THE STONE OF REMEMBRANCE [GARDEN OF REMEMBRANCE IN ISLANDBRIDGE]
The sunken Garden of Remembrance surrounds a Stone of Remembrance of Irish granite symbolising an altar, which weighs seven and a half tons. The dimensions of this are identical to First World War memorials found throughout the world. During the construction phase in order to provide as much work as possible the use of mechanical equipment was restricted, and even granite blocks of 7 and 8 tonnes from Ballyknocken and Donnelly's quarry Barnaculla were manhandled into place with primitive tackles of poles and ropes. On completion and intended opening in 1939 (which was postponed) the trustees responsible said: "It is with a spirit of confidence that we commit this noble memorial of Irish valour to the care and custody of the Government of Ireland".
The Stone of Remembrance is a standardised design for war memorials that was designed in 1917 by the British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens for the Imperial War Graves Commission (IWGC).
It was designed to commemorate the dead of World War I, to be used in IWGC war cemeteries containing 1,000 or more graves, or at memorial sites commemorating more than 1,000 war dead. Hundreds were erected following World War I, and it has since been used in cemeteries containing the Commonwealth dead of World War II as well. It is intended to commemorate those "of all faiths and none", and has been described as one of Lutyens' "most important and powerful works", with a "brooding, sentinel-like presence wherever used".
The geometry of the stone structure was "based on studies of the Parthenon". According to the Australian Government Department of Veterans' Affairs each stone is 3.5 metres long and 1.5 metres high.
It was designed using the principle of entasis. This involved incorporating subtle curves into the design, so that the stone does not have straight sides, but has circular lines that if extended would form a sphere 1,801 feet and 8 inches (549.15 metres) in diameter. The effect of the stone monument has been attributed to its geometry: "...its curious power and symbolic strength derive from its careful proportions and the application of a subtle entasis to all its surfaces."
DUBLINBIKES DOCKING STATION 97 AT KILMAINHAM GAOL [BESIDE A NATIONAL MONUMENT]
Kilmainham Gaol opened in 1796 as the new County Gaol for Dublin. While most of the prisoners were common criminals, it also held political prisoners involved in Ireland’s struggle for independence. Included amongst those held here were Robert Emmet, Anne Devlin, the Fenians, Charles Stewart Parnell, Countess Markievicz and the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising, 14 of whom were executed by firing squad in the Stonebreaker’s yard. The Gaol was closed in 1924 but was preserved as a national monument in the 1960s and restored by the Kilmainham Gaol Restoration Committee. It was handed over to the State in 1986 and today is run by the Office of Public Works.
I decided to check on line about the spelling gaol/jail and found the following: "If you were writing for an American audience in 1815, or a British audience before 1935, you could get away with using gaol. Nowadays, however, jail is the accepted form in both of these language communities."
WINDY ARBOUR VILLAGE AND NEARBY [MY REGULAR WALK ALONG A SECTION OF DUNDRUM ROAD]
I pass through Wind Arbour Village twice every Tuesday and Saturday. Windy Arbour is surrounded by several housing estates, including Columbanus. At the centre of Windy Arbour is the smaller and much older townland of Farranboley, which appears on maps dating from the 18th century.
The name of the area was originally Irish Na Glasáin, "the green land"; this was anglicised as 'Glassons'. The name Windy Harbour or Sandy Arbour was later applied, referring to a landing-point on the River Slang. A starch mill was formerly located there. "Arbour" once had the meaning “grass plot, lawn, garden”; it is possible that the name was intended as a direct translation of glasáin.
Islandbridge is unique: it remains the largest monument to military service of any description on the island of Ireland. I walked there on Sunday and was exhausted, because of the heat, but there is an excellent bus service if you know what stops to use - there are four bus stops on Con Colbert Road [two in each directions] at there is a bus every few minutes.
The Irish National War Memorial Gardens is an Irish war memorial in Islandbridge, Dublin, dedicated "to the memory of the 49,400 Irish soldiers who gave their lives in the Great War, 1914–1918", out of over 300,000 Irishmen who served in all armies.
Designed by the great memorialist Sir Edwin Lutyens who had already landscaped designed several sites in Ireland and around Europe, it is outstanding among the many war memorials he created throughout the world. He found it a glorious site.
Last week I visited Francis Street and photographed "Drop Dead Twice" a venue that is still closed a year after a serious fire. Unfortunately on the following day Michelin star restaurant Variety Jones, also on Francis Street, was seriously damaged following a fire at the premises. My understanding is that the restaurant had just moved from 78 Thomas Street to 79 Thomas Street at the corner of Francis Street.