Beware the Headless Engine Driver of Old Carnlough

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Where: Northern Ireland, Antrim, United Kingdom

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When: 01 January 1900

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This is the viaduct at Carnlough, Co. Antrim. Think that's the town hall to the right, and that the post office is hidden on the right on the far side of the viaduct.

Photographer: Probably Robert French of Lawrence Photographic Studios, Dublin

Date: Circa 1900

NLI Ref.: L_CAB_03781

Info:

Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 138100
carnlough antrim ireland northernireland ulster viaduct train engine locomotive steam workers horse cart driver clocktower clock 1643 443 tower townhall gaslighting children smocks pinafores workmen wheelbarrow robertfrench williamlawrence lawrencecollection glassnegative nationallibraryofireland harbourroad quarryline railway cairnofthelake mineralrailwayline limestone kilns carnloughlimecompany marchionessoflondonderry ladylondonderry limestonequarry londonderryarmshotel otter limerickbybeachcomber ubiestcanis r45 444

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  • profile

    DannyM8

    • 08/Aug/2013 07:56:33

    It's 4.43

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 08/Aug/2013 07:59:06

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] I got it right! http://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia/ has had to correct my telling of the big hand from the little hand more than once... :D

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 08/Aug/2013 08:00:05

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Danny, I want to try something new. If I can get you a dog (in fact a hound), will you put in a little research on a lady?

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    derangedlemur

    • 08/Aug/2013 08:03:26

    Streetview: maps.google.ie/maps?q=Carnlough,+United+Kingdom&hl=en...

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    DannyM8

    • 08/Aug/2013 08:03:55

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland I was in at "I want to try something new" :) - I am busy for the next two hours though.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 08/Aug/2013 08:06:26

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Not to worry. She'll be there when you get back, and it is very bad manners to keep a Lady waiting.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 08/Aug/2013 08:11:46

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Thank you! Added to map plus Harbour Road into the tags. Beautifully painted town hall, if it is still the town hall.

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    derangedlemur

    • 08/Aug/2013 08:15:23

    Apparently the railway is a quarry line, running to the works above the town. www.causewaycoastalroute.com/index.php/carnlough-village-...

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    John Spooner

    • 08/Aug/2013 08:32:18

    Viaduct built 1853-54 The Belfast News-Letter, Monday, August 28, 1854

    The changes which have taken place during the last twelve months, in the Marchioness of Londonderry's marine village of Carnlough, are of the most surprising character. A harbour has been constructed, accessible during every kind of weather, and in which vessels drawing twelve feet of water will, at all times, obtain a secure haven. A railway, upwards of a mile in length, and a large portion of which is through a heavy cutting of upwards of twenty-one feet deep, has been constructed from Lady Londonderry's limestone quarry to the harbour, and two handsome and solid limestone viaducts have been constructed over the main street of Carnlough and the mail coach road. Large contracts have already, as we are informed, been entered into with eminent Scotch house for the sale of limestone, and the first cargo left Carnlough last week.
    PS I cannot leave unmentioned the name of the Marchioness of Londonderry's son, mentioned elsewhere in the article: Lord Adolphus Vane Tempest

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 08/Aug/2013 08:34:41

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] Tullyganter quarries and chemical works - a sizeable enterprise, by the looks of things.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 08/Aug/2013 08:39:01

    From the Carnlough page of the Causeway Coastal Route website - thanks to [http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]]

    The railway was operated by the Carnlough Lime Company and eventually extended to some 7km of track, the first part of the system opened in 1854 and ran for one mile over a 1:25 gradient to the quarries, it was originally operated by gravity and horse power but this was replaced by cables with a winding house. Today you can follow the old line now converted to a footpath, from the harbour over the bridge and up to the quarries.

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    Reconstructing Light

    • 08/Aug/2013 08:40:12

    I thought this was part of the hillside network connected to the Lignite mining in the area.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 08/Aug/2013 08:45:09

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnspooner] Nor should you ever leave out such brilliant names, however irrelevant to the plot! Is this she, your Lady Londonderry?

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    robinparkes

    • 08/Aug/2013 08:45:25

    The path that follows the line runs up to the Cranny Falls. I walked it a few years ago. The Londonderry Arms Hotel is on the right at the other side of the bridge.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 08/Aug/2013 08:57:07

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Oh thanks, Robin, adding hotel as a tag.

