A meeting of waters... is Belleek, Co. Fermanagh

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Where: Northern Ireland, Fermanagh, United Kingdom

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When: Unknown

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This beautiful scene with a stream joining a larger river just above a bridge makes a scene that many photographers would love to shoot today!

With thanks especially today to the keen eyes and memory of O Mac we have confirmation that this is the River Erne at Belleek on the Fermanagh/Donegal border. Sharon.corbet points out that the building to the left is the renowned Belleek Pottery works - completed per Niall McAuley in 1862. Niall also tells us that the river, bridge and waterfall look so different today because of drainage and other works completed in the 1880s....


Photographers: Frederick Holland Mares, James Simonton

Contributor: John Fortune Lawrence

Collection: Stereo Pairs Photograph Collection

Date: c.1862 -1883

NLI Ref: STP_2362


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

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Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 21592
lawrencecollection stereographicnegatives jamessimonton frederickhollandmares johnfortunelawrence williammervynlawrence nationallibraryofireland belleek countyfermanagh belleekpottery rivererne millrace assaroe ernedrainage flagstone béalleice mouthoftheflagstones eel weir eelweir stereopairsphotographcollection stereopairs

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  • profile

    Swordscookie

    • 22/Jan/2016 08:56:26

    This is gorgeous! What a beautiful scene. I don't know why but Cork/Kerry comes to mind, perhaps because some of the best finds came from down that way in the past????

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    O Mac

    • 22/Jan/2016 10:09:02

    The River Erne at Belleek, Co Fermanagh Streetview

  • profile

    sharon.corbet

    • 22/Jan/2016 10:12:04

    With Belleek Pottery on the left.

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    O Mac

    • 22/Jan/2016 10:18:58

    "On Thursday 18th November 1858 Mrs Bloomfield laid the foundation stone...." Mrs Bloomfield being Mr Pottery Owners wife.

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    sharon.corbet

    • 22/Jan/2016 10:26:58

    There are more views of the bridge available: among them this, this and this.

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    O Mac

    • 22/Jan/2016 10:46:45

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] Comparing with that W. Lawrence it was taken pre railway Enniskillen and Bundoran Railway opened 1866 The railway ran behind the photographer. There is an octagonal building and metal bridge seen in the W.L. that I took for being railway.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 22/Jan/2016 10:48:59

    Per the DIA: Begun 1858. FS laid Jan 1859. Completed for £10,000 by David McBirney by Mar 1862, 'but a large sum will be required to put it into complete working order'.

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    John_A68

    • 22/Jan/2016 11:05:48

    Agree with O Mac & Sharon Corbet. Belleek sprang to mind as soon as I saw this.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 22/Jan/2016 11:05:58

    So, we have a mill race at left, the river Erne flowing under the bridge, the pottery factory in Fermanagh, and Donegal to the right. This stone bridge is gone, replaced by a new flatter bridge slightly upstream. The river banks, islands and so on have changed, presumably when the dam at Assaroe went in.

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 22/Jan/2016 11:20:03

    Around 1877 Belleek pottery produced the William Gladstone chamber pot ... let him know what you really think of him ... www.pinterest.com/pin/488429522059346309/ (dated via www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/season/5/sacramento-ca/appraisa... )

  • profile

    sharon.corbet

    • 22/Jan/2016 11:41:59

    The Donegal half of the photo is visible on the 25" OSI Map.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 22/Jan/2016 11:44:30

    After this shot, but before the Dam at Assaroe, we had this: Salmon Leap

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    Niall McAuley

    • 22/Jan/2016 11:46:18

    "Sadly the Erne drainage of the 1880s removed our ancient waterfall"

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    Niall McAuley

    • 22/Jan/2016 11:50:22

    Scratch my railway comments - the bridge was below the town, not above. This shot from the archive linked by [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] above is interesting, as it shows the sluices which destroyed the waterfall as well as our arched bridge.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 22/Jan/2016 12:05:31

    Name: STONEY, FRANCIS GOOLD MORONEY Building: CO. FERMANAGH, LOUGH ERNE, DRAINAGE SCHEME Date: 1883 Nature: Large roller sluices erected to Stoney's design.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 22/Jan/2016 12:07:58

    So we end up with roughly the same date range as all the STPs have : after 1862 for the pottery, before 1883 for the river vandalism.

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    sharon.corbet

    • 22/Jan/2016 12:54:33

    There are various photos of the area at various points available here, including one of the railway bridge.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 22/Jan/2016 15:23:21

    Thanks all - especially https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] for establishing the location. If you don't mind the question, this particular Mary is intrigued to know how it was done - and so quickly. Was there a method? Or did you recognise the location specifically?

  • profile

    O Mac

    • 22/Jan/2016 16:45:52

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] The eel weir and house beyond were similar to those on the Erne at Ballyshannon. www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland/21318965668/in/dateposted/

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 22/Jan/2016 20:43:33

    Thanks [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] - probably shouldn't question the method and just appreciate the excellent sleuthing (as usual). The "drainage work" from the 1880s (as described in the DiscoverBelleek website that [https://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley] highlights) is quite a bit more dramatically described here: It is interesting that the works removed the very thing that defined the placename:

    The name Belleek is an anglicizing of Bel Lice, which signifies "Fordmouth of the flagstone". The flagstone used to run as level as a floor almost across the river making an easy fording place as it was dry and much exposed in summer. Along with the Falls of Belleek this was destroyed with dynamite in the Erne drainage of the 1880s.
    Tags/map/etc all updated to try and capture a summary of today's input.

  • profile

    O Mac

    • 22/Jan/2016 22:06:17

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland and legend has it that Fionn mac Cumhail's men sharpened their swords on the big limestone rock at Belleek Falls......He must have turned in his many graves when it was blown up..

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    Reconstructing Light

    • 23/Jan/2016 10:53:50

    Superb. Never seen this before. Pre-dam.

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    maorlando - God keeps me as I lean on Him!!

    • 24/Jan/2016 15:44:24

    Loved visiting here. . Spent way too much money... but loved every minute of it! In my Ireland album I have a photo taken looking toward this hill which I took from the picture window in the foyer of the Belleek Pottery Works! There was a sign telling of the opening of a B&B on this hill but have not been back to see if it opened!