Former Victoria Hotel

An 1889 image of front elevation
Donor
The Gibbson doorcase with adjoining quoin stones
Averil Staunton
Current front elevation c 2010
Averil Staunton

The property that is currently a Bookie’s and Art O’Neill’s pub was the Victoria Hotel at one stage.  Many other Hotels were located in various places around Ballinrobe.

Previous owner

Margaret Monaghan is listed as the owner in 1846.  Coquebert de Montbert, a visitor to the town in 1791, mentions “a remarkable well executed engraving by George Bickham” (1684–1758) in a hotel in Ballinrobe.  It was an allegorical illustration of the contrast between episcopacy and presbytery.  Apparently the number of pages given over to this description reflects, “the measure of a Frenchman’s surprise at finding the like on display in an Irish hotel.”

This is unlikely to be the hotel that de Montbert stayed in, however, it gives some idea of the variety of visitors and the awareness and importation of art and international trends.

Around the year 1818 there seems to have been an increase in new buildings in Ballinrobe which had some particularly handsome door-cases which may have been the case here.  It may also indicate the increase in visitors due to the building of new roads in the area with easier access to Ballinrobe.

Mr. Peter Monaghan is listed as the owner of the “Grand Central” hotel in 1889 and also had an adjoining house.  He had an oil lamp light of ‘Austrian make’ outside his premises.

Adjoining house

An adjoining house to this hotel, on its right on the upper side of Bridge St, was incorporated into the hotel, at some stage and this can be seen from the quoin stones on the front elevation.

In architecture, the external corner of a building has stones that are both structural and decorative, in that they often differ in jointing, colour, texture, or size from the masonry of the adjoining walls. Usually quoins are toothed (i.e., set in short courses in a regular pattern of alternating lengths see photo).  Such construction styles date back to ancient Rome.

Previous uses 

This adjoining building, on its right, was a post office in 1899 before been taken over by Mr. Michael Hynes as a general merchant’s store.

While it has been suggested that the old hotel building might have been listed for preservation, this does not appear to have occurred.

Sources

Ni Chinneide, Sile.  A Frenchman’s tour of Connacht in 1791 – JGAHS 1976, pp 52-66

Curwen J.C. Observations on the State of Ireland (1818) London Vol.1

http://www.mayococo.ie

 

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