Bunlin Bridge, Co. Donegal

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Where: Unknown

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When: 01 January 1875

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We had another personality lined up for today, but since yesterday’s post I have The Rising of the Moon playing live in my head, so we’re off to Donegal! Bunlin Bridge somewhere in that beautiful county looks like quite a feat to create the causeway and build the bridge. Is it still as picturesque today?

+++ UPDATE +++
A big thank you to all of our usual suspects for finding out, and more importantly, for telling us that the cottage, the mill wheel, and the humpback bridge are sadly, long gone. The cottage was Widow Algoe’s, and Tuck Mill was a flax mill. They unearthed references to Molly Maguire activity in the area, and open-air masses in the late 1860s. In 1876, the widowed Mrs Algoe was evicted with her six children from the cottage for allegedly cutting some trees, “contrary to the order of” her landlord. She retook possession of her cottage in 1878, perhaps thinking that the assassination of her landlord, Lord Leitrim, might save her. However, the estate's agents evicted her again. And our resident newspaperman, John Spooner discovered that in August 1939, the Londonderry Sentinel newspaper considered it newsworthy that a pair of swans chose this inlet to nest and rear their young – must have been a very slow news month.

Photographer: Robert French

Collection: Lawrence Photograph Collection

Date: Circa 1865 - 1914

NLI Ref: L_ROY_01279

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: 13746
robertfrench williamlawrence lawrencecollection lawrencephotographicstudio glassnegative nationallibraryofireland bunlinbridge codonegal ulster bridge causeway cottage tolls lawrencephotographcollection

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  • profile

    O Mac

    • 15/Apr/2020 08:09:06

    Stone humpback bridge long gone as is cottage at junction.. Streetview... R940 maps.app.goo.gl/7tyLwRwHKYf2Nhd96

  • profile

    O Mac

    • 15/Apr/2020 08:34:03

    A Google search brings up an image of "Widow Algoe's cottage and Tuck Mill, near Bunlin" which is interesting as shows bridge and cottage as per above photo. www.gettyimages.ae/detail/news-photo/widow-algoes-cottage...

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 15/Apr/2020 08:43:03

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] See the water wheel at full blast (see note)

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    suckindeesel

    • 15/Apr/2020 08:44:27

    Can't locate the cottage on the 25-inch, bit.ly/2z2haIA , but the 6-inch shows a "flax mill"

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 15/Apr/2020 08:44:55

    There's a companion photo from a similar spot with a large man on a small donkey, and an EXCELLENT view of Mr French's negative case, all scratched and battered - catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000325746

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 15/Apr/2020 08:47:49

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia This is a fine shot but the link leads to an outstanding shot!

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    derangedlemur

    • 15/Apr/2020 08:50:22

    Is this flipped (See streetview goo.gl/maps/qgbSsm97KG858Gga9 and OSI bit.ly/2xv2WiX), or is it taken from up the hill (goo.gl/maps/vq8CVhWeBtCmYu7D7)?

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    Foxglove

    • 15/Apr/2020 08:51:18

    the keystone cops (wacky races) used to use their feet to speed their charabang along, I think the tall man in the link above helps to walk with his gonkey ! I found a recent photo of the bridge on geography.ie, the modern bridge over a trickle of a stream is but a concrete eyesore

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    Foxglove

    • 15/Apr/2020 08:53:12

    oh also lots of references to Molly Maguire activity around this area as well as open air Masses / late 1860

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 15/Apr/2020 09:27:05

    Flickr is sometimes amazing! One of those open-air masses in Bunlin ed. dated 1867, with 'donkey man' bottom right (??). Via https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/ https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/49055480122/

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    suckindeesel

    • 15/Apr/2020 09:47:21

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] Not flipped, but shot taken from the original road, between bridge and sawmill, which is also gone. Above and behind cottage is what looks like a water wheel, fitting the description of Flax Mill in the six inch bit.ly/2xxUf7r The map also shows a stream fed from a small lake coming down directly behind the cottage. Both stream and lake are gone in the later twenty five inch.

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 15/Apr/2020 10:46:38

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] More about 'Widow Algoe' in 1876, via Trove ... "... a number of evictions have lately taken place on the Donegal property of Lord Leitrim. On Sunday last, 5th March [1876], at Bunlin, near Milfred{sic - Milford], a respectable widow woman, named Mrs. Algoe, with her six young children, and three cottier families, were evicted, the offence being, it is said, that the woman cut some trees, contrary to the order of arrangement of the landlord. ... ..." From - trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/170431942?searchTerm=b...

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    John Spooner

    • 15/Apr/2020 11:39:37

    In August 1939 a pair of swans chose the inlet near Bunlin Bridge as a place to rear their young, The Londonderry Sentinel considered this newsworthy.

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    suckindeesel

    • 15/Apr/2020 12:01:18

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia A 1796 list of Donegal flax growers includes: Algeo Alexander Kilmacrenan Donegal Algeo Robert Kilmacrenan Donegal Algeo William Kilmacrenan Donegal Algo Alexander Donaghmore Donegal Algoe Robert Tully Donegal Perhaps the cottage was raised following her eviction, which would explain its absence from the later 25-inch. Could give a date range for photo of 1876-? Graphic is dated 1878.

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    suckindeesel

    • 15/Apr/2020 12:44:03

    Tuck Mill from Wiki en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fulling "From the medieval period, the fulling of cloth often was undertaken in a water mill, known as a fulling mill, a walk mill, or a tuck mill, and in Wales, a pandy. In these, the cloth was beaten with wooden hammers, known as fulling stocks or fulling hammers. Fulling stocks were of two kinds, falling stocks (operating vertically) that were used only for scouring, and driving or hanging stocks. In both cases the machinery was operated by cams on the shaft of a waterwheel or on a tappet wheel, which lifted the hammer."

