Countynstables!

Download this image

More from this collection

Related by Where

Research Help!

Where: Northern Ireland, Down, United Kingdom

Try to find the spot where the photographer was standing.

When: 01 January 1879

Try to find the date or year when this image was made.
Found a typo in the title of this one! It reads: Steep street with Countynstables to centre of town with green land etc near sea. However, still think that Countynstables would have made a good name for a county's police force...

Thanks to Vab2009 who recognised this as Downpatrick, Co. Down.

Date: 1876-1882

NLI Ref: STP_2228

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: 34208
street hill constables militia hills uniforms cadets sideburns sergeant braid railings stereoscopiccollection stereopairs stereographicnegatives stereoscope jamessimonton frederickhollandmares johnlawrence lawrencecollection englishstreet downpatrick down ireland northernireland ulster downrecorder gilbert sullivan policemen nationallibraryofireland locationidentified 19thcentury

Add Tags
  • profile

    Swordscookie

    • 03/Dec/2012 10:13:21

    Nope, haven't got a clue;-)

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 03/Dec/2012 10:15:35

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/swordscookie Well, that's a very direct answer! :)

  • profile

    Swordscookie

    • 03/Dec/2012 10:19:48

    Unless somebody is very familiar with the view I can't see this being easy. There are no shop names, posters or other manmade evidence to help. The one redeeming feature is that gap in the hills on the other side of town. The steep slope of the hill and the obvious valley in which the town is situated would indicate either a sea or riverside location but that doesn't count for much in a small island like ours.

  • profile

    Vab2009

    • 03/Dec/2012 10:25:59

    I am 99.9% sure that this is Downpatrick, County Down. Looking down English Street, from the hill with the cathedral, past the jail, into the town. The lovely old buildings are still there on the left. The notch on the far hillside is slightly hidden from street view by the present building at the bottom of the street - now the Down Arts Centre .

  • profile

    Vab2009

    • 03/Dec/2012 10:30:57

    Sorry I have to zap off here for a while so I can't do anymore of the investigating :-( But at the bottom of the hill on the left are the offices of the Down Recorder newspaper which was estabished in 1836. What I am not sure of is if the building has been replaced since then (even though I have been in them - they do look old!!)

  • profile

    Swordscookie

    • 03/Dec/2012 10:39:54

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/vab2009 Well done Viv, that was quick off the mark. I had a look at Streetview and the fine brick building on the left there is still in existence though the one with the porch nearby appears to have been removed. You can still see the cairn or bump on the top of the left hand side of the hill in the distance and that there redbricked building does take from the gap between the hills!

  • profile

    whatsthatpicture

    • 03/Dec/2012 10:40:41

    Streetview link: maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=Downpatrick,+County+Down&ll=... The police station is still there, but now in a more modern building.

  • profile

    Swordscookie

    • 03/Dec/2012 10:44:58

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland http://www.flickr.com/photos/vab2009 While it's not possible to adjust the angle on Streetview if you follow the car down the street you can see an arch similar to the one in evidence on the original at the bottom of the street. http://www.flickr.com/photos/whatsthatpicture So that is the police station in the spot where the Porch was in the original?

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 03/Dec/2012 10:50:57

    Huzzah! And well done http://www.flickr.com/photos/vab2009 , and thanks for supporting evidence from http://www.flickr.com/photos/swordscookie & http://www.flickr.com/photos/whatsthatpicture - Location Identified tag now proudly added...

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 03/Dec/2012 10:54:26

    Also added to map, thanks to you all. Interesting that English Street collides with Irish Street down the bottom of the hill, I think! But don't all run away! Some squinting (technical term) needs doing on the uniforms for dating - sorry that they're small and far away...

  • profile

    whatsthatpicture

    • 03/Dec/2012 11:01:45

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland 'Collides with'?!!! http://www.flickr.com/photos/swordscookie I think in this image the police station may be out of view, adjacent to where the constables are standing

  • profile

    Vab2009

    • 03/Dec/2012 11:02:34

    Just flying past on my way..(sorry - I am getting things ready here!). Somewhere on the left is the present day courthouse (still in use) which is in a lovely old building - I am not sure if that is in the old police station but it is a listed building. It might be further up but that might give another wee research line.

