Inspired by a post on the Daily Edge, I’ve taken several old photographs of Sligo street scenes from the National Library of Ireland’s archive and matched them with the same scenes today thanks to Google Street View.
Then: Queen Victoria Bridge and the Belfast Banking – Royal Bank of Ireland building, Lower Knox, Street, Sligo
Victoria bridge over the Garavogue river, which was built in 1846 by the local architect and engineer Sir John Benson. It was originally dedicated and called after Queen Victoria but was renamed in honour of Ireland’s first President Dr Douglas Hyde.
The Yeats Memorial building built in 1895, was originally part of the Belfast bank, called the Royal Bank of Ireland. After Irish independence, it became the Allied Irish Bank, who donated the building to the Yeats Society in 1973.
Now: Douglas Hyde Bridge, Yeats Memorial building and the Glasshouse hotel, Lower Knox, Street, Sligo
This is still one of the main road bridges used today in Sligo Town. The bridge is made of cut limestone and has a five archway design, the last bridge archway is now partially obscured by the footbridge leading across to the Glasshouse hotel. The river rapids can still be as high as the original photo but it depends on the tide, weather and season. The original weir was used to supply water to the Jackson flour mill which was located on the site of the Glasshouse hotel.
Then: Walsh’s Royal Mail and Day Car office and Imperial Hotel on Corkran’s Mall (Corcoran Mall)
Victorian tourists pictured on Corkran’s Mall on Walsh’s horse-drawn car service. Walsh’s car service went daily from Ballina, Sligo, Bundoran, Ballyshannon and Enniskillen.
Now: Toffs/Lola’s Nightclub and Embassy Bar & Grill Restaurant on Kennedy Parade
Walsh’s horse-drawn car service and the Imperial hotel are no more but the businesses that replaced them are in the same entertainment and hospitality industry. Walsh’s office, the smaller three-storey building in the photo, are now Toffs/Lola’s nightclub.
The main three-storey seven bay window building was the Imperial Hotel, it is now the Embassy bar and restaurant. The stable’s cart entrance in the old photo is now the entrance to the Embassy bar.
The main yellow building is still recognisable with its distinct six window arches on the ground floor. In the old photo, the building is rendered with plaster all over. It is only in the last ten years, the current building owners renovated it to reveal the original brickwork around the arches. When this building was originally built in the late eighteenth century it was a Linen Hall. As this photo of the building circa 2000 shows the original plasterwork is still intact.
Image source: Irish Showbands
This stretch of road was originally called Corkran’s Mall after a local merchant and builder. It runs along the east side of the Garavogue river, to the back of the Abbey monastery, up to the junction of Bridge Street and the bridge. It was renamed John F. Kennedy parade in the late 1960’s.
Then: Sligo Court House, Albert Street – Photo circa 1879
Now: Sligo Court House on Teeling Street
The gothic style architecture of the Sligo Court House built in 1879. The street has been renamed from Albert street to Teeling street.
Then: Wood’s Store, Castle Street circa 1910
The Woods hardware storefront in 1910, Woods store remained in business up to 2008 in Sligo. Irish department store Heatons now occupy the building on Castle Street.
Now: Heatons department store, Castle Street, Sligo
Castle Street has improved since the google car last drove through Sligo with most of the shops now occupied.
Then: Lady of Erin Statue, Market Street, Sligo – 1900s
Now: Lady of Erin Statue, Market Street, Sligo
Now: Lady of Erin Statue, Market Street, Sligo
The Lady of Erin statue was erected in honour of the 1898 centenary commemoration of the 1798 Rebellion.
It’s great to see the latest re-development on Market Street, has helped improve the appearance of the street and given the Lady of Erin statue back some of its prestige, as the last few years, it looked like no more than a traffic island. I’ve always liked the old photo of the Lady Erin statue and I’d love if the statue was restored like the original with the railings and street lamps. Unfortunately, the Lady Erin monument has been vandalised several times down through the years. I think with the guard rails around it again, it would act as a deterrent, well that and a few well-placed spikes!
Then: Sligo Weir on the Garavogue River – 1900’s
Now: Sligo Weir on the Garavogue River
In the early 1900’s, water from the Garavogue river is diverted for a mill in the old photo. Today, where the Garavogue bar and restaurant is sited they have created a replica of a nineteenth-century mill wheel.
National Library of Ireland – http://catalogue.nli.ie/
Google street view – https://www.google.ie/maps