Stella Maris Hotel, Kilkee, Co. Clare, late 19th century

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Where: Clare, Ireland

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When: 01 January 1890

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Tourists and locals taking their ease outside the Stella Maris Hotel in Kilkee. Hope that's a sleeping dog in the foreground...

This photo was taken in the late 19th century, probably by Robert French, chief photographer of William Lawrence Photographic Studios of Dublin.

You can compare this view of Kilkee with its companion photo taken approximately 100 years later as part of the Lawrence Photographic Project 1990/1991, where one thousand photographs from the Lawrence Collection in the National Library of Ireland were replicated a hundred years later by a team of volunteer photographers, thereby creating a record of the changing face of the selected locations all over Ireland.

For further information on the Lawrence Photographic Project, read all about it on our NLI Blog.

Date: 1890???

NLI Ref.: L_ROY_04233

Info:

Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 45710
stellamarishotel kilkee clare ireland munster hotel kent confectioner sausages poster clarecoast kilrushregatta star mhickey hickey robertfrench williamlawrence lawrencecollection glassnegative lawrencephotographicproject federationforulsterlocalstudies fuls federationoflocalhistorysocieties 1890s flaunching chimney stack pot oconnellstreet ocurrystreet nationallibraryofireland

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  • profile

    Vab2009

    • 13/Jun/2012 09:10:30

    I love that everyone is still sitting on that wall in 1990!!!

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 13/Jun/2012 09:26:08

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/vab2009 Some things never change!

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    Niall McAuley

    • 13/Jun/2012 09:28:30

    Still in business today: Hotel website.

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    Niall McAuley

    • 13/Jun/2012 09:29:40

    but they've put an iron railing on that wall to stop folks sitting there: Streetview

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 13/Jun/2012 09:31:28

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley Boooo! (to the railing)

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 13/Jun/2012 09:43:49

    We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the Stella Maris.

  • profile

    DannyM8

    • 13/Jun/2012 09:48:28

    Interestingly there is a Hickies bar Just across the road from the hotel - see 2nd Streetview I wonder if they are related to the Original M Hickey?

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    Niall McAuley

    • 13/Jun/2012 09:49:28

    What is the shop next door called? Is it Kent? In the 1911 census, we have Bridget and Helena Kent, shopkeepers and confectioners. But in 1901, Bridget Kent is only a 17 year old apprentice confectioner. But she is a niece of the boss, Bridget Johnson, a widow. Perhaps Bridget Johnson was née Kent, and the shop always went by that name? Or perhaps the photo is from after 1901, and the young nieces are in charge?

  • profile

    John Spooner

    • 13/Jun/2012 10:05:14

    In 1899 'Spectator from Hallamshire' visited the West of Ireland, and his/her account of the trip appeared on June 3rd 1899 in the Sheffield and Rotherham Independent., including a rather unflattering account of the hotel at Kilkee - the only aspect of the holiday which was not a success. All the other hotels he/she stayed at are named, but frustratingly not the one at Kilkee.

    From Killarney we went to Kilkee. I suppose the dirtect distance is something like 50 miles, and we were ten hours on the way, owing to the Shannon route not being open. I am not sorry to have seen Kilkee, though it is a melancholy place. the cliffs are fine; the Atlantic is magnificent there - absolutely unsurpassed in my experience; the bathing is perfect; the air sweet and bracing. Kilkee must always command a summer crowd; but its properity is on the wane, I fancy. Lahinch is the place to stay in Clare. From it you can visit Lisdoonvarna, the Cliffs of Moher, and Kilkee, and, beside its golf links, it has a clean-looking hotel of which everyone spoke well. Kilkee, on the other hand gave the primest samples of melancholy slatternliness, combined with high prices, that we found. We went to the hotel that had been recommended to us as the best. It was late at night when we arrived, and we had fed in the train, so that all I wanted was a drink of milk. I asked for a pint boiled, and got it in a pint jug. The price charged for that milk was two shillings. If you didn't trip up in the dining room, by catching your foot in rents in the carpet a foot long, you might make your way to the drawing room after dinner, sit on a cane-bottomed chair with a hole in it through which you could thrust your fist, and drink coffee at a shilling a small cup. The sea is surpassingly lovely at Kilkee, but it is a relief to think that I shall never go there ahgain till it has a hotel of the kind one finds in Connemara.
    Edit: from www.kilkee.ie/about_history.html. Plenty of hotels to choose from
    The first hotel in Kilkee was Sampy's Hotel in Francis Street (now Grattan St). Other Hotels developed in the late 19th century included Moore's Hotel, West End Hotel, Blundell's Hotel, Atlantic Hotel, Browne's Hotel, Royal Marina Hotel and the Stella Maris Hotel.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 13/Jun/2012 10:07:08

