Forgotten monuments no. 37: The cross of the rock
The Cross of the Rock refers to the small stone cross on the Main Street of Blackrock village. The history of it dates back to 1678 when Walter Cheevers sold his castle in Monkstown, and moved to Blackrock. He brought the cross with him and it was eventually inherited by his daughter. She later married into the Byrne family and the cross remained with the family when it was set on the edge of the family property line, between 1765 and 1773, and served as a boundary marker. There was a local custom whereby all funeral procession passed by the cross.
The cross itself is said to date back to the 8th or 9th century and has been linked to the Monastic foundation of Monkstown associated with St. Mochanna.
The Cross is decorated with the carving of a human face and some have speculated it may have originally been a megalithic standing stone altered during the Christian period.
In 1865 there was some controversy over whether to remove the cross completely. Locals rallied to keep the cross so the cross was kept and a new base was built for it and it was placed on the Main Street where it stands today.
The Three Tun Tavern pub on the corner before settling on its current name was going to be called The Cross of the Rock pub.
Forgotten monuments no. 36: The man who could fly; Eddie Heron
James Edward "Eddie" Heron was born in 1910 and made his name as one of Ireland’s most notable athletes. Born in Dublin to Michael and Mary Heron. Eddie developed a love for gymnastics and diving due to his fathers own ability and encouragement.
Eddie’s first successes came as early as aged 13, when he won the Leinster Championship 1924. Following years, the achievements and wins started to flow. By 1950, the year of his official retirement, he dominated Irish diving, winning 34 national titles in both high diving and springboard events.
His international recognition began in 1932 when he won the British Diving Championship. He attempted to compete in two separate Olympic Games; in 1936 and 1948. However, due to a dispute as to which sporting body should represent Irish athletes, Ireland was forced to withdraw from both. Although Eddie did not participate in the 1936 Olympics he was able to compete in the opening heats of the 1948 diving competitions before the withdrawal.
He came out of retirement to take part in the Irish 3m springboard championship held at Blackrock Baths in Dublin in 1968. He won by defeating the reigning champion. Eddie was aged 57 at the time. He continued to take part in diving exhibitions and competitions well into his 60s.
Eddie Heron died in 1985 aged 74. In July of each year, swimmers compete for the Eddie Heron Cup in a race from Dun Laoghaire to Blackrock organised by Heron's former club. This plaque was erected in his honour near the old Blackrock Baths (2nd picture). The final photo shows Eddie Heron diving off O’Connell bridge in the early 1940s.
Group of Buddhist caves dated back to 2nd century CE.
Carved three floors below the rocky terrain are three chambers, each having an open to sky central space surrounded by a passage.
Columns and walls are carved in semi relief, bearing minimal decorative features and impressions of Buddha.
They are a part of the Uperkot fort complex in the city of Junagadh.
Carving this large chunk of rock with basic tools back in the 2nd century is a wonder in itself.
As it is underground and surrounded by rock, even on a hot sunny afternoon the temperature is atleast 2 degrees lesser beneath. .
#indialostandfound @indialostandfound #photocontest#post2 .
#caves#buddhistcaves#uperkotfort#undergroundcaves#cavesindia#junagadh#archaeology#archaeologyindia#monument#heritage#history#buddhist @theheritagephotographyclub @heritageofindia1 @ourheritageindia @incredible_heritage @see_heritage @heritage__photography @the_heritage_nation @intachheritageacademy @gujarattourism @gujrat_heritage @heritage_gujarat @indian.photography @indian_photography_hub_ @photography_of_heritage #photoblog#architecture @natgeotravellerindia @studio_adda @indian_architectural_frames @archaeologyofindia #forgottenmonuments
In focus via #citizenarchaeology : The Kangra Fort, Western Himachal Pradesh
The Kangra Fort was built by the royal Rajput family of Kangra State (the Katoch dynasty), which traces its origins to the ancient Trigarta Kingdom, mentioned in the Mahabharata epic. It is the largest fort in the Himalayas and probably the oldest dated fort in India. The fort of Kangra resisted Akbar's siege in 1615. However, Akbar's son Jahangir successfully subdued the fort in 1620. The Katoch Kings repeatedly looted Mughal controlled regions, weakening the Mughal control, aiding in the decline of Mughal power, Raja Sansar Chand II succeeded in recovering the ancient fort of his ancestors, in 1789. Maharaja Sansar Chand fought multiple battles with Gurkhas on one side and Sikh King Maharaja Ranjit Singh on the other. Sansar Chand used to keep his neighboring Kings jailed, and this led to conspiracies against him. The Fort remained with the Katochs until 1828 when Ranjit Singh annexed it after Sansar Chand's death. The fort was finally taken by the British after the Sikh war of 1846.
