Sir Walter Raleigh, cottage at Youghal

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Where: Cork, Ireland

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From the academic Sir John P. Mahaffy to his more famous knightly colleague Sir Walter Raleigh and a cottage in County Cork! My definition of a cottage and Raleigh's definition would be many miles (or rooms and windows) apart it seems. I thought that the only remaining reminder of Raleigh was Tournafulla in Limerick where his troops decimated the population after the Desmond rebellion...?

Based on today's insights, it seems possible that this image was taken while the house (known as Myrtle Grove) was owned by the Blake family; some members of whom could perhaps be captured in the windows.....

Photographer: A. H. Poole

Collection: Poole Photographic Studio, Waterford

Date: Catalogue range c.1901-1954


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: 22109
ahpoole arthurhenripoole glassnegative nationallibraryofireland cottage mansion youghal cocork sirwalterraleigh myrtlegrove countycork tudor house dogs ivy raleighshouse blake edithblake henryblake poolephotographiccollection

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    • 03/Aug/2017 08:14:27

    Not one but two dogs and a ghost at the window makes for a wonderful shot! Come on DannyM8, where are you this morning?

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    • 03/Aug/2017 08:17:31

    Possible short-sleeved summer dress on the lady in the window might mean later in the timeframe.

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    • 03/Aug/2017 08:23:58

    Here, I guess:,610098,578174,11,9

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    • 03/Aug/2017 08:44:28

    Looking 'hairier' in "circa 1900" via []

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    • 03/Aug/2017 09:27:12

    Mr French / Lawrence visited Myrtle Grove too - which are the same as the Cork City Library photo above. And Mr French went inside - , which shows portraits of and his wife . They retired to Myrtle Grove and restored the place in 1907, according to, which shows a photo of Edith. "Following a long and successful career in the Colonial Service, in 1907 Henry Blake retired, aged sixty-seven years. He and Edith paid a final visit to Jamaica, before settling in Ireland, at Myrtle Grove in Youghal, a large Elizabethan house that they set about repairing and renovating. After his death in 1918, Edith remained in mourning for the rest of her life, rarely venturing outside the walls of Myrtle Grove. Through the services of a medium, a Miss Barlow, she attempted to make contact with Henry in the hereafter. Edith died at Myrtle Grove on 18 April 1926." I am thinking one of those ladies in the windows is Lady Edith Blake ...

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    • 03/Aug/2017 09:30:53

    Mr French visited at least twice - pre-restoration ie before 1907 - post restoration ie after 1907 - Fascinating! EDIT - the first photo here was taken by Mr Poole (not French) - so he was here before the 1907 restoration. I am confusing myself ...

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    • 03/Aug/2017 09:36:56

    I'm at a Dog show!!

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    • 03/Aug/2017 10:36:23

    Here is a bit of a find via Trove - a letter to the editor of 'The Australasian' in 1883 from a previous owner of Myrtle Grove (from his mother's family), with vivid descriptions of the house, garden, Raleigh's potatoes and yew trees etc. Probably has not been seen in 135 years !! -

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    • 03/Aug/2017 11:33:22

    Sir Walter Raleigh planted the first wallflowers ever seen in Ireland beside his home in Youghal, brought in the potato as well, laid his cloak beneath the feet of Queen Elizabeth 1st and later died a desperate death in The Tower of London. In all he built up 142,000 acres of land in Munster and most, if not all, of this fell down to Richard Boyle, Earl of Cork, and the father of Robert Boyle, the Father of Chemistry. I rather like Walter Raleigh.

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    coffee robbie..thank you for 1.2 million views

    • 03/Aug/2017 14:06:15

    the house is still in private ownership and access is not possible. sadly it appears to be in very poor repair. i have heard the internal staircase is no longer safe. the only angle you can now see the house from is from the neighboring collegiate church. see my artificially aged photo link here

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    • 03/Aug/2017 17:24:57

    Apparently he murdered islanders in Donegal too. I think the manner of his death was poetic justice. As far as I know, his cousin, Francis Drake, led the first ever slaving expedition to Africa resulting in slaves being transported to the Americas. It's a handsome house though. Definitely very different to my idea of a cottage too, specifications wise.

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    • 03/Aug/2017 19:38:00

    As with the NIAH entry that [[email protected]] links, the Wikipedia article recounts the apocryphal story that Myrtle Grove was the first place in Ireland where potatoes were grown (and tobacco was smoked).

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 03/Aug/2017 23:32:41

    Thanks all! Fascinating stuff indeed. Glad to hear Raleigh's legacy wasn't all tubers, tobacco and trouble! Map, tags, etc all updated....

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    • 07/Aug/2017 17:16:08

    Flowery description from the 1830s.

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    Dr. Ilia

    • 16/Aug/2017 05:00:06

    Very nice work

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    O hOisin

    • 19/Aug/2017 08:25:15

    So sad the state it's in, it a real pity more might not be done to save it /2013/04/myrtle-grove-youghal-co-cork.html

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    O hOisin

    • 19/Aug/2017 08:26:27

    sorry the link was

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 19/Aug/2017 08:40:56 thanks

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    • 04/Nov/2017 17:35:29

    Martin Hessio

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    • 26/Feb/2020 08:44:16

    UCD's Professor Tadhg O'Keeffe set out very thorough and compelling evidence against Myrtle Grove having been Walter Raleigh's residence in Youghal, at a January 2019 lecture to Cork Historical and Archaeological Society on Cork's Plantation architecture.