  • profile

    whatsthatpicture

    • 03/Dec/2012 11:03:08

    I'm intrigued by the one ghostly looking figure, and also the 'double' policeman in the middle of the street. I suspect this may actually have been a double exposure in some way, but without moving the camera.

  • profile

    Vab2009

    • 03/Dec/2012 11:05:11

    Nope - I think the courthouse is behind the photographer www.devlin-family.com/courthouse.htm

  • profile

    Vab2009

    • 03/Dec/2012 11:07:29

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/whatsthatpicture I think he just walked a few steps and then stood still again - exposures were very long.

  • profile

    whatsthatpicture

    • 03/Dec/2012 11:15:58

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] and congratulations on the first geotagged Downpatrick image on Flickr Commons! www.whatsthatpicture.com/flickr/commons-map.php?lon=-6455... I was intrigued this morning to see that there are just 20 or so geotagged images of San Francisco on Flickr Commons, whereas thanks mainly to your efforts (and of course all those who help locate images) there are several Irish cities with comfortably more! e.g. Dublin (168), Waterford (165), Limerick (37) & Cork (25)

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 03/Dec/2012 11:24:09

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/whatsthatpicture Well, I never! Can't believe there're so few geotagged San Francisco images... Well done us! :)

  • profile

    derangedlemur

    • 03/Dec/2012 11:27:20

    I've actually met the county constable in Down. He's a mate or inlaw or some such of the bloke who owns Tyrella House (a hidden ireland B&B).

  • profile

    Gerry Ward

    • 03/Dec/2012 11:27:34

    It is pre-1882 - Downpatrick Town Hall, absent from the photo above, was built in 1882.

  • profile

    ccferrie

    • 03/Dec/2012 11:39:56

    That porch coincides with the location of the "County Rooms" on the 1947 map and still appears on the current OS Map although it has obviously been removed in the streetview.

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 03/Dec/2012 11:40:55

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gerryward Excellent! So, between 1860 and 1882...

  • profile

    ccferrie

    • 03/Dec/2012 11:41:01

    Improvements were made to the County Rooms facade in 1876 www.dia.ie/works/view/53781/building/CO.+DOWN,+DOWNPATRIC...

  • profile

    John Spooner

    • 03/Dec/2012 11:50:50

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland "Interesting that English Street collides with Irish Street down the bottom of the hill". In Dungannon it's Scotch Street which collides with Irish Street, but that's at the top of a hill.

  • profile

    ccferrie

    • 03/Dec/2012 11:51:27

    The County Rooms are described in Samuel Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of Ireland 1837: "The members of the Down hunt hold their annual meetings in a handsome building in English Street...which is also used for county meetings &c."

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 03/Dec/2012 11:59:06

    The 'two' policemen's lot is not a happy 'one' - youtu.be/OpVbBH9Ip8I?t=2m38s Let's call them Gilbert and Sullivan.

  • profile

    ccferrie

    • 03/Dec/2012 12:00:11

    Here's a view looking the opposite direction. You can make out the porch on the County Rooms

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 03/Dec/2012 12:16:33

    Reverse angle from the nli archive More constables, from the Lawrence collection this time. Does this one from Lawrence show the County Rooms without the porch? Edit: No, it shows the building hidden by the porch... but there is the town hall down the street!

  • profile

    Swordscookie

    • 03/Dec/2012 12:20:13

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley It was windy that day, the skirts are billowing and the young lady is holding onto her hat!

  • profile

    Gerry Ward

    • 03/Dec/2012 12:32:03

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Those 1876 'improvements' to the County Rooms included "harmonizing with older front", which is when it most likely lost its porch. So this photo is probably before 1876.

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 03/Dec/2012 12:38:58

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnspooner] From Wikipedia - " ... Four main thoroughfares are shown converging on a town plan of 1724, namely, English Street, Scotch (now Saul) Street, Barrack (now Scotch) Street, and Irish Street. ... "

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 03/Dec/2012 12:39:05

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gerryward I think it's more likely that 1876 is when the Rooms got the porch, as it's on the 1901, but not the 1859 map, so this shot is 1876-1882.