    Mr Chavalier's advertisement in the Limerick Chronicle, was placed beside another one for Michael Kent's shop in Kilkee (beside the Stella Maris Hotel) which boasted that he had been in business for thirteen years and that his celebrated pies and Bewley's mineral waters were available to tourists and visitors. In Kilkee, as elsewhere that summer, everyone was talking about the trial of Oscar Wilde in London where also a statue, nine foot in height and made of solid silver, of Limerick born actress, Ada Rehan, went on exhibition. From a history of the Limerick Athenaeum, apparently referring to 1895. So, before Bridget Johnson, the shop was owned by Michael Kent since 1882. No help in dating the photo after all.

  • profile

    Vab2009

    • 13/Jun/2012 10:21:46

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley That is no fun - nothing better than a wall in the sun!

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 13/Jun/2012 10:24:30

    I wonder if M Hickey is Maria, Fancy Draper? Seems likely, given that the head of household is a Hotelier and Draper.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 13/Jun/2012 10:31:53

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] There are both Hickeys and Hickies in the 1901 census, so two families I'd say.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 13/Jun/2012 10:48:36

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley Definitely Kent!

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    ClickKen04

    • 13/Jun/2012 11:11:57

    I was in this hotel last May 2011, (during the Indian Summer we had) , there was no other pub/bar open only this, so had some lovely Toasted sandwiches served with a smile in there! :)

  • profile

    John Spooner

    • 13/Jun/2012 13:06:08

    On January 16th 1896, Mr P Lestrange Cummins, proprietor of the Stella Maris, Kilkeee, was finally cleared of retailing beer on his premises without the necessary license. Report in Freeman's the following day.

  • profile

    nutty stranger

    • 13/Jun/2012 13:17:22

    I love watching the before and after pictures, thanks for everything, is a luxury to enjoy them. Warm greetings from Valencia (Spain)

  • profile

    blackpoolbeach

    • 13/Jun/2012 18:04:00

    No chimney pots on the thatched roof. Were they burning turf? Coal arrived with the railways. Massive flaunching on the hotel chimneys, or they had special bricks on top of the stacks. maps.osi.ie/publicviewer/#V1,488673,660019,7,9 Flaunching - a new tag for the NLI.

  • profile

    Ray_Flynn

    • 14/Jun/2012 00:11:44

    I think the sign on the door is Clare Coast

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    oaktree_brian_1976

    • 14/Jun/2012 03:38:29

    The dog is made of rags? Doesn't look very canine when you look at the big picture...

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    economic quiet

    • 14/Jun/2012 06:41:13

    Looks like Lake Coast to me, but then Clare Coast makes a lot more sense.

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    John Spooner

    • 14/Jun/2012 08:13:25

    Freeman's Journal, April 7th 1892 has an announcement by the West Clare Tourist And Visitors' Association

    This Association has been formed for developing the tourist traffic on the Clare Coast by means of a pictorial poster and a guide book. The Committee invite subscriptions to aid in carrying out to objects of the association. The following have already subscribed;
    And who should we find on the list the subscribers - none other than Cummins, Lestrange, who has subscribed £2. So if this is the poster in question, the picture was taken after April 1892 - the guide book hadn't been published by that date, as other announcements in the same week appeared touting for advertisers in the guide.