A British garrison occupied the fort until it was heavily damaged in an earthquake on 4 April 1905.
Images by @gaurie662
Looks who back. This monument is called the 'STEINE memorial'. The 3.35m granite structure stands at the intersection of Pearse St, D'Olier St, College St, Hawkins St and Townsend St. It was erected in 1986 to commemorate Ivor The Boneless (1st Viking ruler of Dublin c. 9th c) & Mary de Hogges (head of local All Hallows' convent). It stood until 2013, when it was removed to make way for the new luas line construction. Now in 2017, it finally makes its welcome return.
Forgotten monuments no. 35: Why go Bald?
The family run Universal Hair & Scalp Clinic was Est. 1960 and was the first of its kind in Dublin. But what makes this business recognisable is the iconic 'Why Go Bald? Man'. The sign was erected by Sydney Goldsmith of the Clinic in 1962, on Georges Street, and is now one of Dublin’s best loved landmarks. No longer just an advert for the business, this sign is now considered a historic piece of Dublins art scene. For nearly 4 decades it stood, proudly advertising the presumed correlation between virility and baldness in bold neon glory. The sign has even appeared in such films as “A man of no importance” and “Educating Rita”. But after decades of shinning down on George's St the sign fell in to disrepair. The sign was due to be scrapped in the 90s but thanks to the activism of design historian Lisa godson and the 20th Century Trust, as well as celebrity support from the likes of hair replacement enthusiast Bono, it was saved. The trust managed to find the original plans and drawings of its manufacturer Taylor Signs of Dublin, and as a result of this work, Taylor Signs agreed to remake missing sections free of charge. So on November 28th, 1999,
Mr. Why Go Bald? was switched on for the first time in five years. Today it remains a landmark piece of art and a cult tourist attraction still illuminating the streets of Dublin.
Forgotten Monuments no 34: The Rotunda Rink.
The Rotunda Rink was a temporary concert hall erected on the grounds of the Rotunda Gardens at the early part of the 20th c. It was booked out as a venue to host a social & political gathering of like minded Irish republicans to discuss the future of Ireland which lead to the foundation of the Irish Volunteer movement. It took place on the 25th Nov 1913. It was filled to capacity of 4000 people with a further 3000 outside who couldnt gain access.
It featured representatives from all aspects of Irish national opinion; moderate nationalists, trade unionists, cultural & language activists, GAA stalwarts, representatives of the Ancient Order of Hibernians & IRB as well as a large body of students from the National University of Ireland. The meeting was chaired by the UCD historian Eoin MacNeill, who's recent article called for a movement that would emulate the formation of the Ulster Volunteer Force who had threatened rebellion to oppose the introduction of Home Rule. The IVs was to be the Irish nationalist response. At the event, MacNeill proclaimed, “We are commencing a united Ireland".
His manifesto declared that the ranks were open to all able-bodied Irish men without distinction of creed, politics or social grade.
rhetoric embraced the prospect of heroic conflict. The manifesto also stated that the duties of the Volunteers “will be defensive and protective and they will not contemplate either aggression or domination”. However good MacNeill's intentions, the variety of nationalist opinions & organisations involved meant the potential for internal dissension was strong & would lead to separation & infiltration.
By the middle of 1914, membership of the IV had reached 150,000. However by the outbreak off WW1, 90% moved to Redmond's movement, the National Volunteers & many enlisted in the British army, declaring, “Because Mr Redmond said that this was as much Ireland’s fight as England’s and we want to fight for Ireland.” Still, 15000 remained in the IV but only 1500 later took part in the 1916 Rising in Dublin.
Forgotten Monuments 33: Eugene Lawlor
Once sitting at the northern end of the taxi rank on O’Connell Street, the Eugene Lawlor memorial now resides at the rank on the corner of O'Connell St and Cathal Brugha St. This glass enclosed colourful statue of Jesus as the Sacred Heart once resided within the Gresham Hotel but was given to The Taxi drivers of Dublin when it was considered being thrown out during refurbishments of the hotel. Sometimes called Jesus of the Taxi Drivers, the plaque reads 'May God Bless the Taxi Driver's, keep them safe and watch over then on there journey's - in memory of Eugene Lawor Rank Organiser - R.I.P. '. The statue was funded and dedicated to the memory of Eugene Lawlor. Information on Lawlor is very hard to find but I do know he wasn't a taxi driver but a young man who befriended the drivers and is credited as the rank organiser.
