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01-09-2011, 19:00   #1
jonniebgood1
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History of Irish Tourism

I was listening to a piece on the radio today about B&B's and it made me think,when did tourism in Ireland become common. Europe had the Grand tour for the rich/ nobility from the mid 17th century until the mid 19th when travel became easier with trains. Did Ireland feature in much travel from that era and how was the country recorded?

From the mid 19th century as train tracks were laid across the country it brought the possibility of tourism to the middle classes amongst other things. I thought it might be interesting to try and look at how tourism was developed both pre-independence and since. i.e. how did hotels develop and for whom and where? when did B&B's start. How were areas promoted, locally or nationally? When did heritage become part of the attraction? And who were the first touring visitors?

Its quite a light topic but could be interesting, any sources and relevent information welcomed.
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01-09-2011, 19:29   #2
 
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There's a very good source on an early 'tourist' called A Tour in Ireland 1776-1779 written by Arthur Young. Young was born around 1741 and was an English writer, economist and social commentator. He travelled to and toured Ireland in the 1770s.

I have it in hard copy but it's also available now for free on Kindle and from Project Gutenberg. This is the link

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/22387...-h/22387-h.htm
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01-09-2011, 19:46   #3
 
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The national library had a series of historical documents on sale one of them was Ireland 1860-80 from stereo photographs which featured tourist sites from the era. I'll try to take a few pics to put up.

Last edited by Nhead; 01-09-2011 at 19:51.
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01-09-2011, 20:01   #4
 
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I just typed out some of what Mr Young had to say about Killarney in the 1770s:


Quote:
Before I quit I have one more observation to make which is relative to the want of accommodations and extravagant expense of strangers residing in Killarney. I speak if not at all feelingly thanks to Mr. Herbert’s hospitality, but from the accounts given me; the inns are miserable and the lodgings little better. I am surprised that somebody with a good capital does not procure a large well-built inn, to be erected on the immediate shore of the lake, in an agreeable situation, within distance of the town; there are very few places where such a one would answer better; there ought to be numerous and good apartments.

A large rendezvous-room for billiards, cards, dancing music etc. to which the company might resort to when they choose it; an ordinary for those who like dining in public, boats of all sorts, nets for fishing and as great a variety of amusements as could be collected especially within doors. For the climate being very rainy travellers wait with great impatience in a dirty common inn which they would not do if they were in the midst of such accommodations as they meet with at an English spa.

But above all the prices of everything, from a room to dinner to a barge to a band of music, to be reasonable, and hung up in every part of the house.
Advice that could be taken on board even today!
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01-09-2011, 21:43   #5
 
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/67058469@N03/6104272864/ This is an ad for a hotel in Belfast just follow the arrow for the rest.

I'll add some text soon. Sorry for the quality!!

Last edited by Nhead; 01-09-2011 at 21:52.
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01-09-2011, 22:18   #6
 
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The grand tour which was taken by many in England stopped for due to the French Revolution and what came after and that is why a great many of the Romantic poets looked to the Lake District. Shelley came to Ireland and was at many nationalist meetings he wrote Address to the Irish People.
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01-09-2011, 22:31   #7
 
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Another pair of early Irish tourists were Mr.& Mrs.S.C.Hall who produced a three volume work - "Hall's Ireland" - in 1840. This work described Ireland just before the coming of the railways and the infrastructure of a tourist industry hadn't really developed yet.

It was really the coming of the railways and the building of large, quality railway company hotels that started the ball rolling on the tourist front. The Killarney Great Southern Hotel (1854) was one of the first and was quickly followed by others at Parknasilla, Waterville and Caragh Lake. In the West, the Midland, Great Western Railway built hotels at Galway (Eyre Square), Recess and Mulranny.



In the North the Great Northern Railway built hotels at Bundoran and Belfast. Also in Northern Ireland the Midland Railway (NCC) built hotels at Belfast, Larne and Portrush while the Belfast & Co.Down built the magnificent edifice that is the 'Slieve Donard' Hotel - pictured below.



The Dundalk, Newry & Greenore Railway had a fine hotel in Greenore and in Dublin the London & North Western Railway had a large hotel at the North Wall. The Dublin & South Eastern Railway had hotels at Bray and Rathdrum.

Throw in the various Royal visits to Kerry during the second half of the 19th century and our tourist industry was born. I could go on but another time.

Last edited by Judgement Day; 01-09-2011 at 22:33.
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02-09-2011, 08:43   #8
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Any idea how the Prince of Wales Route between Killarney & Glengarriff came about, or did them cute whores just dream it up
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02-09-2011, 09:46   #9
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I came across a quite random page showing photos from the 1860-1880 era
Quote:
This picture is taken at the Giants Causeway in Co. Antrim. The women are probably selling something to the two men seated who are almost certainly tourists. The woman in the foreground is smoking a pipe.

Quote:
Tourist at the Lake Hotel Killarney, according to the national archive notes the dress code indicates the picture was taken in the 1860′s.

