Bantry

I only passed through Bantry for one night...we were staying nearby in the Eagle Point Campsite. Lovely place, but unfortunately the weather turned very nasty and we had to leave early.

I only had a few hours to explore, so didn't get to see half of what I wanted. Although I did see some woefully I'll-considered modern developments, especially at the south western entrance to the town by the Harbour, I still left with the impression that much of the towns 18th & 19th century built heritage is, more or less, still intact. 

 New Street

New Street

 Marino Street

Marino Street

 Glengarriff Road

Glengarriff Road

 The junction of Barrack Road (L) & Glengarriff Road (R)

The junction of Barrack Road (L) & Glengarriff Road (R)

 Blackrock Road

Blackrock Road

IMG_2233.JPG
 Bantry Library - designed in 1962 by Cork City Council architect Patrick McSweeney

Bantry Library - designed in 1962 by Cork City Council architect Patrick McSweeney

I must admit, I had never seen even a picture of this building before. It came as quite the surprise as I walked up New Street on my travels. I found it fascinating. It's not often you seen examples of Brutalist architecture in Ireland...especially outside of the major cities.

With influences as wide-ranging as standing stones, Corbusier's Church of Notre Dame du Haut, ancient Egyptian pylon architecture, Frank Lloyd Wright‟s Falling Water and even the sweeping curve of a Martello tower...Swenney's designs are realised in raw concrete. The project was developed and overseen by his assistant, Harry Wallace from 1972-74.

It must have caused quite the stir when it was built. The uncompromising brutalist aesthetic of raw concrete must have got to the locals; at some stage they painted the place white. McSweeney's brutalist sensibilities would be raging...

Although I think it's a bit confused looking, I didn't get proper look at it from all around, or inside for that matter. I admire the bravery of the design and the determination required to get a project like this constructed...it was quite the achievement.

Hopefully next time I'll get a look inside.