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    blackpoolbeach

    • 08/Aug/2013 09:06:13

    The Vane-Tempest-Stewart name lives on. Here is the 2012 obituary of Alexander Charles Robert Vane-Tempest-Stewart. www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/9345238/The-Marquess-... Vane Tempest Colliery was one of the last to close on the coast of County Durham. The Londonderry coal mines go back centuries. www.dur.ac.uk/4schools/locality/statues1.html Like at Carnlough, Charles William Vane Tempest Stewart commissioned the building of Seaham Harbour so that the coal could be taken away and sold more cheaply and easily. "Where there's muck there's money".

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    John Spooner

    • 08/Aug/2013 09:06:14

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland I think it must be. The 3rd Marquess started the work at Carnlough ("put into execution the various plans which his fertile mind had projected"), but died ("was called away" according the the Belfast New-letter) in 1854, and the Marchioness (through her agent, a Mr Wilson) saw it through to completion "with indefatigable zeal and directed by an ability which could do no other than prove successful". She died in January 1865.

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 08/Aug/2013 09:13:43

    "Off with their heads!", shrieked the Marchioness.

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    Swordscookie

    • 08/Aug/2013 09:15:48

    They lost the head up there around that time:-) Nice shot Carol which apart from a great examination of the railway and bridge at Carnlough demonstrates the difficulties faced by the early photographers!

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    O Mac

    • 08/Aug/2013 09:19:33

    The engine driver wasn't the only one to lose the head!!!. Lord Adolphus Vane Tempest throws a wobbly

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    blackpoolbeach

    • 08/Aug/2013 09:30:39

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] The Vane-Tempest Stewart name even made it out to New South Wales. www.gravestonephotos.com/public/gravedetails.php?availabl...

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    John Spooner

    • 08/Aug/2013 09:32:47

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Brilliant!

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 08/Aug/2013 09:34:37

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Crikey, that was a bit of a to-do alright.

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    John Spooner

    • 08/Aug/2013 09:54:59

    Following his appearance at Marlborough St police court, Adolphus was removed from custody by his friends to a private asylum. His resignation from parliament was sought, but he refursed to resign. Then (October 1861) he travelled to America and is reported by the New York herald to have taken service in the Federal army. But in November he is back in Durham meeting the 3rd Durham rifle corps, of which he is Major Commandant. He died in 1864

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 08/Aug/2013 11:11:50

    From the Freeman's Journal of Monday, 4 May 1863:

    FATAL ACCIDENT A sad accident occurred at the Marchioness of Londonderry's Limestone Quarry, near Carnlough, last week by the falling of a portion of the rock, whereby a man named James Clements was instantaneously killed, and another, of the name of McAuley, received such injuries that, after lingering till Friday, he expired. A third man was at the same time dangerously hurted, but is progressing favourably. Both the men who were killed were married, the one leaving seven children, and the other five.

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 08/Aug/2013 12:18:22

    WINSTON CHURCHILL'S GIFT Mr. Winston Churchill played Father Christmas to 14 tenants in the fishing village of Carnlough, Antrim, presenting them with four-roomed cottages on which he had spent £400, including improvements to sanitation. He inherited the cottages from Lord Herbert Vane Tempest, who was killed in a railway smash in 1921.
    From the Courier Mail Brisbane, 27/12/1934 - trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/35623549 [http://www.flickr.com/photos/blackpoolbeach] There are probably a few still around!

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    Robinson_Luzo

    • 08/Aug/2013 15:11:49

    Its the early 1900s, Carnlough didn't acquire their locomotive (called Otter) until 1898.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 08/Aug/2013 16:57:15

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Thank you, date amended now to Circa 1900, and it's brilliant to have the name Otter for the locomotive!

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    TEXASJOHN

    • 08/Aug/2013 18:42:31

    Could be Ivor the Engine Driver!

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    Robinson_Luzo

    • 08/Aug/2013 18:48:18

    Glad to be of service:) She was built in 1896 for a firm of contractors in Scotland, unused from around 1931, she wasn't scrapped until 1950. The railway system was remarkable in having no less than four different gauges of railway within their works! Last photo of the railway I happen to have; http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/9465189105/

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    John Spooner

    • 08/Aug/2013 19:23:12

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland So called because when they stoked the firebox the boiler became 'otter and 'otter.

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    O Mac

    • 08/Aug/2013 19:36:55

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] Brilliant photographs------ and there's the bridge! . You might have seen this already where there's a small account of the tramway, quarry and bridges .(bottom page 12&13) Mentions that the bridges and harbour were built by a Mr Patrick Mahon of 54 High Street.

  • profile

    mikescottnz

    • 08/Aug/2013 20:20:23

    Great Irish town vintage shot .

