collection: The Lawrence Photograph Collection

Date:between ca. 1865-1914

NLI Ref: L_ROY_0269

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie

Info:

Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 32027
robertfrench williamlawrence lawrencecollection lawrencephotographicstudio glassnegative nationallibraryofireland belvelly belvellycastle cork munster ireland foatyisland fota belvellybridge acounterfeitcastle quidnunc’s anirishman’sdiary wwi queenstown navalbase americanfleet shoreleave corkcity blarneycastleproper enterprisingjarveys anyoneatallsiraslongas’twasabithardtogitat” irishtimes 27november1928 cocork 1803 13th14th15thcentury martellotower colonelchesney fotayisland fotay fotaisland thomasallen williamo’mearaallen manchestermartyrs mrallport’sshop normantowerhouse greatisland emergency19391945 belvellymartello 1867fenianrising monningtower rossleaguetower rogercasement yerra chewinggum limerickbybeachcomber locationidentified lawrencephotographcollection

Add Tags
  • profile

    sharon.corbet

    • 11/Aug/2015 07:26:22

    Streetview This is apparently Belvelly Castle which is not actually on Fota - the bridge leads across to Fota.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 11/Aug/2015 07:39:21

    OSI 25" map

  • profile

    sharon.corbet

    • 11/Aug/2015 07:41:55

    It was for sale for 275 000 EUR, and has planning permission - pictures ofthe interior.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 11/Aug/2015 07:43:53

    In other Fota news: Jamil the Indian Rhino! Fota Wildlife Park

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 11/Aug/2015 07:45:45

    The OSI maps name the island Foaty

  • profile

    sharon.corbet

    • 11/Aug/2015 07:51:11

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] Wiki says that's the "statutory spelling" of the island.

  • profile

    sharon.corbet

    • 11/Aug/2015 08:03:55

    Belvelly Bridge dates from 1803, according to the NIAH. But the castle is variously dated as 13th/14th/15th Century depending on where you look...

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 11/Aug/2015 08:12:42

    I like that Belvelly bridge - wonderful shape and proportions. So I GoogleVanTootled across and back just for the cybertravel ... I see there is another Martello tower just out of frame to the left.

  • profile

    Carol Maddock

    • 11/Aug/2015 08:28:11

    NATIONAL EXHIBITION The Public are informed that Colonel CHESNEY will CONCLUDE his Series of Experiments on FIRE ARMS on To-Morrow, TUESDAY, 29th, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Ground selected for the Experiments is near BELVELLY CASTLE, Foaty Island, opposite Passage. Several Inventors and eminent Gun-Makers, native and Foreign, are expected to attend. The result of these trials will be communicated to the Public in a LECTURE by Col. CHESNEY, on the Evening of THURSDAY, 1st July. By Order, JOHN SHEA, Sec.
    Cork Examiner, 28 June 1852

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 11/Aug/2015 08:42:49

    "A Bogus Blarney for Innocents from Abroad ... " - trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/171510509 (1904 tall tale with illustration)

  • profile

    Carol Maddock

    • 11/Aug/2015 08:44:07

    More arms, [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia]'s Martello tower, and connection with the Manchester Martyrs

    Thomas Allen, brother of William O’Meara Allen, executed at Manchester, was brought before the Cork magistrates on Tuesday, on suspicion of having been concerned in the attack on the Martello tower at Foaty Island, and also in the robbery of arms at Mr Allport’s shop. He was not, however, identified, and was immediately liberated.
    Leinster Express, 25 January 1868

  • profile

    sharon.corbet

    • 11/Aug/2015 09:11:51

    The gatehouse of the Fota House estate is to the right of the Castle, but it doesn't give any help with dating the photo as it was built in 1820, according to the NIAH.

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 11/Aug/2015 09:46:05

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] There's a heap more about that 1867/8 attack here - trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/119439248 (Freeman's Journal Sydney), including mention of "the guard at the Belvelly Tower". Slightly impenetrable contemporary language alert.

  • profile

    sharon.corbet

    • 11/Aug/2015 09:54:21

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] I prefer the description of the "attack" reported in the June 27th 1868 edition of the Freeman's Journal: Attack on a Martello Tower.— Considerable excitement was created in the city on Friday, by a rumour which generally prevailed that Belvelly Tower had been attacked on the previous (Thursday) night.On inquiry it turned out that the Tower had been made the object of an attack, so far as the throwing of stones was concerned.... ... for it was supposed at the time that some Fenians had found heart to attack the tower. The police, on arriving, examined the neighbourhood, and found two of the garrison stretched in a state of intoxication outside the wall? The position in which they lay left no doubts that they must at least have been in some way engaged in the so-called attack...

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 11/Aug/2015 10:19:46

    A rare one, I have just added "What? Where? Why?" to our 100,000+ views album, this is only the 9th entry ever. https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland/9962402584 https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland/sets/72157651599255125

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 11/Aug/2015 10:45:22

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] Trove is sometimes just too much fun! I am surprised to learn that this place almost became a Transatlantic Airport in 1933 - trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/11704572

  • profile

    guliolopez

    • 11/Aug/2015 11:29:21

    Hi all. I always seem to pop-up for these Cork ones. As noted, this is Belvelly Castle - a Norman tower-house that defended the narrows and crossing between Fota and Great islands. It went through a few changes or ownership over the centuries - including brief "occupation" during the Emergency (1939-1945) when the army widened and opened a few extra slits for gun defence. As [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] points-out, it was for sale recently. With an application for permission for private development. (FYI - [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]], [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] and [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]]. There are actually two Martello towers out of shot to the left of this image. And another to the right. The closest (to the left) is "Belvelly Martello". This is a few paces from the castle and is now a private home. This was not the one attacked and briefly occupied during the 1867 Fenian Rising. That one, called "Monning Tower", is further afield - you would get a bit damp if you tried to walk directly to it. The third (to the right of this shot) is "Rossleague Tower". For more see Coastal fortifications of County Cork (Wikipedia).)

