Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Stillorgan Obelisk

What I miss about home is... Stillorgan Obelisk.
Stillorgan Obelisk #1
The Obelisk is nestled in what is now a housing estate at the top of Carysfort Avenue leading into Blackrock. Designed by Edward Lovett Pearce, it was erected as a memorial to those who had perished in a famine in the early 1700's. I always wanted to climb up it, but never did. It is iconic and appears on the skyline as you walk to and from Stillorgan, Blackrock and the surrounding areas.
Stillorgan Obelisk #2


  1. Hi Noel,

    I don't recall seeing an obelisk of such scale back home, but there's quite a few of these scattered around in the North. Most of them are in memory of those who fought in the Great War / WWI.

    Looking at the masonry in the top picture, got me thinking about something which is probably a dying art now (though I hope it isn't) but such a characteristic of rural Ireland - dry stone walling. There's definitely an added dimension to the beauty of such 'organic' work, constructed without the use of any mortar or cement.

  2. Hi David,

    I have seen a lot of dry stone walling in rural Ireland over the last few years, so as an art form it appears to be making a comeback.

    I like these obelisks; as follies they evoke a feeling of place as important, almost like an anchor to a point in your past. And of course they are a true memorial, in some cases, to those that fought and went before us.

    Thanks for dropping by,
    all the best,


  3. Wow, I havn't seen that thing in years. I remember climbing it with my mom when I was about three years old. I ran straight up and had fun being up there, but was terrified when it came to coming back down. Those steps are really big.

    I also remember underage drinking around and under it when I was in my early teens. It certainly brings back a few memories.

    I always wondered what it was built for. There wasn't any sign or even a name on it. Feeling nostalgic tonight I googled Stillorgan - now thousands of miles and half a lifetime away - and was very surprized to find pictures of 'the obelisk'. I always sort of assumed that it was built by the folks from 'John of God' whose land it was on when I was a kid. But I noticed an ingraving of the monument in open grassland with no other buildings for miles around - It was titled 'monument in Stillorgan park' or something like that.

    This obelisk was one of my earliest memories of the area. Seeing it with the rest of my childhood suburban world washed away and replaced with open grassland was a bit eerie.

    Growing up, I don't think anyone I knew ever gave the Obelisk a second thought. It's nice to see that others have given this wonder of suburbia some thought too.