Bantry 1860s, Early Irish photographer Rev Freke of Durrus at Queen of Denmark’s visit to Bandon, Bantry Regatta August, 1864, Bantry Cricket Team (Toope, Jagoe, Meara, Warner, MacNamara, Thompson, Harris, Croly, T. Lannin, McCarthy, Byes) against Crew of H.M.S. ‘Lark’ (Irwin, Robothan, Mehegan, Dayrell, Hodge, Bride, Tickner, Cole, Brine, Martin, Byes) April 1868,  Bantry and Skibbereen Agricultural Society, A Visit to Bantry September 1868, Sketches of Rooska, the Exquisite new Church (of Ireland) erected by Mr William Murphy, a mile Eastward the residence of the late Richard Levis, Esq.December 1869.

Sir Joceyln Coghill, Early Photographer c 1860.

Cricket was quite common in Ireland before the onset of the GAA in the late 1880s.  A cricket team was established in Bantry under the patronage of the Earl of Bantry in April 1868 and played at the Inches, Beach.

HMS Lark (1855) was a Dapper-class screw gunboat launched in 1855 and sold in 1878.

The Murphy who erected Rooska Church was the father of William Martin Murphy, originally from Beara.  He was an active builder and built the pier in Bantry around this time.

James Freke Vicar 1852-1865, Magistrate 1862, attended the wedding of Lord Bandon’s daughter in Bandon 1863. John Harding Cole Curate, 1860. He was an early photographer and was involved in taking photographs at the Bazaar in Lord Bandon’s Castle Bandon in 1865.  He attended the funeral of Lord Bantry in July 1868.  Addressed a meeting in Durrus Court House in 1873 on the need to promote railways and gave the example of Belgium as having an efficient state owned railway system.


Some of the services and sermons at these places of worship were in Irish c. 1850, when the Rev. Crosthwaite preached; attended by thirty converts and several poor Protestants who would have to travel six to ten miles if they attended the Parish Church.  Rooska Church was built in 1866 to a design of William Atkins. The builder was William Murphy of Beara possibly the father of William Martin Murphy.The church was reopened in 1894 and in an article reproduced in Francis Humphries’s book; there is a reference to the congregation comprising 65 of the farming class. The large proportion of men especially young men here as in other West Cork parishes was in contrast to the situation elsewhere.  The church underwent redecoration in 1962.  This Church was closed in January 1988.

7-Scan 1414 8-Scan 1415 4-Scan 1411 5-Scan 1412 6-Scan 1413 1-Scan 1408 2-Scan 1409 3-Scan 1410