  • profile

    Gerry Ward

    • 03/Dec/2012 13:03:41

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley Thanks - haven't seen those maps!

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 03/Dec/2012 13:53:47

    In fairness to the OSNI, I give out that their site is hard to navigate and the map window is tiny (and unlinkable, unless anyone knows a way?) compared to the OSI, but they do have more editions from more dates available. South of the border, we would only see one 6" and one 25" map, probably the 1901. At OSNI, I can see the 1859 and 1947 maps, too.

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 03/Dec/2012 14:23:04

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley Was convinced for a moment that the "head honcho" constable was the same in both, but checked the Lawrence at high res, and I think it's just the mutton chops and moustache that created the illusion...

  • profile

    John Spooner

    • 03/Dec/2012 14:35:37

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] The County Rooms were the place to be on 16th December 1833 - for it was then that the Downpatrick Hunt Ball was held, as reported at great length in the Belfast News-letter of 31st December that year. Of the County Rooms the correspondent reports:

    The County Rooms were tastefully decorated, and the walls hung with the becoming colours, pink, blue, and white, in festoons, wreaths, roses, and stars. The chandeliers were well conceived, and afforded a brilliant light; a covered platform was erected in the recess outside the central window, for the accommodation of the Belfast quadrille band, which was heard with good effect; a safe depository was established in an adjoining room, for hats, cloaks, boas, and other appendages, which prevented much inconvenience and perhaps loss; a substantail portico was erected at the hall door, which allowed carriages to pass under, and contributed `considerably to the facility and comfort of setting down the different arrivals.
    The star of the show seems to have been the Marchioness of Downshire
    The ladies were throughout most tastefully and gracefully dressed and presented a most animating and interesting scene, causing a galaxy of beauty seldom witnessed. The Marchioness of Downshire was attired as became a lady of her rank. She wore a bandeau of splendid brilliants, with necklace and ear-rings to match; she wears also a jewel of great value which outshines in spleandour all her other ornaments, viz. an affable and unostentatious demeanour to every one; this reflected her comely person to great advantage, shining conspicuously the entire night, and added considerably to the dignity of her exalted station.
    They don't write 'em like that any more.

  • profile

    ccferrie

    • 03/Dec/2012 14:41:48

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley http://www.flickr.com/photos/gerryward/ I agree - what confuses me is that the porch is still shown on the OSNI present day map although it clearly is no longer there. I found a list of protected structures from 1985 which includes the County Rooms so it is curious as to why the porch would have been removed - perhaps it was damaged in a collision prior to the addition of the bollards which no line the footpath.

  • profile

    ccferrie

    • 03/Dec/2012 14:42:17

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnspooner "a galaxy of beauty" - must remember that one! ;-)

  • profile

    ccferrie

    • 03/Dec/2012 14:43:37

    1876-1882 is a pretty good result for a photo with no obvious clues!

  • profile

    John Spooner

    • 03/Dec/2012 15:03:13

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] It's a shame that A.H. Poole was prevented by geography and chronology from recording the Marchioness's likeness, as well as that of the rest of the galaxy of beauty.

  • profile

    ccferrie

    • 03/Dec/2012 15:30:57

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnspooner I've a suspicion the likeness wouldn't do the description justice ;-)

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 03/Dec/2012 15:33:30

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] I hope you're not casting asparagus on the Marchioness's comely person!

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 03/Dec/2012 15:39:55

    By the way, our lovely Cork photo from a few weeks ago is Historypin's Pin of the Day!

  • profile

    Swordscookie

    • 03/Dec/2012 15:52:49

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland I hope you're not casting asparagus on the Marchioness's comely person! http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] I'm surprised that a well brought up young lady would even know about such strange behaviour!

  • profile

    Vab2009

    • 03/Dec/2012 15:57:31

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnspooner They don't wear them like that anymore either ....phew!!! I would have HATED the corsets etc..