The Jesus acts, similarly to the Stella Maris on Bull Island (the sailors’ and port workers’ statue devoted to Mary as protector of seafarers), watching over the taxi drivers, protecting them on a daily basis from death & injury. Ireland, a predominantly catholic country, this also acts as a point of devotion & dedication for Catholic workers.
Like most statues in Dublin, the Jesus of the taxi drivers will speak to people differently, depending on your cultural, religious or social background & opinion. However dwarfed by its companions, it remains as important a piece of history on O' Connell St as Larkin, Parnell and O'Connell himself.
Forgotten Monuments 32: No. 8 O’Connell St Part 3
And lastly, who could forget, the Rolling Donut. This little Kiosk is one of the most iconic features of O’Connell St for the last 30 years. The Rolling Donut began life as a stall in 1978 in Dublin’s Dandelion Market at the top of Grafton St after its founder, Michael Quinlan, was inspired during a trip to London and witnessed donuts being made for the first time. Seizing an opportunity, he began running his Rolling Donut concession stall at concerts, shows, markets and festivals. It was only 10 years later, in 1988 that he set up a permanent kiosk at no. 8 O’Connell St., where it has stood proudly and aromatically ever since. What had started out as a part time business, has now grown in to a successful family business who have, in recent years opened up a chain of Rolling Donuts stores around the City. Even if Donuts shops are the latest food fad, after burritos and bubble tea, the Rolling Donut kiosk will outlive em all.
Forgotten Monuments 32: No. 8 O’Connell St Part 2
After the Grand Central Hotel and Restaurant was destroyed in 1916, it was rebuilt in 1917. The unique architectural style is credited to Frederick Higginbotham. Designed with a Two-tier timber-framed bow window with granite columns that encompasses the first and second floors, this building stands out from other rebuilding of the time. The building was reopened as The Broadway Soda Fountain under the management of Italian Geraldo Boni. This cafe became country wide famous attracting people from all walks of life including those from the world of theatre and arts. In fact, Sean O'Casey would regular mention the cafe as a meeting point in his written correspondence. So was its popularity, people would make special trips to Dublin just to taste Boni's simple menu of sandwiches and cakes. The fiftieth anniversary of the Gaelic League was held here as it was the location of its foundation back in 1893.
The iconic 'Broadway' sign still hangs over the doorway. Boni died aged only 53 in 1941 but his family still carried on his legacy for decades after.
Forgotten Monuments 32: No. 8 O’Connell St Part 1
No. 8 O’Connell St has more history in its walls than one could imagine. This innocuous 5 story terraced building, once operating as a Global Internet café and now advertised as a Casino was once, a long time ago, the Grand Central Hotel and Restaurant. It operated here on O'Connell St for decades prior to its destruction during the 1916 Rising. Within the walls of the Grand Hotel, a new seed of Irish patriotism was sown. On the 31st of July, 1893, the Gaelic League (Conradh na Gaeilge) was founded by Douglas Hyde & Eoin MacNeil. The League was a social and cultural organisation with the aim of promoting Irish culture and language as part of a broader Irish revival. Although apolitical, the organisation attracted many Nationalists throughout its early active years and it was through the League that many future political leaders and rebels first met (such as the majority of the 1916 Proclamation signatories). In fact, Pádraig Pearse was editor of the league's first newspaper (An Claidheamh Soluis - "the sword of light"). Conradh na Gaeilge did not commit itself entirely to the national movement until 1915, but it ultimately gave birth to the 1916 Rising. And its motto, ’Sinn Féin, Sinn Féin amháin (Ourselves, Ourselves alone)’ speaks volumes of Ireland’s history over the last 100 years.
In 1993, the plaque was erected to mark the 100th year anniversary of the Leagues foundation.
The local independent petrol station is taking its last breadths. Once an iconic & integral part of any town, the classic ‘mom and pop’ service station is rapidly becoming extinct. Membership statistics from the Irish Petroleum Industry Association (IPIA) note that between 2000-2008, the number of fuel stations in Ireland has more than halved, going from 2,087 IPIA members to 1,027. Although in recent years, the sale of petrol has increased, the number of places selling it is rapidly decreasing (1855 retail locations in 2009 to 1785 locations in 2016). Local service stations are under threat from urban development, EU regulations & larger franchises. Across Europe, it is estimated that petrol stations are currently closing at a rate of 600-700 a year. In 2008, it was suggested that in France alone, stations were closing at the rate of 250 per year. In 2005, the number of UK petrol forecourts went below 10,000 for the first time since 1912. In the last 5yrs, more than 3300 UK filling stations have closed.
