Square, Portlaw, Co. Waterford

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Where: Munster, Waterford, Ireland

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When: Unknown

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We stay in County Waterford for today's offering from the Lawrence collection. Again we have a square that does not look very square-like at all. The whole scene looks very planned, which is unusual in itself. What can you tell us about this interesting photograph?

Photographer: Robert French

Collection: Lawrence Photograph Collection

Date: Circa 1865-1914

NLI Ref: L_CAB_04057

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: 8857
robertfrench williamlawrence lawrencecollection lawrencephotographicstudio glassnegative nationallibraryofireland portlaw waterford munster square malcolmsonfamily almhouses ireland quakers cotton cottonkings corn malcolmson lawrencephotographcollection

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    derangedlemur

    • 13/Aug/2020 06:15:40

    I had thought Portlaw was an estate village, but this looks much more like a mill town, and sure enough, the 25" shows a grand big cotton factory.

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    Foxglove

    • 13/Aug/2020 07:10:22

    another Quaker model village. 3Ps, no pubs, no pawn, ergo ...no police. Looks like no dogs either! though the smudge in the corner could be a chicken

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    DannyM8

    • 13/Aug/2020 07:25:23

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/ Please refrain from calling my Dog a chicken!

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    derangedlemur

    • 13/Aug/2020 07:35:44

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/foxglove] The police are down the road in the old village. bit.ly/33TyKf5

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 13/Aug/2020 07:51:19

    Yes, as squares go, this is not very! I count six streets and now a circular roundabout in the middle. Streetview - goo.gl/maps/rGdydAfMzzeZxkFf7

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 13/Aug/2020 08:18:09

    Reverse-ish view shows the Waterford Hotel (on the left here) and a licensee(?) "W. HARNEY", and a wonderful bowler-hatted character dancing a jig for the camera - catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000335787 . Might provide a date - thinking it all looks very 1880s.

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    suckindeesel

    • 13/Aug/2020 08:30:15

    What a dull looking place, compared to the street life of previous photos

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    Bernard Healy

    • 13/Aug/2020 08:35:11

    The historical population figures for Portlaw are interesting: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portlaw Strong increases in population 1821, 1831, 1841, 1851; and then a decline from 1861 onwards. The changing economics of milling, etc... seem to explain it. The 1851 population of 3,774 is about twice the present-day population.

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    Bernard Healy

    • 13/Aug/2020 08:46:27

    The Schools Folklore Project has a wonderful history of Portlaw. According to it, Harney's Hotel was still in business in the 1930s. www.duchas.ie/en/cbes/5162149/5158912 Portlaw is a small town in the County Waterford it has a population of eight hundred people. It has no railway station. It has a post office a police barrack. Six public houses one hotel owned by Mrs. Harney. It has a Motor Garage owned by Clark. It has a five streets Queen Street, Main Street, William Street, Georges Street and Browne Street. Six houses in William Street are owned by Curraghmore. Most of the houses are flat roofed of timber and felt. In olden times Portlaw was only a small village until a family of the Malcomson's started a Cotton Industry. There that family was known throughout the World as the Cotton Kings. They erected a huge building on the banks of Clodagh a small river which is joining the Suir one mile below the town. In those days Portlaw had a population of two thousand. Twelve hundred worked in that great factory, until the South American War. When the slave trade were done away with the cotton trade collapsed. In those days that family were allowed to make their own leather money. Some of which is in the writers possession. After the slump the factory closed and the Malcomsoms left Portlaw for years after and the last of them died in Portlaw five years ago, the late George V. Malcomson. The factory remained closed until the present government came into office. It was opened as Tannery by an Irish company as the Irish Tanners, Limited. Portlaw. There are three hundred hands employed there at present making leather from raws material. It is once more a flourishing town with the new waterworks and electric light and forty new houses und construction. Those houses are being built by Edmond Titspatrick Curraghballin the builder and contractor and at the present day December fourteenth there is not one unemployed and in that town.

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    Foxglove

    • 13/Aug/2020 09:34:33

    I should edit my comment above, definitely not a 3P town !

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 13/Aug/2020 09:43:46

    Via Trove, an 1893 tale of another innkeeper in Portlaw, Adam Rogers, and his dream of a dreadful murder nearby - trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/19026637

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 13/Aug/2020 09:57:16

    Aha! There is a great big fountain / lamp outside the Post Office (marked "Fn ." on the 25" map) not evident here. Local newspapers may tell of the new fountain. Seen here - catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000318061

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    Bernard Healy

    • 13/Aug/2020 11:10:07

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia Survey date for that sheet of the 25" map was 1906.

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    Bernard Healy

    • 13/Aug/2020 11:12:44

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] This page gives more details of the fountain, suggesting a date of 1887. memorialdrinkingfountains.wordpress.com/tag/portlaw/ I am not sure if that date is soild. How quickly would it have been erected after the man's death?

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    rpgvlwqt88

    • 13/Aug/2020 11:18:53

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] Great shot with Mayfield House in the background as well en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malcomson_family Poor old Mayfield House isn't in a good state - risk rated as high by An Taisce which never bodes well www.antaisce.org/buildingsatrisk/mayfield-house-portlaw Fountain was cast by the Malcomson's foundry and erected in 1887 memorialdrinkingfountains.wordpress.com/tag/portlaw/

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    rpgvlwqt88

    • 13/Aug/2020 11:39:29

    The fountain.. www.buildingsofireland.ie/buildings-search/building/22803...

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 13/Aug/2020 11:44:21

    Quite detailed history of The Malcolmsons - Corn & Cotton Magnates on the Waterford County Museum site.

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 13/Aug/2020 12:50:56

    Yikes! The [https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] is always amazing! [https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland/42895068585/] Also - catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000590504

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 13/Aug/2020 15:34:08

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia Brilliant!

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    cargeofg

    • 13/Aug/2020 19:10:40

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardhealy I think there is a typo/transcription error in the Folklore Project...... Edmond Titspatrick perhaps should read Fitz.

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    suckindeesel

    • 13/Aug/2020 21:26:17

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] [https://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardhealy] Mr. French must have made at least two visits to Portlaw, pre and post fountain. The 25" is post fountain, surveyed 1905. Our photo is pre both fountain and P.O.? NIAH dates fountain as 1887. So, date range ? - 1887 A comparison between the 6" and the 25" shows only the mill and a few cottages unchanged. The whole place was completely redesigned, by a committee by the looks of it, and didn't grow "organically" in the normal way. I'll bet that square never saw a market, although one is shown in the 6" I'll say it again, what a dull looking place. The NIAH dates all the "modern" buildings in our photo as 1860, e.g. www.buildingsofireland.ie/buildings-search/building/22803... , the hotel s dated 1850 Gives us a date range of 1860 - 1887

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    rpgvlwqt88

    • 14/Aug/2020 09:37:49

    Some of the buildings and features were slightly later than that so I would say 1870 - 1887 www.dia.ie/works/search/portlaw

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    Dr. Ilia

    • 20/Aug/2020 08:00:06

    just beautiful!