Landmarks – a collection of small bronze works by Elaine Griffin 2012
1 Wild Flag Iris
This scultpure celebrates the Flag Iris, a flowering plant indigenous to Loughlannagh and west of Ireland generally. It is sited here amongst a drift of flag irises, both as a celebration of the natural beauty of these plants and as a reminder, in the winter months, when the living plants have died back, that the summer will return.
2 Medieval Shoes
This pair of shoes is a reconstruction based on a found single shoe from the medieval period in Ireland, and is part of the National Museum of Ireland collection. These type of shoes would have been typical of those worn by the dwellers in the crannog situated further up the left hand side of the lake.
3 Ariel View of Ringfort
This piece displays an ariel view of a typical layout for a ring fort from a similar period to that of the Black Fort. Surrounded by an external fosse or ditch, the inside of the fort contained a central circular one room dwelling with a fire pit in the centre of the space. Sometimes there could be other external buildings within the rath, possibly for keeping livestock or as a store house, as well as larger fire pits for cooking outside. The space outside the buildings was usually covered with some sort of stone paving creating a harder ground surface and pathways within the rath.
4 Ringfort dwelling
This is a miniature replica of the type of dwelling typically found in a ringfort. These round houses were usually made with hazel wicker walls, supported by many small stakes. They had a large sloping roof of thatch, which restricted the use of floor space at the edges of the house. These houses had only single doors and there is little evidence of windows being present, making them a dark and smokey place. For this reconstruction I have used budding hazel rods from the site, the buds reinforcing the fact that life did once exist in this type of dwelling in the adjacent ringfort many hundred years ago.
5 General Humberts Hat
This work is a replica of the hat or merliton believed to have been worn by General Joseph Humbert, when he arrived into Castlebar on the 27th of August in 1798, with over 1,000 troops, to assist the Irish in fighting the British, in what later became known as the Castlebar Races. It is believed that Humbert and his men crossed through Loughlannagh on their way to do battle in the town. This piece is sited in view of the old road which ran around the lake, before the water level was lowered by mill race construction in the 1800’s, the route taken by Humbert and his men at that time.
6 Linen Cloth and Muller
By the middle of the 18th Centuary linen production was the most dynamic sector of the Mayo economy, with Castlebar becoming the chief linen town in the county, employing a sizable amount of the town’s population. Situated where the edge of Loughlannagh now meets the beginnings of the town, this piece depicts the process of linen smoothing, whereby the linen was smoothed out by hand using a hand-blown glass muller.
7 Collection of foot soles
The collection of foot soles situated in this location reflect some of the activities that currently happen at Loughlannagh today. Here we see a family taking a stroll, someone walking their dog and three strides of a jogger completing the lakeside loopwalk that has become a central focus of Loughlannagh today, as a civic amenity area.