Try to find the spot where the photographer was standing.
Quite a long exposure by the looks of it.
Another auction poster on the church gate.
The church has a sort of C of I look about it, which might help narrowing the search down.
There is a Blackhall a retired Grocer in Mountbellew in 1911
I've done a quick streetview of all the Blackall locations form the census and there's nothing like this. It seems to be a church attached to an ecclesiastical ruin of some sort - maybe an abbey or maybe just an older church.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland Is the auction poster on the arch legible if you stick the negative into a microfiche reader?
This is St. Mary's Church, Athenry, Co. Galway.
Stone is Still There
In Athenry's Market Square is an unusual monument consisting of a steeply stepped pyramidal base on which is set a carved socket-stone with an upright, rectangular-sectioned sculpted stone on its top. Known as the Market Cross, this monument does not really present the appearance of being a cross, despite the carving of a crucifixion on one face of the upright stone. It is, in fact, the last remnants of a fine Late Medieval Gothic cross of Tabernacle or Lantern type. Such crosses, dating from the 15th century perhaps mainly from the second half of that century, arc well-known in Britain (mainly, in England, Cornwall and south Wales) in Northern France, in Germany, and elsewhere in Gothic Europe - but for Ireland the Athenry monument is a unique example such crosses get their name because instead of a transom as a cross-head they have a rectangular swelling, generally with a pointed roof-like top, which has an appearance vaguely resembling a lantern or tabernacle. Almost invariably such crosses have a long, tapering generally plain but chamfered shaft set into a sculpted socket which is on top of a large and often quite high stepped pyramidal base. These crosses are not crucifixes though most bear a crucifixion scene carved on the main face of the tabernacle-like part.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/31363949@N02 Well Spotted
Athenry in the Year of 1865 by Ronan Killeen
Notes Charles Blackhall as a Grocer and Ironmonger
http://www.flickr.com/photos/31363949@N02 Thanks a million! "Location Identified" tag now added...
Cross is there on the 6' OSI Map
http://www.flickr.com/photos/79549245@N06 Hi Danny, could I ask a favour? Would you mind copying and pasting your comment with all the information about the cross under the Cross picture next-door too, please.
The church was built c. 1289, burned in 1577, and a Protestant church was erected c. 1828 within the ruins on the site of the choir. It is now used as a heritage center
http://www.flickr.com/photos/79549245@N06 So Charles Blackhall/Blackall was there in 1865. I'm wondering about the spelling - definitely the same name, it's so unusual but also definitely says Blackall on the sign.
Also where's McDonagh?
[http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] I was looking at Blackhall all along, need new Glasses!!!
See this from 1875 eppi.dippam.ac.uk/pdf1/11758.pdf
There is a letter of protest signed by (among others) a Blackall McDonagh
McDonagh had made an appearance alongside Blackall definitely by June 1876 (and probably long before). From the Tuam Herald of 17 June 1876:
Subsciber sic has been favoured with instructions from Messrs. BLACKALL and McDONAGH of Athenry, to Sell by Public Auction, Four Large Stands of prime well-saved
WHITE HOLLAND OATS,
at the Paddocks, Athenry, on THURSDAY, 30th inst., and at same time and place will be Sold a large collection of good Mowing and Reaping Machines...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/79549245@N06 So Blackall & McDonagh were a very established entity by 4 May 1875 when they were signing that letter protesting against the site selected for "Iron Hospital"...
No Blackalls or Blackhalls in Athenry by 1901, but there is Matthew McDonagh and family, 59, Trader Publican Draper and Farmer.
Interesting reference on the House and Building return form .pdf to King John's House nearby?
The 25" let's us down, but the 6" has a reference to Castle, or King John's Court (in ruins)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland More than likely
SLATER'S COMMERCIAL DIRECTORY OF IRELAND -1881 (Athenry Section)
Our men listed in the following sections
Blackall & M'Donagh (wine & spirit Merchants)
Blackall & M'Donagh (Ironmongers & hardware Dealers)
Blackall & M'Donagh (Stationers)
Blackall & M'Donagh (Grocers and Flour dealers) and
Blackall & M'Donagh, agents for Goulding's manure's
My best effort at a matching Streetview.
The cross, the building at left with the carriage arch, the arched gateway to the church grounds, the church itself, and the stone pillars of the gateway at the right are all still visible.
Athenry has so many interesting archaeological and architectural features but my favourite is the handball alley on Abbey Row which uses the gable wall of the 13th century Dominican Abbey as the wall of the court and has a spectator stand across the road spanning over the Clareen river. maps.google.com/maps?q=Athenry,+Galway,+Ireland&hl=en...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/77199267@N03 That's gorgeous alright! I've never seen such a professional set up for watching handball before.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/79549245@N06 Ah Danny, thank you for Blackall & M'Donagh (with the small C dropped)! Far earlier results in newspapers - for selling Phospho Guano, do ye remember that stuff - in April 1868.
[http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] Looks like it dates from at least the 1920s athenrylocalhistory.blogspot.ie/2011/07/athenry-handball-...
"Turn of the century" according to this www.athenryheritagecentre.com/index.php/athenry-history/d...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/77199267@N03 Thanks for explaining that handball alley - I wondered what on earth it was when streetview-snooping.
The cross is a Tabernacle or Lantern type cross, here's an article on it by my father. homepage.eircom.net/~oreganathenry/oreganathenry/medieval...
The cross is still there as is the gate into the church grounds. The thatched building on the right is gone but the one on the left is now, unsurprisingly, a branch of Paddy Power.