Quote:
This photo taken at the Blackchurch hotel, Naas, Co Kildare illustrates the way ordinary people were viewed and treated by the upper classes. While the tourists pose for the picture, the coach drives do not even turn to look at the camera functioning almost as props in their own photo.
These are taken from http://irishhistorypodcast.ie/2011/0...880/#more-1292 There are more photos there including some of locals which are hard to get from this era.
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03-09-2011, 12:34   #10
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The malton in killarney claims to be the first hotel in the town:
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Killarney is the proud birthplace of Irish tourism, with the town celebrating its 250th anniversary as a tourist destination in 2004. The Malton, formerly the Great Southern Hotel Killarney, has been a focal point of this lively and bustling tourist town since 1854. This year saw the grand opening of the first railway line to Killarney from Dublin. The Great Southern and Western Railway Company decided to build a "Grand Hotel" outside of Dublin, and after considering many locations, they chose Killarney.

They would require 40 acres of land at the railhead for a station and hotel, but they wanted it free. The land in question was part of a giant estate owned by Lord Kenmare, including thousands of acres stretching from Killarney back to Kenmare. Although Lord Kenmare recognised the value of signing over the land, the piece the railway wanted was special – it contained a magnificent garden, which he had lovingly developed over many years. Eventually, a deal was struck, and the project was given the go-ahead.

He was more than reluctant to lose the site but the parties eventually agreed that the Great Southern and Western Railway Company could build their new hotel under two conditions:

1.The Brownes (Lord Kenmare's family) would have free rail travel whenever they wished
2.Should they be delayed in getting to the station, the train in question would hold departure until the Brownes had boarded safely.
Once these conditions were met, the Killarney Railway Junction Company ran a design competition in order to choose an architect for the hotel. For reasons that remain a mystery to this day, the hotel was eventually designed by an architect other than the winner of the competition. The final architect, Mr. Frederick Darley, was the official architect to Trinity College, and had also designed Merchant's Hall in Dublin, the Kings Inn Library, and a Magnetic Observatory at Trinity.
http://www.themalton.com/location-an...y/history.html
This mentions that tourism started in the area in 1754. I wonder what is that based on? *EDIT- Killarney town was founded in 1754,
Quote:
Thomas 4th Viscount Kenmare - the acknowledged founder of Killarney Town (1754) and the father of Irish Tourism http://www.killarney.ie/history.php
The time line also has some interesting points:
Quote:
1895
Killarney becomes acquainted with package tour programmes for the first time when Thomas Cook Travel decides to include the town among its premiere holiday destinations. This was the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship.
Quote:
1912
The hotel experiences a bit of drama when visited by a VIP guest. This guest turned out to be a senior German espionage agent called Lodi. When news reached Scotland Yard of his stay here, two detectives were dispatched armed with an arrest warrant. Lodi, who had been alerted to their presence grabbed a bulky suitcase full of documents and ran to the boiler room in the basement, attempting to throw the documents into the fire. Before he could burn all the documents, the detectives burst into the room and arrested him. He was subsequently charged, convicted and executed as a spy.
Quote:
1917
The Great Southern installs a telephone in the hotel, being offered the number 'Killarney 26'. Some of the ivy covering the buildings was planted.

Last edited by jonniebgood1; 03-09-2011 at 12:44.
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03-09-2011, 13:44   #11
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Visitors started arriving to view the unusual columns of rocks from the 1700s. They flocked to the site despite the lukewarm views of some, like Samuel Johnson - the 18th century essayist - who wrote that the Causeway was "worth seeing, yes; but not worth going to see."
From: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/n...nd/8474280.stm

Jonnie, I wasn't aware the Grand Tour had begun as early as 1660, faskinating.
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03-09-2011, 17:48   #12
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Originally Posted by who the fug View Post
Any idea how the Prince of Wales Route between Killarney & Glengarriff came about, or did them cute whores just dream it up
I expect that they concocted it after this visit in 1861, as the Prince of Wales was part of the group. It must have been good for tourism, associating various places with the royal visit, similar to the way the name "Ladies View" was given to a scenic view-point just because the accompanying ladies looked out from it.

Quote:
Queen Victoria's Visit, 1861.
he Herbert Family of Muckross enjoyed a high social standing, which reached its climax in 1861, with the visit of Queen Victoria to Killarney. Although the Queen had visited Ireland on two previous occasions, in 1849 and 1853, this was the first time that Kerry was included in her itinerary.
The Queen was accompanied by Albert, the Prince Consort, the Prince of Wales, Prince Alfred, P rincess Alice and Princess Helena. The Royal party stayed the night of Monday, August 26th, at Killarney House, home of the Earl of Kenmare. They then travelled on to Muckross, where they spent the following two nights. The Queen's visit to Killarney House was very much a state occasion. However, her stay at Muckross was a much more private affair. The local press reported that Her Majesty 'had declared her intention of being "very quiet" while at Muckross.' (The Kerry Evening Post, Wed. August 28th, 1861).
At 6.30 pm on the evening of Monday 26th, the Royal train arrived in Killarney from Dublin. The Royal party were then escorted to Killarney House, where a large dinner was held that evening. The next day the Queen embarked at Ross Castle for a day on the Lakes. Lunch was served at Glena Cottage. In the evening the party returned to Ross Quay, from where they were escorted back to Killarney House.

