Tag Archives: History

Drumbo Round Tower

Between Carryduff and Lisburn, with views across Belfast and the Lagan Valley lies the hamlet of Drumbo, with its historic Round Tower, now situated the graveyard of the Drumbo Presbyterian Church.

Drumdo Round Tower, Fujifilm X-T30, F=24mm, f/13 @ 1/200th sec on ISO500

The tower is one of the oldest monastic monuments in Ireland, dating from around the early medieval period. It was around in AD1130 when records show that it was plundered by one Connor McLochlin.

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Templemore Baths Belfast (Part 2)

In December 2019 I had my attention attracted (or ‘distracted’ since I was driving!) by the old Templemore Avenue Baths, – for there were no cars parked in fort of it – which is unusual, and that fact prompted me to actually get out of the car and make some photographs.

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 So,you can see the original post here:

Templemore Baths (Part 1)

So, when I discovered that one of my ‘Baby’s First Year’ mums worked at the Baths, needless to say I asked for quick look inside, and so with the help of David, Sam and Sharon, I got a great tour of the inside of the building, and just in time too, for the building just about to be stripped inside, and incorporated into a new state of the art leisure complex being built on the adjacent site.  Here’s some (but not all) of the photos…

The Boiler Room was my starting point.  in a lower floor below ground level, the machinery there is still working (for the community group who have been using the building) but no less interesting for that.

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The Baths had two pools, and the small of the two has been disused for quite some time.

The larger pool is still in use at the time of writing.  It features little changing cubicles along the sides of the pool – probably considered unhygienic by modern standards, but perfect for the period in which the structure was built.  Thanks to David for removing the pool cover to let me see the water!

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I sat in one of the cubicles to get a swimmer’s view of the pool…

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The most interesting part of the building is the actual bathrooms themselves, and these will be in Part 3 – following in a day or two.  I’ll post a link here.

The Templepatrick Mausoleum

A visit to the Mausoleum at Templepatrick (Co.Antrim) requires some diligence and persistence – just to find it!  It is signposted from the road opposite the Templeton Hotel, and the passage to the site lies within the historic Castle Upton Estate.  Nowadays the monument is owned by the National Trust.  A visit is rewarding though, for the site is historic, including not only the Templetown Family mausoleum, but also the grave of the first Presbyterian Minister of Templepatrick, Rev John Welsh, the grandson of John Knox.

The approach to the graveyard is by way of a tree lined pathway, which lends itself to the ‘spooky fog’ treatment in photoshop!  (Don’t worry, you can see the ‘untreated’ image in the next montage.  Images were made with the Fujifilm X-T30 and a standard zoom, 18-55mm lens.

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The Gate to the Mausoleum – Spooky! F=39mm, f/4 @ 1/60th sec on ISO800

 

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Pathway and gates F=39mm, f/4 @ 1/60th sec on ISO800

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First view of the mausoleum from the gate.F=28mm, f/11 @ 1/60th sec on ISO400

The Mausoleum was built by the Scottish architect Robert Adam for the Upton family in 1789.  It contains memorials to some of the family members.  On the day I visited the monument was open and access to the inside was certainly interesting.

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The Mausoleum Interior. F=18mm, f/2.8 @ 1/60th sec on ISo3200

The best shot of the Mausoleum is from the far side of the graveyard.  Although the ground is uneven and the graves squashed close together, the graveyard can be crossed with care for a rewarding photograph.

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The Templeton Mausoleum at Castle Upon Estate F=18mm, f/13 @ 1/60th sec on ISO400

Fujifilm X-T30, 18th August 2019, 6pm, overcast/patchy clouds – daylight.  Average reading was f/5.6 @ 1/250th sec on ISO200, 

 

Eleventh July at Ballybeen.

Eleventh July at Ballybeen!

Ballybeen is a large housing development close to our studio location in Dundonald.  The majority of people who live there are the decent Protestant working class people of Ulster – my own background.  For centuries July has been a special month for them – the annual celebration of victory of William of Orange at the Battle of the Boyne, which ushered in the Glorious Revolution, enshrined the Constitutional Monarchy in the British Isles, dethroned the despotic Stuart kings, and guaranteed civil and religious liberty for all.

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William of Orange on a Banner

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Ballygowan – The Time is Short!

Ballygowan Presbyterian Church Hall.

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Originally known as ‘The Olivet Home’ it was built to be an orphanage in 1886 by Alexander Orr Reid as a memorial to his only son who was killed in a shooting accident. It was purchased by Ballygowan Presbyterian Church in 1918 and used as a school and church hall. The inscription on the building is ‘The Time is Short’ – thought to be a reference to the death of one of the construction workers, who fell to his death from the roof. A white stone on the top of the tower marks the event.

Hillsborough, Co.Down

Hillsborough is one of the trendy, affluent areas of Northern Ireland.  Situated on the A1 between Dromore and Lisburn, Hillsborough boasts a fine park with a lake, historic buildings, a fort, and even a Royal Residence (Hillsborough Castle).

I visited the town for a ‘walk with a camera’ one morning recently, when the sun was shining and it was around 24 degress celsius.  Here’s a few of the images…

Hillsborough Main Street.

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Moira Railway Station

Moira, historically in the County of Down, is served by NIR (Northern Ireland Railways), via a station around 1 mile outside the town, and actually situated in Co Antrim.  The line is the Belfast to Portadown line, and Moira lies between Lisburn and Lurgan.

The station boasts a rather fine (although now disused) signal box and is the oldest station still in use on the NIR network, opened on 18 November 1841.  Its hard to believer now that just as recently as 1945 the station was manned by a staff of 15 men, including the stationmaster, porters, signalmen etc.  Now no-one works here at all.

 

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Upper Ballinderry – Co.Antrim

Q. What does a photographer do on his day off?
A. Photography.

With no studio appointments on a Friday, and lured by the prospect of a decent spring day, and with another matter to be attended to in the area, I travelled to Ballinderry. It’s a rural area in Co Antrim, between Moira and Crumlin.

To be more precise, my real destination was Upper Ballinderry –
(There was a yarn – about a Ballinderry man who wanted to travel home from Japan, and who went to a travel agent in a small remote Japanese town, and asked for travel to Ballinderry. With oriental inscrutability and precision the clerk replied, Yes sir. Upper or Lower Ballinderry?)

He’d find it hard to travel to Ballinderry by train now as my first stop in the village proved. NIR has mothballed the line between Lisburn and Antrim and Ballinderry Station is now a shadow of its former self. The Antrim bound platform has been dismantled and the station building allowed to decay. The entrance to the station is now blocked.  The track is still in place, – it was always a single track line, – but the passing loop has gone and the line seems to be used now as a siding. Today it had goods wagons sitting on the track.

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