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Douglas bay, Isle of Man

Date(s): early-mid 20th century

Scope & Content: On the back of this photograph Frowde writes, 'Circa 1843. Mona's Isle I, in bay, disembarking passengers. Old Court House clearly visible on Red Pier (with magnifier). Old Douglas Fort rampart well seen in horizontal centre of picture. Ravenscliffe not erected. Harold Tower 'recently built' (Quiggin's Guide 1845). I can afford much interesting detail re this picture and its subject, to anyone sufficently interested in it. In Pickerings view of Douglas, 1832, when Sir William Hillary occupied Fort Anne; (year Conister was built or started) there were none of these battlemented walls, towers and whatnot. People are shewn promenading on open headland up to the limit of the then Fort Anne grounds. It would seem that Sir William was so charmed with the architect Welsh's medieval style exemplified in the Tower of Refuge, that he purchased (on ground-rent) from General Goldie, the space Ravenscliffe now stands on, and gave Welch a free hand to make a battlemented surround to the entire area. Even what was evidently a kitchen garden (1 1/2 inches from left at rear) was surrounded by battlements and turrets. Even in those days his extravagance would mean a huge outlay. Sir William was living here then for 'economical' reasons. See Norris' article giving details up to the time Sir William was sold up, and Bluett's Manx Advocates' Note Book re his being consigned to prison in 1846 for inability to pay two years ground rent to General Goldie. His wife died about that time, and he, the year after, 1847, and there was no mention of him (there was of his wife - he saw to that) on the vault in St George's yard until within the last ten years. Now 1932. House of Industry tower is in the picture: also Marina Terrace, Marina Hotel, and Mrs Firth's house (in 1881) opposite St Thomas' Church then. The three legs on the port paddlebox of the Mona's Isle (I) in the picture are shewn as 'sunwise' or clockwise'. In the SPCo's painting of the Mona's Isle I (Walter's) going up the Mersey, the three legs on the same port paddlebox are shewn as revolving the reverse way. And looking at Walter's painting in the Museum (28.01.32) I noticed that the old steamer was flying a large "blue Peter", going into port'. 'From Museum Picture'. Additional notes on second copy: 'Douglas in 1843. Mona's Isle (I) passengers being rowed to Pier and landed on the low projection. Sir William Hillary's dummy battlements - still here. Smoke form shipyards behind fort.' 'From picture in Museum'.

The photograph is of the painting 'Douglas Bay' painted by Watts in 1838.

Language: eng

Extent: overall: 155 cm x 236 cm

Physical description: black & white print

Item name: photograph

Collection: Photographic Archive

Level: ITEM

ID number: PG/8224/18/32


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