  • profile

    Carol Maddock

    • 11/Aug/2015 13:18:02

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] I'm voting to dub it the Belvelly Martelly? Any of you "intoxicated sons of Mars" with me?

  • profile

    Carol Maddock

    • 11/Aug/2015 14:26:20

    Found this headed A Counterfeit Castle in Quidnunc’s An Irishman’s Diary...

    During the war WWI Queenstown, with its magnificent harbour, was the naval base for the American Fleet “operating in European waters”. Consequently, the town was constantly crowded with sailors on “shore leave”. Cork City was out of bounds, and the people of Queenstown were hard put to it to provide entertainment for these warriors of the sea. Now Blarney Castle proper stands about 21 miles from Queenstown, too long a journey for a horse to do in an afternoon, so the enterprising jarveys of the district evolved a scheme which brought much diversion to the Yankees and a golden harvest to themselves. Fortunately for that scheme, the American sailor is not of so inquiring a mind as his countrymen of the tourist class. About two miles from Queenstown there stands an old ruin, Belvelly Castle. Structurally, it is somewhat similar to Blarney Castle, sufficiently so, at any rate, to deceive the sailor from overseas. And here he was brought in dozens to see the Castle and kiss the Stone! I once inquired from a jarvey which stone they represented to be the famous one. “Yerra, anyone at all, sir, as long as ’twas a bit hard to git at”, he replied. “Most of them stones round the top have had their share. Shure, there’s bits of chewing-gum stuck all over them”. Thus was this complete, but harmless, deception successfully carried out.
    Irish Times, 27 November 1928

  • profile

    guliolopez

    • 11/Aug/2015 16:54:03

    That, https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected], is absolutely brilliant :) I had never heard of that "practice" before :) In equal measure I feel sorry for the sailors ("duped" as they were), happy for the sailors (as otherwise they likely wouldn't have had the story to tell - and remain none-the-wiser), annoyed at the jarveys ("how very dare you"), and equally understanding (she what IS the harm - one schtone is the same as any other). Thanks!

  • profile

    Carol Maddock

    • 11/Aug/2015 17:31:11

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] Isn't it great? (Must apologise to any American naval personnel who happen across this photo for the fact that Quidnunc cast asparagus on their tourism acumen!) I was most surprised about the chewing gum -- didn't realise it was so ubiquitous in WWI. Then I found this.... And not just popular with American troops. Tons (technical term) of ads in British newspapers during the Great War…

    With a bar of Wrigley’s Chewing Gum our gallant soldiers will “Carry On” as long as need must. The fact is undeniable, this delicious wholesome confection “bucks you up” in a surprising fashion, puts new vim and vigour into the weary body and banishes fatigue and depression. No wonder it has so quickly become first favourite with all ranks in the Army and in the Navy, too … Millions of bars sold every week to Soldiers, Sailors, Munition Workers, etc.
    Daily Mirror, 15 November 1916 I promise I’ll stop going on about chewing gum now, as it’s stratospherically off-topic, but I came across a fascinating description of how women crowded into court for the trial of Roger Casement after the Aud fiasco
    Chewing Gum for Lunch They belonged to all classes of society, too. The hearing was not resumed until half-past twelve, but some cheerfully forgot the passing of the ordinary luncheon hour with the help of chewing gum and smelling salts.
    Daily Mirror, 18 May 1916

  • profile

    Carol Maddock

    • 11/Aug/2015 19:14:15

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland Thanks Mary! Ashamed to admit that in the first hurly burly this morning, I had missed https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia's Bogus Blarney comment - apologies Beachy! Though can't believe it didn't inspire you to a Limerick by Beachcomber... :)

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 11/Aug/2015 19:29:25

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia A Limerick would be welcomed (as always), A Cork Limerick!!

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 11/Aug/2015 21:54:21

    The Belvelly Martelly Limerickelly An American sailor named Arnie - He wanted to kiss stone at Blarney, But he left at Belvelly His chewin' gum so smelly - And all over the Ring of Killarney !

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 12/Aug/2015 06:00:19

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia Thank you Sir.

  • profile

    Carol Maddock

    • 12/Aug/2015 16:33:08

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia In Australia there was a beachcomber Who had all the wisdom of Homer Though all over Flickr He never did bicker He's renowned for being a poem-er

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 12/Aug/2015 21:52:32

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] *blushes!*

  • profile

    abandoned railways

    • 13/Aug/2015 14:47:50

    I read somewhere Walter Raleigh lived there for a while. although its on Great Island, and Fota Estate is on Foaty Island.

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 13/Aug/2015 18:55:46

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] A good effort at the Limerick. I am afraid no "Limerick by Maddock" tag just yet!!