Montpellier Terrace in the 1950s

According to An Foras Forbartha’s book Galway Architectural Heritage, “Montpellier Terrace curves around the corner to the Crescent. The first two houses are of three bays and two storeys over basements with rendered walls and railings in front. They date from c1840. Next are two houses without basements of two bays and three storeys with elliptical headed door-cases fronted by simple railings.

“Then come six houses which curve around the corner. They are of three bays and two storeys over basements, each with lines and rendered walls and elliptical-headed door-cases with petal fanlights constructed c1840. The houses are fronted by simple railings on low walls.

“Devon Place has four houses of three bays and three storeys each with rendered walls and parapets. Numbers 3 and 4 have Doric doorways. They are each fronted with cast iron railings and date from c1850. Palmyra Crescent consists of 14 houses. The first five are of two bays and three storeys with parapets and mid-nineteenth century cement decoration. Numbers 6 – 9 are slightly earlier of three bays and two storeys over basements, with simple pedimented door-cases, cornices and blocking courses. Number 8 has Georgian glazing bars. Numbers 14 and 15 also have Doric door-cases. The large archway in the centre of our photograph led into a laneway that serviced the rear of all of the houses.”

In the mid-19th century, Sea Road had a sea wall running along the road as protection against the tide. During the War of Independence, Professor Tom Dillon was often harassed by the Black and Tans. He and his family stayed in the house on the corner of our photograph because it could not be surrounded, and it was difficult to know whose garden was whose at the back.

This photograph was taken during An Tóstal in 1959 and shows the Guth na n-Óg pipe band parading on their way out to Salthill. At the time, the houses were occupied by, starting from the right, 1 Ryans; 2 Dolans; 3 Hynes’; 4 Joyces; 5 Martha Rowland; 6 Maisie Donnelly; 7 Fahys; 8 Millie Hynes; 9 Jordans; 10 McLoughlins.

It is interesting that the place names mentioned in this article are Montpellier, Devon, and Palmyra.


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