Petrol companies sell in bulk to large franchises at a much lower price & It costs more money to transport to rural areas (which causes prices at rural locations to be higher). The knock on effect of petrol stations moving out of the towns to larger designated super service stations is that it has created a term called the ‘petrol desert’, where there is greater distance between stops. So while the demand is still there for petrol, service stations are fewer & far between.
Delaney's Service Station on the main street of Borris, Co. Carlow, is one of the few places still fighting the good fight against modernity. Still carrying the Burmah name (despite Burmah becoming BP in 2000), it offers the same service it always has. Provided the owner notices you from her front room pulling up outside, she will come out, fill up your car & slowly retreat back inside with a simple nod to your day. Sadly however, Delaney's doesnt have long left. A large Texaco opened up outside the town of Borris & with it came another deathly blow to the local independent petrol station industry.
Forgotten Monuments no. 31: Wood Quay.
The Viking House plot markings on Winetavern st are a monument to Dublin’s Viking roots. The floor plan layout showcases to natives and tourists alike, what dwellings were like in 11th c. Dublin and what wonderful archaeology is beneath this part of the city. There are numerous other examples of these bronzed archaeological discoveries dotted along the streets around Christ Church, fish traps, spears etc, all acting as silent historians for those who wander with their eyes down.
However, these are also a reminder of a darker tale; One of a modern but futile battle, where the people of Ireland took on the Dublin Corporation in the late 70s, early 80s.
The Wood Quay area was bought up by the Corporation gradually between 1950 and 1975. They announced that it would become the location of its new civic headquarters. Large-scale archaeological excavations were conducted on the site by the National Museum of Ireland between 1974-81. What they discovered was a wealth of history. Whole streets and houses of preserved Viking settlements, pottery, swords, coins etc were just some of artefacts discovered. These Viking era remains were one of the most important finds anywhere in Europe. The site was declared a national monument in 1978 but no surprisingly, planning permission was still granted by the government to build on top of it.
This led to a huge public outcry and on the 23 September 1978, the ‘Save Wood Quay’ protest march took place in Dublin city.
Forgotten Monuments no. 30: the seaman's memorial.
Since 1947 many attempts were made to have a National Memorial erected dedicated to the Irish merchant seaman who lost theirs lives during World War 2. For various political and financial reasons, none ever materialised. It wasn't until 1977 when an Independent Committee was set up and they spent the next 13 years actively and persistently campaigning for one. In 1990, one was finally commissioned. Located on City Quay, it was unveiled by then President, Patrick Hillery in 1990. Entitled, 'the National Seamen’s Memorial' it commemorates all the Irish Seafarer lost while serving on Irish merchant ships during World War II (1939-1945). These lost men were civilians, carrying out their normal jobs at sea, who were drawn in to a global conflict despite hailing from a neutral country. These Irish seafaring merchants had a casualty rate of 17%, the highest ratio among the combatants and neutrals.
True patriots, they served their country, under dangerous conditions and in so doing so, sacrificed their live. Forgotten by country and government, for decades, their remains lay on the bottom of the seas, and their memory, only in the hearts and minds of their relatives and comrades.
The erection of this Memorial, paid long needed tribute to all these merchants sailors who lost their lives in a war they had no part in.
Forgotten monuments no. 29: Paul Smith.
Here lies the memory of Paul Smith. In a country made famous for it's writers, Smith was one of the under appreciated. Born in to poverty near Charlemont St, Dublin, in 1920, he left school aged 8 and began working menial hard labour jobs throughout the City. By 16, he got involved with Theatre. He made a name for himself as a costume maker and designer in both the Abbey and Gate Theatre. By the 1950s, he left Ireland to live in London and become a writer. He then began a wandering lifestyle, travelling the world, Sweden to America to Australia, taking odd jobs to fund his writing. He wrote articles for numerous sources on Irish issues and eventually began working on novels. His writings, such as the acclaimed 'The Countrywoman' (1961), explored subjects such as, immigration, sexuality, domestic violence, feminism and Catholic Church suppression of abused women in post treaty Ireland. His anti clerical stance and raw sexuality put him on the Irish churches banned list until 1975. Smith was an outsider in Irish literature but his honesty remained his defining quality. His impoverished upbringing and his cool detachment in the face of oppression led to his unique voice and in 1978 was awarded the American Irish Cultural Institute Literary Award.