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 14/Jun/2012 09:44:34

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnspooner] Brilliant! The railway arrived in 1892 also, at least for goods. See history of Kilkee (including a bit about nudie bathing!) - www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclare/places/kilkee_history.htm

  • profile

    Paddy Waldron

    • 24/Nov/2013 22:34:36

    I've tried to match up the 1901 and 1911 censuses of O'Curry Street in a spreadsheet. There are enough houses still in the same family or bearing the same names today (Nolan, Collins, Naughton) or in the recent past (many more) that it is clear that the numbers run down the inland side of the street from Maud's ice cream at no.1 to Kent's corner, now the Central Stores (no.27 in 1901, no.26 in 1911). Then they come back up the sea side to Nolan's Deli (no.49 in 1901, no.54 in 1911). The Kent family at Kent's corner are the only Kent family in Kilkee in either 1901 or 1911, so there were no Kents living in the house beside the Stella Maris then. It seems likely that it was the same Kent family that moved from one end of the street to the other, as Ashe's 1891-'2 Directory (p.140, Kilkee) lists `Kent Miss, Queen street' under Confectioners, as well as listing `Hickey Mary, Queen street' under both Boot and Shoemakers and Drapers. But Ashe doesn't list Cummins. All in all, I think these are good hints that this photograph dates from between 1891 and 1901.

  • profile

    Paddy Waldron

    • 24/Nov/2013 22:53:55

    The death of Peter L'Estrange Cummins aged 50 was registered in Kilrush in 1901 Q4 and that of Jane Cummins aged 56 in in 1904 Q1.

  • profile

    Paddy Waldron

    • 24/Mar/2014 21:36:45

    When I joined this discussion back in November, I thought it was impossible that a copy of the Clare Coast poster in the door of the Stella Maris might have survived. Thanks to Liam Hogan, it has been doing the rounds on twitter and facebook in the last few days, in full technicolour! https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc3/t1.0-9/q71/s720x720/969881_10153937845085611_1715711762_n.jpg" />

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 25/Mar/2014 11:36:36

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/pwaldron Excellent!

  • profile

    Info Hotel Murah di Indonesia

    • 22/Jul/2014 22:40:10

    amazing hotel!..... bisa dijadikan list kuliner di blog Info Hotel Murah » Tempat Wisata » Kuliner Indonesia

  • profile

    Info Hotel Murah di Indonesia

    • 02/Aug/2014 00:30:56

    yang pecinta bakso ngacung!!!!.... pecinta kuliner bakso khususnya yang berlibur ke bandung, saudaranya dibandung, atau orang bandungnya sendiri tapi belum nyoba ke tempat ini nih.... dijamin liburan dibandungnya berkesan info selengkapnya... Mie Bakso Akung Bandung

  • profile

    O Mac

    • 19/Jan/2016 15:28:13

    Board on wall outside Kent's says. Confectionery, Bread Daily, Mineral Water, and Materson's Sausages catalogue.nli.ie/Record/vtls000334029

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    Niall McAuley

    • 21/Apr/2021 13:18:12

    I see Bridget Kent marrying Peter Johnson on the 5th of March 1878 (no image) in Limerick. Transcription: Name Peter J Johnson AgeFull Address Waterford Occupation Clerk Civil Status Never Married Father's Forename James Father's Surname Johnson Father's Profession Farrier Signature Peter J Johnson Party 2 Name Bridget Kent Age Full Address William St Civil Status Never Married Father's Forename Thomas Father's Surname Kent (Deceased) Father's Profession Farmer Signature Bridget Kent Marriage Information Date of Event 05 March 1878 Marriage Solemnised At AddressT he Catholic Church of, St Michael Solemnised According To the Rites and Ceremonies of the Roman Catholic Church Solemniser Forename Daniel Solemniser Surname Fitzgerald Witness Witness 1 Daniel Lambert Witness 2 Ellen Kent Other Information Group Registration ID1611490 RegistrarJ Holmes Registration District/Office Limerick Urban No. 3 Registration SR District/Reg Area Limerick Registration County Limerick Date of Registration 13/03/1878

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 21/Apr/2021 15:00:47

    Bridget Johnson, the aunt, died in December 1903, Helena Kent present.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 21/Apr/2021 15:51:01

    To the right of the Clare Coast poster (from 1892 on) the other poster in Hickey's window seems to say: Postponement Kilrush Marine Regatta! The regatta is mentioned in September 1895 in both the Freeman's Journal and the Irish Times, but I can't read the articles.