At about 6.30pm that same evening, Tuesday 27th, the Queen and her family set out for Muckross. They were accompanied by The Right Hon. Henry Arthur Herbert, Viscount Castlerosse (of the Kenmare family) and a troop of the Royal Dragoons, The Times described how Mr and Mrs Herbert received the Queen on the lawn at the door of Muckross House. A host of other ladies and gentlemen were also present and greeted the Queen enthusiastically. (The Times, Fri. August 30th, 1861).
Elaborate preparations had been carried out at Muckross for the Royal visit. Tapestries, mirrors, Persian carpets, silverware, musical instruments, linen, china and servants uniforms, are all said to have been specially commissioned for the occasion. The curtains, which still hang in the Dining Room of Muckross House, were specially woven, probably in Paris, for the occasion.
The Queen's apartments at Muckross were described in the local press as follows:
'An entire section of the mansion has been set apart for the royal family, so that all their apartments communicate without the necessity of passing into the corridors to be used by other occupants of the house. The Queen will live here in privacy, and from the windows of her rooms she can walk into delightful grounds, which will be kept private during her stay at Muckross. In her sitting room - which, like all the others, is a splendid apartment furnished richly and tastefully, there is a series of views of the Lakes of Killarney, painted by Mrs Herbert. They are works of the highest artistic excellence.'
(The Kerry Evening Post, Wed. August 28th, 1861)
The following day the Queen, accompanied in her carriage by Mrs Herbert, drove around the Muckross Demesne, visiting Dinis Island, Mangerton and Torc waterfall. Following lunch at Muckross House, the party then embarked at Muckross boathouse for Tomies to view a stag hunt upon the Lake. (The Kerry Evening Post, Sat. August 31st, 1861).
On Thursday 29th August, the morning of her departure, Queen Victoria visited Muckross Abbey, a 15th century Franciscan friary within the Muckross demesne. Eleanor, the eldest Herbert daughter described this visit as having been, 'very quiet, hardly any of the suite with us, they were all enchanted and wandered over it gathering ferns and leaves as recollections. She is to have ivy from the Abbey and ferns from various places sent to Osborne as recollections of this place.'

Before departing from Muckross, the Queen sent for Mrs Mary Herbert and presented her with a bracelet of gold, pearls and diamonds. Her daughters, Eleanor and Blanche, also each received a piece of jewellery. The Royal Collection at Windsor Castle contains three water-colours by Mary Herbert. Presumably Mary presented these to the Queen on her departure.
At noon the Royal party left Muckross House for Killarney Railway station. There they boarded their train for Dublin, which they reached in just a little over five hours. Mr Miller, Chief engineer of the Grea t Southern and Western Railway drove the train both to and from Killarney. (The Kerry Evening Post, Sat. August 31st 1861). The unstable financial situation of the Herberts in the late 19th century may have stemmed from the outlay involved in preparations for this Royal visit.
http://www.muckross-house.ie/library...eens_visit.htm
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06-09-2011, 20:50   #13
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Originally Posted by The Scientician View Post
From: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/n...nd/8474280.stm

Jonnie, I wasn't aware the Grand Tour had begun as early as 1660, faskinating.
I think its main early attraction was the Renaissance works in Italy. I know that alot of the large country houses of Britain and presumably Ireland also were very directly influenced by the Architectural styles that existed in Europe, Italy in particular. The Grand tour was often part of the Architects training.
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09-09-2011, 10:30   #14
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The beginning of the 20th century sees a wider recognition of the natural history of the irish landscape.
Quote:
Robert Lloyd Praeger (1865-1953), born in Hollywood county Down, was the greatest of Irish Field Botanists. From 1897 to 1900 he conducted extensive field work over the whole of Ireland, covering 5,000 miles on foot. Dividing Ireland into 40 vice-counties he recorded the detailed distribution of the entire vascular flora. The finished catalogue, published in 1901, was Irish Topographical Botany, or ITB as it is more familiarly known, a landmark work in the history of Irish Botany.
A tourist's flora of the west of Ireland published in 1909 was a remarkably novel approach of writing a discursive account of the flora and topography 'of over 100 selected areas, large and small, lying within the district'.
http://www.botanicgardens.ie/herb/census/history.htm
This was combined with photography by John Welch which was attractive to both tourists and naturists.
So areas such as the Burren, Cliffs of Moher, Aran Islands, started becoming attractions at this time due to this type of work.
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11-09-2011, 12:25   #15
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There is a large series of historic postcards that were launched this year in conjunction with the Belfast Telegraph. If you go into the menu county by county there are cards of almost every town in the country.

Aran islands

Kells, Co. Meath.

Strawberry beds, Dublin.

http://photosales.belfasttelegraph.c...vwkD6JVoObQ..a
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