After years of travelling, Smith returned to Dublin in 1972. Although his work was highly praised, he died in relative obscurity on 11 January 1997.
Forgotten Monuments no. 28: The 1936 Pearse St Fire.
On the night of Monday the 5th of Oct, 1936, a fire broke out at 164 Pearse Street, at the site of Exide Batteries Ltd (now the Trinity College sports centre). The fire started next door at a barber shop (No.163) around 8.30 pm before spreading to No.164. It wasn't until 10.50 pm that the alarm was raised. The fire had been noticed by the tenants above Exide Batteries and due to its proximity to Tara St fire station, firemen were at the scene soon after. A private hotel occupied the upper floors of 163 while above 164 were vacant offices & a family of 7. When fire fighters arrived, they quickly evacuated the buildings & went to work trying to control the blaze.
However, attempts to fight the fire was fraught with disaster. The water pressure from the nearest hydrants were inadequate so while 3 firemen who were stationed on the roof worked to maintain the blaze, their colleagues attempted to connect hoses to a another hydrant. Suddenly, two explosions rang out, caused by the fire igniting gas cylinders stored in Exide's battery manufacturing faculty in the basement. The 3 men were engulfed in flames. The fire burned until the following morning & their bodies were not retrieved till that evening where it was determined they had died of carbon monoxide poisoning. Their names were Robert Malone, a veteran of the 1916 Rising, Thomas Nugent & Peter McArdle.
Their bodies were taken to City Hall & were later given a civic funeral attended by more than 80,000 people, including firemen from other countries.
An govt inquiry was established in which fire brigade supervisors, the water company & Exide Batteries Ltd were determined to be at fault. The cause of the initial fire was not established.
This plaque was unveiled in 2008 by Lord Mayor Paddy Bourke, who, at the time said “The plaque will serve as a reminder to everyone of the courageous acts these men carried out in the face of danger.” To date it remains the Dublin Fire Brigade's biggest loss of life.
Forgotten Monuments no. 27: Fighting the good fight to keep Dublin fair.
Deirdre Kelly died on Feb 16th, 2000, aged 61. She will be remembered for her life & all that she did for the city she lived in. She was truly one of the greatest champions modern Dublin ever saw.
Born on May 15th, 1938, she grew up on Leeson Street. When she graduated from the National College of Art, she got a job doing archaeological drawings at the National Museum. This encouraged her to study archaeology at UCD.
She married Aidan Kelly in 1970& together they lived in Fitzwilliam St. It was from here she ran the Living City Group, a campaign against the depopulation of the inner city. When they moved to Ranelagh, in 1979, a neighbour said to her that she was taking the last children out of the area. So she conducted a survey & found that in the entire southside Georgian core hadn't a single child left.
This spurred her on a tireless quest to preserve Dublin's culture & heritage. She campaigned throughout her life for the preservation of inner city communities, which she feared would be destroyed as a result of growing commercial developments. She was involved heavily in many struggles, from Wood Quay to Hume St. She fought with passion &commitment against office developments &road-widening schemes all which she rightly saw as damaging to the fabric & communities of the city
30 years ago she spoke of issues such building health&safety, cycle lanes, traffic calming, better public transport, all of which are now common policy. She was heavily published in her views. Between 1979-1982, she published the City Views newsletter highlighting city development plans. She also wrote books such as "Hands Off Dublin" & "Four Roads to Dublin". In 2009, a monument was erected in her memory in Ranelagh. It took the form of a bicycle with a woven basket (a replica of her own) set underground. Above it, a stainless steel pyramid with a glass top.
Deirdre Kelly never gave up. She showed us the importance of our communities &our sense of place. She defended Dublin’s Heritage to the end & helped prevent the demolition of some of the City’s most Historic buildings. She truly fought the good fight.
Forgotten Monuments no. 26: Shay Elliott
The Seamus 'Shay' Elliott story is a tale of tragedy from the world of professional cycling. His life & career can be viewed as the direct opposite of the Lance Armstrong scandal that shook the cycling decades later.
