Sunshine, shadows, leafy trees and a fountain in Blessington, Co. Wicklow.

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Where: Wicklow, Ireland

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When: Unknown

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In what appears to be a lovely sunny afternoon in Blessington, when the photographer captures a beautiful image of the Market Hall and Monument/Fountain. This is a beautiful area - some of which has been changed completely when a nearby valley was flooded to provide water and power to the nearby Dublin region!

Apart from the "missing belfry" that ɹǝqɯoɔɥɔɐǝq noted, some of the discussion today was on how recognisable the same scene is today. Also noted was that the local names of the monument and fountain seem to vary - with most sources refering to it as the "Downshire Monument", at at least some as the "Boyle Monument". Whatever the proper title, it seems likely this view of the monument and market house was captured in the first-half (rather than latter-half) of the 1900s-1930s range....

Photographer: Unknown

Collection: Eason Photographic Collection

Date: Catalogue range c.1900-1939

NLI Ref: EAS_3860

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


Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 19444
eason easonson easoncollection easonphotographiccollection glassnegative nationallibraryofireland blessington markethall fountain monument leafytrees shadows ballycomeen countywicklow oldcalabar earlofhillsborough downshiremonument downshire markethouse marquessofdownshire boylemonument 20thcentury

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    • 30/Mar/2017 08:41:50

    Streetview is almost spot-on - []

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    • 30/Mar/2017 08:50:35

    Great image, seen in "B&W Images from around the World"

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    • 30/Mar/2017 09:37:16

    I didn't see the man with a bucket at first ...

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    • 30/Mar/2017 09:39:56

    I wonder what the connection between North Kildare and Old Calabar is. Depending on how up to date they were, the use of Old Calabar instead of Calabar could place it at pre-1906.

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    O Mac

    • 30/Mar/2017 10:20:24

    Old Calabar was also the name of a dog and poultry food supplier back then.

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    • 30/Mar/2017 10:37:30

    Kildare is dog and chicken country...

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    • 30/Mar/2017 15:59:52

    The NIAH entry records the fountain as the "Boyle Monument". But the text on the monument (visible in this Eason shot) says the "Earl of Hillsborough" (later Marquis of Downshire). And the Blessington heritage website reflects this. Referring to it as the "Downshire Monument". Presumably the latter is more accurate. The Blessington heritage website dates the Market House (now credit union) to the 1830s, and also attributes it to the Downshires.

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    • 30/Mar/2017 16:17:22

    There's another Eason image of Blessington in the same date range and sequential catalogue number: EAS_3859. Perhaps plausible it was taken around the same time. We can see tram tracks in that image. The tram apparently ran from the 1880s to the 1930s. So perhaps no help in dating.

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    • 30/Mar/2017 21:30:54

    Who swiped the belfry ?

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 30/Mar/2017 23:57:43

    Thanks all. It's interesting alright [[email protected]] that there seems to be two names for the fountain. As you say, most other mentions seem to call it the Downshire Monument. But this Blessington Architectural Conservation Plan (from Wicklow Co Co) also calls it the Boyle Monument. Without really explaining why. It does note that the inscription says:

    “the water supplied at the cost of a kind and generous Landlord for the benefit of his Attached and Loyal Tenants”.
    Whatever the case, I've mentioned both names to the description and tags. As regards the date, it seems likely that we are in the first decade or so of the 1900s-1930s range. Certainly rather than the latter decades of that range. Who knows, perhaps the "missing belfry" that [] spotted might help with dating. (In honest I hadn't noticed that missing feature at all myself....)

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    Bernard Healy

    • 31/Mar/2017 13:45:41

    Re: Boyle/Downshire - perhaps the following passage from Wikipedia helps: "Michael Boyle (the younger), Archbishop of Dublin and Lord Chancellor of Ireland, bought the lordship of Threecastles, previously the property of the Cheevers for £1,000. Boyle received a Royal Charter to establish the town of Blessington, in the townland of Munfine, as a borough. Construction of Blessington House was begun in 1673 and afterwards St. Mary’s Church in Blessington, which was completed in 1683. On Boyle's death in 1702 his son Murrough Boyle, 1st Viscount Blesington and Baron Boyle, inherited the Blessington estate. Murrough’s son, Charles, died in 1732 without an heir and the estate was inherited by his sister Anne, then her son William Stewart, 1st Earl of Blessington and Baron Stewart. Stewart died in 1769 without an heir and the estate passed to Charles Dunbar, a great grandson of Murrough Boyle, who also died heirless in 1778, when the estate passed to Wills Hill of Hillsborough, County Down, a great great grandson of Michael Boyle and the first Marquess of Downshire. The Hills held the estate until 1908." I'd imagine that the name Boyle attached itself to the monument on the assumption that the 'Boyles' were the local landlords according to folk memory, even though that line had died out and the lands passed to relatives with the Downshire title.

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    Dr. Ilia

    • 03/Apr/2017 08:00:06

    WOW! Amazing shot!

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    Seoirse Ó Dúic - an duine Phléimeanach

    • 11/Sep/2019 11:05:48

    Boyle Monument, Market Square, Blessington, County Wicklow Freestanding monument, built 1865. It is inscribed 'The Water supplied at the cost of a kind and generous Landlord for the benefit of his Attached and Loyal Tenants'. The monument comprises of a large square plinth with a tall decorative pinnacle. There is a small water trough to the south east side. The monument is set within the market square directly in front of the market house. An important and well preserved monument which records the generosity of the former landlord. It adds a special focus to the market square.

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    Seoirse Ó Dúic - an duine Phléimeanach

    • 11/Sep/2019 11:06:10

    Credit Union House (Blessington Market House), Market Square, Blessington, County Wicklow Original Use market house In Use Now As bank/financial institution Detached three-bay two-storey former market house, built c.1820, now in use as a Credit Union. The building is constructed in ashlar granite. To the centre of the south-east front is a slightly advancing pedimented bay with the Downshire coat of arms. The ground floor comprises of a series of semi-circular arched openings; some are blind and others have door openings. The replacement doors are set within semi-circular arched openings. Window openings are flat-headed with six over six timber sash frames. The parapet rests on a projecting cornice and all but obscures the hipped roof; the roof is finished with natural slate. Chimneystacks are rendered with corbelled caps and clay pots. The building is road fronted. This well preserved former market house has been successfully converted to a commercial use with minimal loss of quality. It is marred only by the addition of modern door and sidelights.