Search Results for 'James Hardiman'
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One of Galway’s most iconic hotels has been renamed — with the former Hotel Meyrick to be now known as The Hardiman — a member of the Choice Hotel Group.
In 1807, the Reverend Edward Mangin wrote a three-volume romantic novel entitled George the Third in which he headed one of the chapters “Which would not have appeared had it not been written”. In it he invented a story about the Mayor of Galway, James Lynch Fitzstephen, hanging his son. Thirteen years later James Hardiman published his History of Galway in which he slightly changed, and greatly elaborated on, the story. This gave Mangin’s story a much wider audience, especially in this country, and so the legend became history. It was copied by many writers over the last 200 years, books written, plays written, films made, etc.
It is often said that one cannot claim to be a true ‘old Galwegian’ or ‘auld shtock’ unless one has some relations buried in Forthill Cemetery at Lough Atalia. It is probably the oldest cemetery in Galway. The Augustinians have been associated with it since the year 1500. The Augustinian convent or priory was built there by Margaret Athy at the request of a friar, Richard Nagle, and it probably stood on level ground at the upper level of Forthill. The grounds of the priory extended quite a bit along the shores of Lough Atalia, at least to the site where St Augustine’s Well is today. Nothing at all remains of the priory except some drawings on the 1625 and 1651 maps.
We know very little about manmade piers and quays along the western seaboard before the beginning of the 19th century, when a lavish programme of safe harbours were built not only to encourage fishing, but as relief programmes in times of distress. It was also an attempt to replace the activities of piracy and smuggling with an industry based on the believed bounty from the sea.
The Claddagh fishing village was a unique settlement which developed outside the walls of medieval Galway which traditionally elected its own mayor, or king.
“The only occupation is fishing; they never trouble themselves with tillage; a milch cow and a potatoe garden are rare among them ------, then on shore they are principally employed in attending to, and repairing their boats, sails, rigging, cordage etc .., and in making, drying or repairing their nets and spillets, in which latter employment they are generally assisted by the women who spin hemp and yarn for the nets ....
By the 16th century Galway was a compact, well laid out town with handsome buildings. The wealth of the Tribal families, built up over decades of canny and adventurous trade, was reflected in their luxurious homes; fragments of which, in delicate carved limestone, remain around the old town.
James Hardiman, in his history of Galway, lists seven holy wells in Galway, St Bride’s in the eastern suburbs; St Anne’s towards the west of the town near the strand (on Whitestrand Avenue); another further along the shore (St Enda’s Barna?); St Bridget’s at the bottom of Red Earl’s Lane on Flood Street; St John the Baptist’s on Lough Athalia; one dedicated to the Blessed Virgin on Lough Athalia; and one dedicated to St Augustine on Lough Athalia. The last three were all above the high water mark, and on his 1818 map, Logan attributes all three to St Augustine. O’Donovan’s Ordnance Survey Letters refers to a stone with a cross cut out on each of these three wells.
James Hardiman, in his history of Galway, mentions a spring well that was reputedly 1,000 years old. He described it as “A Chalybeate spring of the same class as the celebrated Scarborough Waters, outside the East Gate was in great repute here. A spa house has been erected over it by a Mr. Eyre (who sailed with Columbus when America was discovered) and is much frequented.” Hardiman attributed to the tonic qualities of the water the numerous instances of longevity which he observed in the district.