One of the best ways to illustrate how much the physical landscape can change over time is by comparing photographs. The following selections tell their own story.

Firstly the Royal Marine Hotel built in the nineteenth century and still standing today. The hotel was originally part of Haye's Royal Hotel and was taken over by William Dargan who had very elaborate plans for a new hotel. Due to financial constraints these lavish plans were abandoned and Haye's Hotel was remodelled. The only parts added from the original design were the centrepiece and the south wing.

Since then the hotel has lost much of its original splendour, the roof renovations in 1960 meant getting rid of the French pavilions and the Victorian Tower. Another part of the hotel wasdemolished to make way for a conference centre and nearby Gresham Terrace was also demolished during the 1970s to make way for a shopping centre.


Royal Marine Hotel, Kingstown.

The plans for the Royal Marine Hotel had to be scaled down considerably due to financial restraints and so Hayes Hotel was completely refurbished, instead of building from scratch. The hotel was a superb Victorian building with huge landscaped gardens completed in 1867.

Image acquired from the Collectors' Shop, Blackrock Market.

Royal Marine Hotel, Kingstown. - Image acquired from the Collectors' