19 August 2008

Saint Patrick's College, Maynooth, County Kildare

Saint Patrick's College, Parson Street, Maynooth, County Kildare
1st photograph and text below from National Inventory of Architectural Heritage
Remainder of photographs by E. Timoney, June 2010
1835 - 1840
Remains of four cut-limestone ball alleys, built 1837. Undergoing part demolition, 2002. Set in grounds shared with Saint Patrick's College. Part overgrown grounds to site.

This ball alley complex, which is now disused and in poor condition, is an attractive feature in the grounds of Saint Patrick's College. It is one of a pair of handball alleys in the grounds, with another example to south-east (11803129/KD-05-03-129). Once a common sight across the country many of these structures have subsequently been demolished, which means that the example at Maynooth is an important and rare survival. Of considerable social and cultural importance the handball alley is also of vernacular interest, being a building type that is indigenous to the country. The construction of the building in fine cut-limestone attests to the high quality of stone masonry practised in the development of the college.


Anonymous said...

As of June 2010, this alley is in quite good condition (considerably better than shown in the photograph above). It is now walled in on all sides, apart from a narrow entrance, and flanked by NUIM Music Department's practice rooms. It does not appear to be frequently used, but is not completely defunct.
The other alley, situated on the other side of the wall, is full of waste office furniture and industrial containers, rendering it unusable, but it is structurally intact.
~An Beirneach

Anthony Shiels said...

This Ball Alley is often used by members of the HURLING CLUB for practise during Term Time.

There is a wire fence along the top of the back wall to collect balls. This Alley was originally part of 2 Back to Back Pairs of Alleys. One of these became unusable in the late 1970's when the Chemistry Department built a Pre-Fabricated Physical Chemistry Laboratory on this Site. This Pre-Fab Structure was recently replaced by a new MUSIC PRACTICE ROOM.

The Ball Alley on the EAST SIDE of this one has been CONVERTED INTO AN INDOOR BALL ALLEY and it is still in use.

Enda Timoney said...

There is a mix up here. There are two sets of alleys in Maynooth. A set of 4 alleys which are in poor condition out near the GAA pitch, pictured above. The other set is of back to back alleys, one in good condition, other has containers in it. Enda Timoney.

Eoin O'Mahony said...

I have some photos of these alleys here: http://flic.kr/s/aHsiUzXv6v