Some Fantastic 19th century Photos of Irish Archaeology Sites

This fantastic collection of photos, which are taken from the archives of Victoria & Albert Museum, show a number of Irish archaeological sites as they appeared at the end of the 19th century/start of the 20th century. The majority of images were taken by Robert Welch who was a noted Belfast based photographer.

Newgrange entrance 19th century
Entrance into Newgrange, Co. Meath, 1900, by Hogg, A R © Victoria and Albert Museum

 

 

Dowth chamber
Interior of Dowth Passage Tomb, by Hogg, A R, 1900 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

 

Legananny tomb
Leganny Portal Tomb, Co. Down by Welch, R, 1897 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

 

Knocknarea, Sligo
Knocknarea tomb, Co. Sligo by Welch R, 1898 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

 

Goward dolmen down
Gowards Portal Tomb, Co. Down by Welch, R, 1898 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

 

Dowth entrance
The entrance into the passage tomb at Dowth, Co. Meath by Hogg, A R, 1900 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Ballyhack, portal tomb

Megalithic tomb, Carrowmore, Co. Sligo by Welch, R
Megalithic tomb, Carrowmore, Co. Sligo by Welch, R © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

 

Early Christian Clochán, Inishmurry Island, Co. Sligo
Early Christian Clochán, Inishmurry Island, Co. Sligo by Welch, R, 1897 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

 

Boho cross base, Enniskillen
Boho high cross, Co. Fermanagh by Welch, R © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Ballysadare church
South door, St Fechin’s Church, Ballysadare, Co Sligo by Welch R, 1900 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

 

Ardboe High cross
Ardboe High Cross, Co. Tyrone by Welch, R, 1898 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

 

Dun Aengus 19th century
Dun Aengus, Aran Islands, Co. Galway, by Welch, R, 1898 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

 

Kilnasaggart cross slab
Kilnasaggart cross slab, Co Armagh by Welch, R, 1897 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

 

MacDaras church
McDara’s church, Galway by Welch, R, 1897 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

 

Monasterboice High Cross
Monasterboice High Cross, Co. Louth by Bingley, G, 1905 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

 

Inchagoill, church
Inchagoill church, Co. Galway by Welch, R, 1898 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Killeavy church, Co. Armagh
West Door, Killeavy Church, Co. Armagh by Welch R, 1897 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

 

Kilconnell Abbey
Kilconnell Abbey, Co. Galway by Welch R, 1908 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

 

Inishmurry cross
Cross, Inishmurry, Co. Sligo, Welch, R, 1897 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

 

Glendalough, Co. Wicklow by Bingley, G, 1905  © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Glendalough, Co. Wicklow by Bingley, G, 1905 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

 

Sweat house, Inishmurry, Co. Sligo by Welch, R, 1897 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

15 thoughts on “Some Fantastic 19th century Photos of Irish Archaeology Sites

  1. These are wonderful and fascinating. I would love to see a comparison of what the sites look like now. 🙂

  2. Great photos. I was wondering has anyone ever came across a photograph /sketch of Ballymacward Church Co Galway. It was demolished in the 1950’s with no local photos available. Local recollection of the church elevations differ and all that is available is a floor plan and site layout. I am currently compiling a book on the site.

  3. See also the publication ‘Monuments In The Past’ – photographs 1860 – 1936 published by the OPW/Duchas in 1991 and 2002.

  4. The 3rd photo is of Legananny tripod dolmen, not Leganny (it’s written on the photo). The name is an Anglicised version of the Gaelic, “Leach an Áinne”, which means ‘stone of Áinne’. This twisting of the true old Gaelic names was done by the British who spelt the names phonetically as they couldn’t deal with the Gaelic pronunciations. Unfortunately for our heritage this practice was wide-spread across the country when they were producing maps.

  5. The last photograph was of a “sweat house”? Please, would someone share with me about this? Is it similar to our native Americans “sweat lodge”? Was it used for health purposes or spiritual purposes or both? Thank you all!

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