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    blackpoolbeach

    • 08/Aug/2013 21:14:16

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] "I wonder whether there is any record of the firm of Hurst Nelson having built locomotives An outside cylinder 0-4-0ST, probably 4 ft. gauge, named Otter, belonging to the Carnlough Lime Co., was said to be by them, but what would seem more probable is that they may have built wagons for this concern and supplied an engine with them which they obtained from some other maker. I never heard of any other locomotive attributed to them, and they do not appear in the list of makers published in The Locomotive some years ago." www.steamindex.com/locomag/lcwr51.htm#93-rnc There is a YouTube video of the Bowes Railway showing loaded waggons hauling empty waggons uphill on a gravity incline. www.amber-online.com/archives/bowes-line The Carnlough line would have used a similar system.

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    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 08/Aug/2013 22:48:19

    The Otter of Carnlough limerick There once was a loco called Otter, 'Tween Carnlough and quarry it'd potter. But some good townsfolk Did choke on its smoke Losing heads like a too keen trainspotter.

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    derangedlemur

    • 09/Aug/2013 06:04:26

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Great photos! Is the Otter oil fired? It doesn't seem to have a bunker.

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    Robinson_Luzo

    • 09/Aug/2013 08:42:14

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] She's coal fired. The type was built for use on short lengths of line when contactor's were building dams etc. The coal bunkers are at the cab end of the side water tanks and are loaded from the cab.

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    Robinson_Luzo

    • 09/Aug/2013 08:44:42

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/blackpoolbeach Hurst Nelson built 20 end tipping wooden wagons that Carnlough purchased. The builder of the loco was Andrew Barclay of Kilmarnock, they called this type the A class. Gauge (for the loco operated section) was 3' 6''. The Carnlough line didn't use the weight of the loaded wagons to haul up empties, the line where the incline operated was single, not double. There was a winding house midway along the incline that was originally used in conjunction with another at the top to haul the wagons. I have a book with a few pics showing the incline in action, but I'm not sure if posting copies here would violate copyright. Does anyone know if this is the case? If not I'll gladly post some.

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    Robinson_Luzo

    • 09/Aug/2013 09:44:03

    The driver might well be George McBride with either Joseph Smyth or John Dempsey as our 'headless' assistant to the driver. The chap on the front of the engine is likely a foreman in the quarry hitching a lift, possibly one of the Gaston brothers (Daniel or Alexander). The fellow with the cart on the right may be Alexander McBride who was Carnlough's main carter of goods.

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    derangedlemur

    • 09/Aug/2013 10:59:31

    I did a bit of messing about with the image and it turns out that the driver's/assistant's head isn't missing because the sky has been cut out and his head with it, but rather, because he's waving it about in a foolish and unphotographable (at that shutter-speed) manner.

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    O Mac

    • 09/Aug/2013 11:25:42

    This other photograph shows how fast Robert French could change a glass plate( clock!). It also shows that the engine was stopped and that the subjects did have heads after all... Kids have disappeared though? www.nli.ie/glassplates/L_ROY/L_ROY_10102.jpg

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    O Mac

    • 09/Aug/2013 11:48:09

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] Dog! www.nli.ie/glassplates/L_ROY/L_ROY_10201.jpg

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    DannyM8

    • 09/Aug/2013 12:44:28

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] well spotted.

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    O Mac

    • 09/Aug/2013 13:45:03

    Similar engine, but different guage. www.srpsmuseum.org.uk/10004.htm

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    Robinson_Luzo

    • 09/Aug/2013 14:15:03

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] I think the preservationists at Fintown, Donegal, are trying to get this one on long term loan for restoration and use. If not this then a similar one.

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    Swordscookie

    • 09/Aug/2013 16:30:33

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Well spotted indeed. http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] It must be nice know that somebody cares:-)

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    DannyM8

    • 09/Aug/2013 22:12:31

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/swordscookie http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] It gives me great encouragement!!!

