A jewel in the crown

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Where: Leinster, Ireland

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When: Unknown

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It has been a long time since we had an image from the Wiltshire Collection, so an early morning view of Iveagh House seems like a great way to redress that loss! This is one of Morning Mary’s favourite buildings in Dublin and the interior is even better than it’s splendid exterior!

+++ UPDATE +++
We had a fabulously ghosty story from Bernard Healy about Holy Thursdays in Dublin, and the widespread belief that a cross appeared in one of the windows of Iveagh House – so widespread that crowds used to gather outside in the hopes of seeing the cross. An article in the Evening Herald newspaper from June 1976 confirmed this long-held Dublin belief. Sadly, it seems it was just a great story, and nothing but “a natural flaw in the original glass caused the vision of the cross”.

And do read beachcomber australia's story from Trove for a flaming example of a scathing Edwardian burn against Lord Iveagh and his decorating notions...

Photographer: Elinor Wiltshire

Collection: Wiltshire Photographic Collection

Date: 1967

NLI Ref: WIL 35[7]

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: 9208
elinorwiltshire rolleiflexcamera rolleiflex wiltshirephotographiccollection nationallibraryofireland elinoro’brienwiltshire iveaghhouse ststephensgreen dublin lordiveagh guinnessfamily townhouse leinster ireland departmentofforeignaffairs

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  • profile

    Bernard Healy

    • 19/Nov/2020 09:11:20

    Wonderful! In a past life I used to work on St Stephen's Green, just a few doors away from Iveagh House. I remember reading years ago in a book of ghost stories that tradition held that a ghostly cross appeared at one of the windows every Holy Thursday. I've heard at least two explainations for it. The first is that a Catholic servant died in one of the rooms and was refused permission for a visit from a priest by the Protestant owners. The apparition of the cross is said to be a reminder of that injustice. The second is that one of the Guinness family was dying and was being assisted at her deathbed by a Catholic nurse who held a crucifix. Lord Iveagh, we are told, snatched away the crucifix and flung it out the window. I'm not sure if anyone goes to look for the cross any more. I heard somewhere that a crowd used to gather on Holy Thursday to spot it. I suppose a trick of the light is the most likely explaination. Has anyone ever seen it?

  • profile

    Carol Maddock

    • 19/Nov/2020 09:20:33

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardhealy I have not! Though will keep an eye out for it in future...

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 19/Nov/2020 09:24:30

    Sometimes Flickr is amazing! In 2016 (including bollards) via [https://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelfoleyphotography/], who has a fantastic album of interior shots which will delight Morning Mary - [https://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelfoleyphotography/27349016585/in/album-72157638447325373/] From his album - www.flickr.com/photos/michaelfoleyphotography/albums/7215...

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 19/Nov/2020 09:38:45

    I see the lovely Elinor Wiltshire took at least six photos of this facade for some reason. All the photos manage to cut off the top of the building, and show a good deal of road and parking spaces. Was her viewfinder skew-whiff?

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    DannyM8

    • 19/Nov/2020 09:46:44

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardhealy] There is a great photo in the Catalogue from the Morgan Aerial Photographic Collection NPA MOR630 which shows Iveagh Gardens and the back of the house.

  • profile

    Michael Foley Photography

    • 19/Nov/2020 09:47:21

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/ Thanks Beachcomber!

  • profile

    Carol Maddock

    • 19/Nov/2020 09:47:23

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/bernardhealy

    OLD DUBLIN LEGEND IS RECALLED From JOHN FINEGAN in Listowel A famous Dublin legend surfaced in a fascination address at Writers' Week here on Folklore by Dr. Sean O Suilleabhain, of U.C.D. As a boy, I myself remember on successive Holy Thursday evenings going, with hundreds of other Dubliners to Iveagh House, 82 St. Stephen's Green, then the town residence of the Guinness family, to see on the glass of a ground floor window the shadow of a cross, which, so it was said, could only be seen on Holy Thursdays. The story was that a girl servant in the mansion at some earlier time had been beaten for praying and thrown through the window, on the glass of which an astonishing cross appeared each Holy Week. The tale was a myth, observed Dr. O Suilleabhain who said that when Lord Iveagh handed over the mansion to Mr. de Valera for the Department of External Affairs, the first thing the Department did was to change the glass. This put an end to the legend and to the cross. What had happened was that a natural flaw in the original glass caused the vision of the cross.
    (Evening Herald, 3 June 1976)

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 19/Nov/2020 09:50:03

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelfoleyphotography Lovely photo, well done.

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    robinparkes

    • 19/Nov/2020 09:53:27

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia Just, maybe, not compensating when using a twin lens reflex. A very rare error from one so accomplished.

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 19/Nov/2020 10:03:15

    Footpathview (including the bollard) - goo.gl/maps/T6zGHDqy2S6b1hxf6

  • profile

    Bernard Healy

    • 19/Nov/2020 10:06:49

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Thank you!

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 19/Nov/2020 10:37:02

    Via Trove, this 1939 description, including - " ... Iveagh House is a historic building, and dates from the time when Dublin was the finest capital in Europe. One good story which is told about it illustrates that pathetic snobbery which was the badge of the old "country families" which, having inherited wide acres from the various plantations, affected to look down their noses at people who made their money by buying and selling. And they were very consistent in this attitude—they had as much contempt for the captain of industry as for the local butcher. The story goes that when King Edward VII. visited Dublin, a great ball was planned in his honour at Iveagh House. A whole army of painters and decorators was employed to do the place up from top to bottom, miles of red carpet were ordered, and money was lavished on decorations of every kind. The only fly in the ointment was that the house next door had been shut up for twenty years, and that its unpainted woodwork and dust-laden windows quite spoiled the glory of Iveagh House. Lord Iveagh wrote to the owner, a Miss --- , who lived somewhere in the midlands, and asked her, in view of the circumstances, to have her house done up, or at least to let him do it up. It was a very reasonable request, but it met with a most emphatic refusal. Lord Iveagh's letter came back to him by return of post, and with it the following message scrawled in spidery writing along the margin: "Miss --- does not correspond with persons in business." " See - trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/172033386 "The most remarkable private ballroom in the world" - trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/186585347 (1910)

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    arensee

    • 19/Nov/2020 21:39:34

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] Carol and Bernard, Re; The "Holy Thursday Cross", I just this morning uploaded one of my own ! flic.kr/p/2k88Uvb I do hope the link works, Raymond

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 19/Nov/2020 22:54:21

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/arensee Very good!!

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 20/Nov/2020 08:22:04

    Apologies for banging on about this; it is intended as comment not criticism. Elinor Wiltshire had a habit/style of including a lot of foreground at the expense of the tops of buildings. Possibly to emphasize perspective and/or to show front doors off better. I have no idea; somebody might know. Here are some examples; there are plenty more in the catalogue - https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland/30461548907/https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland/34165304231/https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland/33873184500/https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland/23737405856/