Postcards of Roscommon

The town of Roscommon is well represented in the library's postcard collection. The postmarks date as far back as 1905, and whilst William Lawrence's images can be easily identified, local publishers feature prominently also.

M. J. Farrell of the Souvenir Shop, Church Street, Roscommon was the pioneering publisher in the early decades of the last century. An agent was sent around from publishers like Richies of Scotland to take view photos of obvious tourist type scenes. Farrells then bought the finished product, in postcard form and sold them in their shop. J. Coyle Fancy Stores and Hugh Flynn, Main Street can also be identified as local publishers .


Roscommon Castle (from Lough side)

This sepia tinted photo postcard is of Roscommon Castle, and was posted from the town to England, in 1918 at a cost of 1 penny. It is obviously a winter view, the bare trees testifying to this on the right.This was possibly taken in the early 1900's. The castle measures 220 feet in length, and 170 feet in width, and has an enclosed quadrangular courtyard. The remains of some of the windows added to this fortification at various stages of it's development, can be seen in this pose. According to local photographer M. J. Farrell, the Lough was nearly always frozen over throughout the winter, and his shop enjoyed a brisk trade selling skates!

Roscommon Castle (from Lough side) -

Roscommon Castle, Roscommon

A night view of Roscommon Castle, taken in 1987, commissioned by Roscommon County Council. This rather eerie view shows how time has worn away the defences constructed in 1269 by the Normans, and finally routed by Cromwell in 1652.

Roscommon Castle, Roscommon -

Grealy's Hotel, Roscommon

A black and white commercial postcard, produced by the hotel itself. The imposing building is on the left front of the card with a division on the right for the address. All of the back of the card was reserved for correspondence. The hotel itself, is still as striking architecturally today as it was when this photo was taken. The site is on the corner of Church Street and Main Street, and the hotel is a seven bay three storey building, built in 1870. The ribbon coursing over the ground floor windows and main door still enhances the frontage. The oriel windows are a unique feature in the town.

Grealy's Hotel, Roscommon -

The Presbytery, Roscommon

This three bay two storey presbytery was built c.1910. It is set within the church grounds, and is also named after the Sacred Heart. A frieze in the central entrance bay incorporates the Sacred Heart motif, which is also extended to the canted bay. This very attractive building has changed little over the years and is still home to the Catholic priests of the town. It still remains surrounded by the wrought-iron railings, and the hedge and gardens, then in their infancy, have now of course matured.

The Presbytery, Roscommon -

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