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    blackpoolbeach

    • 10/Aug/2013 01:45:29

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] Andrew John Waldron of the Industrial Railway Society has kindly emailed me the definitive history of Carnlough Mineral Railway. Please credit him if using this history elsewhere. "CARNLOUGH MINERAL RAILWAY, A Short History, by Andrew John Waldron. I have spent roughly about 20 years researching the railways as used at this location in Co Antrim, hence i feel i might now be an armature in the least to put something on paper. The first railway recorded at Carnlough was built by a local man, very little is known about it, but limestone travelled over same and was loaded at the harbour, this was way back around 1830, the gauge is not known, but we do know it followed roughly the same course as per the Lord Londonderry line, it probably used wooden rails and the wagons were either operated under gravity or using horse traction, if anything the line was used in building the original harbour, by 1836 this line had long gone, just how long it was in use is not known, for the references to it are but of little mention. The second railway to be bought into use here was at the instigation of Lord Londonderry, he died before it was completed, so his wife Lady Anne Vane Tempest saw it through to completion in 1854, the line was unusual in that it used the gauge 4ft-8&1/2 inches, the rails were of iron and were shipped over from Middlesbrough, the wagons were made as a kit of parts somewhere in Co Durham and again shipped over and assembled on site. This line served the Gortin and Creggan Limestone quarries which was about 1 mile in distance from the harbour. When the line was built it was single track with two passing loops, the first method of operation was using a Drum engine with a cable, and this was operated by one man and was located up at the head of the incline. A set of wagons , around three or four were attached to the cable at the quarry end, an equal number of MT wagons were attached to the continuous rope at the harbour end and the loaded wagons were set under controlled gravity descent, controlled by a man who operated a band brake to control the speed of the drum, as the laden wagons descended they hauled up the MT rake attached to the rope, the wagons be it full or MT were attached using a sprag, so that each wagon was clipped to the rope, the loops were arranged so that both sets of wagons passed each other on that section, as said the line was single track. When the MT wagons reached the quarry, then the full wagons had reached the harbour, both were un-clipped from the rope and either horse or hand propelling then took place at each end to position the wagons as required be it to load or unload, depending where each set was. At busy times four sets of wagons could use the incline at the same time, as the first set of full wagons approached the first passing loop then a set of MT wagons started up from the harbour, they passed each other at the second loop, by then another set of fully loaded wagons was set down from the quarry and passed the first rake of MT wagons at the first loop going down from the quarry, by then another set of MT wagons had been clipped on at the harbour and again these passed each other at the second loop. This kind of operation required great skill by the men working the engine and by those whose job it was to attach or detach the wagons, to aid this a signalling system was erected using wooden posts with arms, just like on a main line, these signals were positioned at each loop and were hand operated, the engine driver at the head of the incline made the nessercerry adjustments to the speed of the wagons based on the signals he could see from the top of the incline, he had to have a clear sight to be able to see the signals, hence this method was only used in good clear conditions. In 1910 the incline was modernised by doing away with the drum engine and installing a large stationary steam engine built by Alexander Chaplin and Co of Glasgow, this resembled a ships engine house, the engine was designed for use inside a mine where coal was to be pulled up an incline from under the bed of the sea, it is thought the engine was second hand and was re-built by the makers to suit the operations at Carnlough. This engine was sited at about the mid way point on the incline, roughly where the lime kilns were situated, as the boiler house there was used with the chimney from same as a double for the stationary engine, in other words the boiler that supplied the kilns also supplied steam for the haulage engine. Return wheels for the rope were provided at both ends of the line, so that the rope used was still in continuous motion, this improved system, allowed MT wagons to be taken to the quarry without the need to have full ones to counter balance the system. Instead of lowering three or four wagons down , the engine could handle 10 laded wagons from the quarry to the harbour, in 1954 this incline engine was electrified from the national grid, then serving Northern Ireland, the incline and railway continued in operation until around 1977. Harbour operations. At the harbour the wagons were moved either by hand or horse, by 1940 a farm tractor was in use to move the wagons, turntables were used to turn each wagon and iron chutes were used to load coastal shipping, most of the limestone went to Scotland for use in the iron and steel making process, Scotland being limestone deficient, made Co Antrim the ideal choice for the vital product they required to make iron and steel, the limestone is used as a flux in the process, which it still is to this day. Second Railway. In 1896 a 3ft-6in gauge line was built from the harbour to tap into another area of pure limestone known as the Tullyoughter Quarry. This was first operated using a VB loco built by Dewinton of Carnarvon in North Wales, the loco here was advertised for sale in the year 1900, probably upon receipt of the loco named OTTER. This first loco operated both the harbour lines of 4ft-8&1/2 in and the 3ft-6in gauge Tullyoughter line, it being said in the advert that the loco was easily convertible from one gauge to another. This is believed to be the same loco operated by the contractor Kennedy, used in the Isle of Man re Peel Harbour construction and on the building of the Lochearnhead Railway in Perthshire, Scotland. The loco named OTTER was built by Andrew Barclay No 770 built 1896. This loco was not delivered until 1898 and was purchased through the firm of Hurst Nelson , the latter supplied the wagons for use on the Tullyoughter line about 36 in all. The loco was originally built for stationary use to power an incline for a contractor, it was sent back to the makers and re-built as a locomotive and Hurst Nelson then bought it and supplied same to the Carnlough Limestone Co. It remained on the Tullyoughter line from 1898 until 1922, the quarry was by then worked out and the 2 mile line was lifted in 1924, the OTTER continued in use around the harbour and operated over the 3ft-6in section of track between the later and the whiting mill, a job previously done using horse traction, the loco was taken out of service in 1930 as the firebox was by then worn out, the loco remained on site until cut up for scrap in July 1951. Various photos have appeared of the OTTER, the more common views are those by Robert French, who was one of the Lawrence photographers, the Lawrence photo business folded in 1913 and the views we see of the loco on the bridge at Carnlough were probably taken around 1900 to 1902. One or two other views have surfaced over the years with the loco in use and not actually posed for any one photographer. A similar loco to OTTER is in preservation at the SRPS in Scotland, the loco being No 840 built 1899 and of 3ft gauge, this loco is in full working order and one day it might go to Co Donegal for use on the Fintown Railway, only time will tell on the later. The first company named as used under the Carnlough banner was Carnlough Lime Co Ltd, changed to Carnlough Limestone Quarries Co Ltd in 1948 and then acquired by the Eglinton Limestone Co in 1970. AJW 9-8-2013."

