During this visit I noticed that the two cannons attracted more dogs than children.
This park is not as attractive as either the People’s Park in Limerick or the People’s Park in Dun Laoghaire but it is still worth a visit especially as it has two cannons.
About twenty cannons captured from the Russians during the Crimean War are on display in Irish towns and cities. Seven are in the grounds of Army barracks, but the remainder are in public parks or in town centres. Galway, Limerick and Waterford each have two Crimean cannons, and others are in Birr, Bunratty, Cobh, Dún Laoghaire, Ennis, Newry, Tralee and Trim.
I noticed that some descriptions of these old guns used the spelling canon rather canon so I decided to check: “Cannon, with two n’s, is a long heavy gun on wheels. Lose an n and the word canon is a set of rules or traditions. If you thought these words were spelled the same, you’re not wrong: they used to be.”
THE CHRISTMAS SEASON IS UNDERWAY BUT THE DECORATIONS ARE MUTED
In case you don’t know Condé Nast Traveller has named Dublin as one of its top spots in the world to celebrate Christmas.
When I was young I visited my Grand-Aunts house hand she had no Christmas decoration and I started crying crying as there was “no Christmas” … this year I could complain that there is no Christmas as the many Christmas trees have no lights.
I was born on New Year day 1950 and for this reason alone I have always liked the Christmas season and throughout my working life I managed to get two or three weeks holiday at Christmas and I never worked on New Year’s day and usually I did not return to work or school earlier than the 6th. of January. I must admit that Covid did, to some extent, ruin last Christmas.
The CHQ Building, formerly known as Stack A, is an industrial building in Dublin, Ireland. CHQ stands for “Custom House Quay”, named for the nearby Custom House. Known as the Tobacco Store to dockworkers, it was built in 1820 to store cargos of tobacco, tea and spirits. Tobacco and tea were kept in separate compartments above ground. Wine and spirit casks were stored in the vaults below ground.
The building was designed by the Scottish engineer John Rennie, with his son of the same name working as his principal assistant. When it was constructed, the building had one of the largest single interior spaces in the city, and its brick external walls enclosed a space of more than 8,000sqm. The structure was supported by a cast iron frame supporting a slated roof. No wood was used in the construction. The building measures 155m by 55m and of the original nine vaults that run west to east and cover the entire footprint of the building, eight and a half remain after the building was reduced by 5m at its southern end in 1884 in order to widen Custom House Quay. A total of eleven warehouses or “stacks”, as well as three deep-water docks were built on reclaimed land making up the Custom House Docks complex.
An description of the CHQ Building dating from 1821 by the Rev. George Newenham Wright, an Anglican clergyman, noted that: “the tobacco store (500 feet by 160, and capable of containing 3,000 hogsheads), the plan of which was given by John Rennie, Esq [has] nine vaults beneath, which altogether afford perfect and convenient storage for 4,500 pipes of wine, allowing a walk behind the heads of the pipes as well as between them; these vaults are lighted by means of thick lenses set in iron plates in the floor of the tobacco store; but this is not sufficient to supersede the necessity of candle light. [The] roof is supported by metal frame-work of an ingenious construction [..] supported by three rows of cylindrical metal pillars, 26 in each row; these rest upon others of granite, which are continued through the stone floor into the vaults beneath.”
In addition to its use as a storehouse, because of the large interior space, the building has also been put to other uses.
For example, on 22 October 1856, the building was the chosen venue for a banquet, paid for by the citizens of Dublin, in honour of those Irish soldiers who had served in the British Army during the Crimean War. The ‘Great National Banquet’ was the brainchild of Fergus Farrell, the Lord Mayor of Dublin, who had been a deputy to Daniel O’Connell. It is estimated that one third of the 111,000 men who served in the war were Irish, including 114 of those involved in the Charge of the Light Brigade. The guests at the banquet included 3,628 soldiers from regiments quartered in Dublin and the four provinces, as well as 1,000 non-military guests, principally subscribers, seated in the gallery overlooking the hall. Hugh Gough, 1st Viscount Gough, the Tipperary-born Colonel-in-Chief of the 60th Royal Rifles, addressed and toasted the attendees.
In the early 2000s, the protected structure was restored by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority. Irishman Neville Isdell, a former chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola, along with Mervyn Greene, purchased the building in late 2013 with the intention of further developing the structure.Today, the building contains a number of businesses, including the EPIC The Irish Emigration Museum and Dogpatch Labs.
IN MEMORY OF DICKIE BIRD [A HORSE THAT SERVED THE CRIMEAN WAR]
Dickie Bird, a horse that served in the Crimean War in 1854 with the 5th Dragoon Guards and whose bones were found by archaeologists in Dublin at Clancy Barracks is now on display at the National Museum of Ireland.
“Near this spot lies the remains of Dickie Bird B7, Troop Horse 5th Dragoon Guards. Which was foaled in 1850, joined the regiment in 1853 and served throughout the entire Crimean Campaign from May 1854 to Jun 1856. He was shot on the 21st November 1874 by special authority of the Horse Guards, to save him from being sold at auction”.
NOTE: ‘not a dicky-bird’ means ‘not a word’, i.e. silence, especially in the context where a spoken or written word might have been expected – for example, ‘Jack said he would write, but I haven’t heard a dicky-bird from him for weeks.
CANNON FROM THE CRIMEAN WAR – LOCATED AT THE EAST PIER IN DUN LAOGHAIRE
After publishing this photograph I realised that I had spelled Cannon as Canon
This old Russian gun was one of nearly 3,000 that were captured during the Crimean War. Most of them were reportedly from the siege of Sebastopol – due to public discontent with the management of the war it is suspected that these numbers were exaggerated in order to show why the siege took so long. In the Treaty of Paris, which ended the war, it was agreed that each of the victors would receive cannons from the Russians as trophies of their victory. Some of these Russian guns were put on display in towns throughout Britain and Ireland. In Ireland over 20 towns are believed to have applied for and received a Russian gun for display. You can see the double eagle and crown of the Romanov family crest on the cannon today.