Born in Dublin, He was the 1st Irish cyclist to make a mark in continental Europe. Success led him to becoming not only the 1st Irishman to wear the yellow jersey in the Tour de France (1963) but the 1st English speaking rider to wear the leader’s jersey in all 3 major tours (the Giro in 1960, the Vuelta in 62 & the Tour de France). It was said of him that "This Irish lad came to France to learn to cycle, but we think he has come to teach us.” It wasnt his talent but the tragedy that befall him that left an impact on professional cycling. Using his success, Shay opened a hotel in Brittany, as a way of supporting himself through retirement. At the same time, 1966, he moved from Jacques Anquetil's team to rival Raymond Poulidor's Mercier-BP. However, the hotel took up so much time that he could only ride local races. He promised Mercier-BP that he would make amends in the world championship but the chain came off his bike & only placed 15th. Further heartache befell Elliott. His marriage to his French wife, Marguerite ended. In order to recoup his financial losses, he sold a story to a British tabloid, telling of drugs & bribery riddling the cycling community but his honesty lost him favours with other professionals & he was shunned from the sport.
With all his money tied up in his failed hotel, by 1967, Shay left France, retired from professional cycling, bankrupt, separated & lost custody of his son, claiming it all was "Just one of those things that happens to somebody that’s nice.” He returned to Dublin with only the same small suitcase he had left with.
He set up a business with his father. He had a failed comeback in 1970 but through it all he continued to ride, train juniors & made plans to reform Irish cycling.
But on the 21st April, 1971, his father died, the final straw in a serious of hardships. 2 weeks later, Shay Elliott was found dead in his home the result of a self inflicted shotgun wound
Forgotten Monuments no. 25: Shop workers vs Apartheid.
Apartheid was a system of racial segregation developed in post WW2 South Africa by the governing Afrikaner-dominated National Party (NP). It was legally enforced from 1948 to 1994 to limit the rights
of the majority black population and other ethnic groups and to maintain white minority rule.
On the 19th of July, 1984, Mary Manning. a cashier from the Henry St. branch of Dunnes Stores, Dublin, took a stand against Apartheid. She refused to sell an Apartheid product to a customer, later confirming she would not sell any South African fruit that day or any other. A declaration which resulted in her termination. Her action was based on upholding a decision made 3 months earlier by her trade union.
The result of her termination led to the shop steward, Karen Gearon, joining her in a walk out. This was later followed by an near all out strike by the rest of the Dunnes Stores employees that day. Only 8 of those employees and a single worker from another store continued to join Mary and Karen throughout their strike.
At first their actions led to much negative attention from the general public. Even the Irish Congress of Trade Unions withheld backing for over a year. People called the strikers ‘nigger-lovers’ and even spat at them. However, their perseverance began to build momentum. Actors and musicians began to join their picket line and even an invitation to meet Bishop Desmond Tutu drew their cause further in to the public light.
They would stay on strike for the next 3 years, surviving only on strike pay of £21 a week, refusing to return to work only until the Irish government prohibited the sale of South African produce in Irish stores.
Mary Manning actions and the Dunnes Stores strike was a defining moment for the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement. #dublin#irishhistory#heritage#culture#history#forgottenmonuments#henryst#moorest#savemoorestreet#savemoorest#apartheid#dunnesstores#fightracism#marymanning#karengearon#protest#strike#union#walkout#southafrica
Forgotten Monuments no. 24: The Noel Purcell Walk
Patrick Joseph Noel Purcell is possibly Ireland’s most distinguished actor of stage, screen and television. Born in Dublin on the 23rd of December, 1900, he began his show business career at the age of 12. Starting out in the Gaiety Theatre as a backstage hand and carpenter designing stage sets. It was here, while making the scenery for numerous popular stage productions of the time that he took an interest in acting. Developing and honing his stage craft through vaudeville acts, it wasn’t until 1934 that he moved in to the silver screen in a small film called Jimmy Boy. His TV acting credits include episodes of numerous television spy franchises such as "the Saint" and "The Avengers". He is best known for movies such as Mutiny on the Bounty in 1962 and Flight of the Doves in 1971 and John Huston’s 1956 adaptation of "Moby Dick" playing the Ship's Carpenter. Along with his commanding presence, he brought his own unique qualities to his roles, particularly his lack of certain fingers. For example, he lost the tip of his right index finger while making cigarette vending machines and was also missing his entire left index figure due to a carpentry accident (he exploited these features to dramatic effect in the film Mutiny on the Bounty).
In June 1984, Noel Purcell was given the Freedom of the City of Dublin, but sadly, 9 months later, he died at the age of 84 (3rd of March, 1985). The Noel Purcell Walk, was officially opened by the Lord Mayor of Dublin and Eileen Purcell, his widow, in 1991, near his childhood home on Mercer St. Lower.