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    suckindeesel

    • 15/Apr/2020 13:16:39

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] The original Graphic illustration archive.org/details/nationalgraphic1878unse/page/307/mode... is entitled: "A recent eviction on the Leitrim Estate - Widow Algoe's cottage and tuck mill." a less romantic title than the version on Getty. The Graphic article also includes some background on the "Eviction on the Leitrim Estate", see page 307, I'm thinking there's more to this pic than a romantic landscape.

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 15/Apr/2020 14:06:45

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] Yes, it seems like a sad story. Here is another version by a schoolgirl Una McCafferty about 60 years later - www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4493672/4409650 . She also mentions a well, the waterfall - catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000325747 , and the "Scallen" or mass rock, seen in the 1867 photo. And then in 1878 Lord Leitrim the landowner was murdered - www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/4493672/4409640/4519141?ChapterID=4...

  • profile

    O Mac

    • 15/Apr/2020 16:43:29

    suckindeesel When it came to flax they weren't lax....... those Algoes were all go. From that Una McCaffrey account the bold Beachcomber found.. "Willy Boyle built a two story house on the site of Algoes house..." which could be this one... close to where mill house was maps.app.goo.gl/DXXTBpeEp4ESzQ46A There isn't a Algoe touching flax from 1901 or having anything to do with nip and tuck mills. www.census.nationalarchives.ie/search/results.jsp?searchM...

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    suckindeesel

    • 15/Apr/2020 17:55:36

    It appears, according the Graphic account that the widow was evicted twice, in 1876 as per Trove, and in 1878 when she retook possession of the cottage again. She may have been encouraged in this by the assination of her landlord, Lord Leitrim, some months earlier. This took place in the nearby area. tomgallen.com/2013/09/the-killing-of-lord-leitrim/ In this she was mistaken as agents for the estate evicted her again. Sort of reminds me of the Castlebar tenants who still had to pay ground rent to the estate of the infamous, but missing, Lord Lucan.

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    O Mac

    • 15/Apr/2020 19:15:57

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/] You missed this "flickr is sometimes amazing" one flic.kr/p/9HE4et

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    suckindeesel

    • 15/Apr/2020 20:14:58

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] [https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] Very good! The local flax industry may have been in decline by the time of the photo. The buildings behind the cottage look more ruinous than in the 1878 Graphic illustration and the waterwheel appears to be out of use. However, despite being.evicted, the cottage is still occupied, judging by the smokey chimney. You're probably correct re the Willy Boyle house which is shown on the 25-in, but not the 6-in. Looks like it was built on the site of the mill, not the cottage, which is somebody's front garden to this day. I think the cottage itself occupied this site: goo.gl/maps/aBgRnBsMnrfsWk8V9 Somewhere on a dusty shelf in the labyrinthine bowels beneath Kildare St., the last redoubt against the upcoming Covid/Zombie apocalypse, lies the correspondence between Leitrim and his brief, i.e. NLI, MS 21, 753. historyhub.ie/wp-content/files_mf/1551383510BThomas_FTAFi... He must have become paranoid and lived in fear of his life, having escaped an earlier assination attempt. "Lough Rynn, Sept 30, 1860 Dear Sir, I thank you for your kind congratulations at my recent escape from assassination and being made the victim of political conspiracy, but at the same time I must observe that the best way to prevent such crimes is to carry the law into full effect and I was very sorry to learn that recently when two men were brought before the bench at Mohill for being in arms in a Proclaimed district the bench took advice from the counsel of the defendants and dismissed the case, and ordered the arms to be returned which was clearly contrary to law. I shall recommend when any serious matter should occur and when you are in doubt as to the law to postpone the case until you are better informed, and not to trust to what may be stated by the defendant. Faithfully yours, -L" Such a dark history lying behind what at first glance appears to be just another picturesque view.

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    O Mac

    • 15/Apr/2020 21:09:07

    Look whats just up the road... The very spot where that 1867 anti-social distancing open air Mass was held ... www.google.com/maps/@55.1005009,-7.7150159,3a,50.5y,306.0...

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 15/Apr/2020 21:43:14

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] (who should be self-isolating in The Pun Bin) - is that just out of frame to the right? [Aside] Heaps of articles in Trove about the lousy landlord Lord Leitrim - Grisly details of death (1878) - trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/111097038 The inquest - trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/111097182 Mr French would surely have been well aware of all this drama when he set up his trusty tripod for this sylvan scene. After a good night's sleep, I still think that 'donkey man' is the same fellow bottom right of the 1867 photo, 10 or 20 years after. Opinions anyone ...

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 15/Apr/2020 22:06:36

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland A BIG THANK YOU to the NLI and all the Marys for still posting these wonderful photos in troubled times. The brain food and escapism to different times and places are invaluable. Thanks!

  • profile

    O Mac

    • 15/Apr/2020 22:37:46

    BeachcomberAustralia Yep...I second that... Thank you to the many NLI Marys.... nothing is black and white anymore...except your lovely photographs That Mass rock is just out of frame to the right. When 'zoomed' way in on the cottage I noticed a stone culvert under the road. This must have been for the little mills tail race.. All lost now to road widening....

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 16/Apr/2020 07:52:18

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Thank you for your very kind comments, much appreciated. Mary

  • profile

    slcchassis

    • 29/Oct/2020 01:57:26

    Close to my heart. flic.kr/p/gcatum & also... flic.kr/p/g9w41B