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    Robinson_Luzo

    • 10/Aug/2013 09:02:51

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/blackpoolbeach Very interesting. You are of course corect about how the incline worked as I just looked it up, mea culpa. I believe when the electric engine was installed the upper part reverted to gravity working though. The tractor in use on the quays actually had buffers fitted I understand.

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    andrew.irishrail

    • 10/Aug/2013 21:28:09

    I have seen a photo of the tractor, it was a little Ferguson TE model 20 and the photo just shows it pulling wagons using a chain, as i understand it from a local man it saw use in mainly taking the bagged lime from the mill to the harbour on 4w flat wagons, the picture i recall shows this to be the case. You are correct about the upper section being gravity worked, this was in fact the seperate Creggan Incline. At the head of the main incline a cut off line went to the right to connect with the Creggan gravity worked incline, this used a seperate electric winch to pull up the MT wagons, but the loaded ones were let down using the brakes on same as the winch could not take more than one wagon per trip, only wagons going up the incline needed the winch wire.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 11/Aug/2013 11:56:01

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/blackpoolbeach Thanks very much, Old Pete, for emailing Mr Waldron. Lovely of him to share such detailed information, and excellent to have confirmation of circa 1900 date.

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 11/Aug/2013 11:56:54

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Brilliant information. Thank you very much.

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    Robinson_Luzo

    • 11/Aug/2013 14:49:47

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Interesting, I've never seen a photo of it despite looking for some time! Where did you find it can I ask? There are some photos taken during an Irish Railway Record Society visit there in 1962 that show the incline wagons at the tipping point on the docks. Presumably it wasn't confined to just the flats, or maybe horses were used?

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    O Mac

    • 11/Aug/2013 20:26:21

    Conjested little setup in its day..lots of turning [http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/9487137215/]......awkward as they are to use, respect to maps.osni.gov.uk

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    Idakoos Store

    • 27/Jun/2014 18:46:52

    Amazing picture

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    Ace31_2010

    • 27/Jul/2014 01:49:08

    Great capture with the locomotive in the background.

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    Lynn_M3

    • 06/Aug/2014 17:09:22

    That's looks nice. I'll bet it's all gone now, though

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    robinparkes

    • 07/Aug/2014 14:27:33

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] The only thing that's gone would be the tracks, locomotives and rolling stock. Everything else is still there. It's a lovely walk along the trackbed up to the Cranny Falls. I've been there. The road's improved too. The Londonderry Arms Hotel is just the other side of the bridge. It was built in 1848. The town hall is now the library.

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    Alex J White

    • 26/Aug/2014 15:55:28

    You are correct! goo.gl/maps/9r254 Looks amazingly similar after over 90 years.

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    robinparkes

    • 27/Aug/2014 19:55:36

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/alexwhite] And here is one looking from the other side of the bridge. www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/15056155242/

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    Howard Somerville

    • 06/Feb/2015 10:42:28

    Wish I were there.

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    helenemjolley

    • 27/Feb/2015 22:21:30

    Have stayed at the Londonderry Arms, but did not know you could walk the old tracks. Next time......

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 11/Jun/2016 12:33:49

    I know this is another photograph which is loved by many of you. I am now adding it to our 100,000+ views album, our 15th entry. Check out our most viewed photos below. https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland/sets/72157651599255125

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 25/Mar/2018 08:55:01

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/jacksonstreet Very Nice, well done.

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    kayla1698dt

    • 18/Mar/2019 01:56:14

    Very interesting and mysterious. A brilliant photo for sure.