  • profile

    Swordscookie

    • 03/Dec/2012 15:59:18

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] We cannot know for sure what that Marchioness looked like but this one wasn't too bad looking at all and dressed up with all those gewgaws to set off her looks she might just look the business! www.flickr.com/photos/freeparking/540784390/

  • profile

    John Spooner

    • 03/Dec/2012 16:07:07

    What a relief that the dancing was chaste:

    Returning to the ball-room, there was some capital waltzing and gallopades; it might be deemed offensive to particularise, but there was a buz of approbation bestowed on four or five couple, who kept it up with uncommon spirit and graceful execution, and, therefore, without meaning any disparagement, it may be said that Lady Charlotte Hill, Miss Parker, and Miss Kerr, certainly did exhibit specimens of chaste dancing never excelled even at Almack's. The dancing continued in rapid succession until five o'clock in the morning ...
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Almack's

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 03/Dec/2012 16:09:33

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnspooner "... until five o'clock in the morning"?! When did the "capital waltzing and gallopades" begin?

  • profile

    John Spooner

    • 03/Dec/2012 16:20:49

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] Soon after ten o'clock there was a sufficient number assembled to commence dancing. The ball was opened by Viscount Bangor, who led off the contre-dance with Lady Charlotte Hill, daughter of the Marquis and Marchioness of Downshire, to the good old tune of "the Merry Harriers" followed by the Marquis of Downshire and Miss A. Forde, and about thirty couple, all of whom seemed to dance with all their hearts. Next came quadrilles and waltzes, which were gracefully conducted throughout, and with a degree of chaste taste, that did credit to those engaged, and must have tended to conquer the scruples and dispel the fears of the most anxious mother. Wikipedia: Lady Charlotte Augusta Hill (30 June 1815 – 24 November 1861), married Sir George Chetwynd, 3rd Baronet and had issue

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 03/Dec/2012 16:30:24

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnspooner Awww! For one moment, I thought Viscount Bangor and Sir George Chetwynd were one and the same...

  • profile

    John Spooner

    • 03/Dec/2012 16:37:30

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland I can't find George Chetwynd in the long list of those present. Not surprising really, as the Chetwynds seem to come from Staffordshire.

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 03/Dec/2012 16:41:11

    From this random page: Some of the buildings in English street, Downpatrick were viewed using the Ulster Architectural Heritage publication as a guide. These include the Old Gaol, the Courthouse and some other fine 18th and 19th century buildings. Ulster Architectural Heritage Association, you say? Downpatrick List of Historic Buildings, Groups of Buildings & Areas of Architectural Importance in Downpatrick Compiled by Lady Dunleath, P J Rankin and A J Rowan 1970 reprinted 1971 and 1973.

  • profile

    John Spooner

    • 03/Dec/2012 17:13:18

    Excuse the digression as this has nothing to do with Downpatrick, but there were to be no walzes, quadrilles or gallpades, chaste or otherwise, for Lady Charlotte Hill at Princess Victoria's birthday bash in 1838 after an 'alarming accident'

    We regret to say that Lady Charlotte Hill, daughter of the Marquis of Downshire, met with an alarming accident on the night of the ball in honour of the Princess Victoria's birth-day. While her ladyship was stepping onto carriage to accompany her family to the ball the horses moved onwards, and threw her from the step. It was at first reported that her knee was dislocated; but on examination it proved to be only a severe strain of the muscles.
    (London Times May 31st 1837, less than a month before Princess Victoria became Queen Victoria)

  • profile

    Vab2009

    • 03/Dec/2012 17:26:02

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnspooner Ouch!! Life was hazardous in unexpected ways!

  • profile

    Niall McAuley

    • 03/Dec/2012 17:38:21

    Same street with Telegraph poles, 1939

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 03/Dec/2012 21:04:29

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gnmcauley English Street is still a remarkably interesting and unspoiled street. I recommend anyone to have a virtual sticky-beak up the hill behind, and around the cathedral. St Patrick is buried there "reputedly". As with many of these NLI photos, all the detail and history makes me want to go there, even if only with streetview.

  • profile

    P DONNELLY

    • 13/Mar/2019 21:42:31

    It would appear to me that the men standing are soldiers, from possibly one of the Militia regiments - possibly the South Down Militia. It is certainly 1880s-1890s. One of the men is most certainly a Sergeant in some type of military/police organisation.

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 26/May/2020 09:40:57

    The reverse view is now on Flickr. Not sure if it was taken at the same time ... https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland/49936810253/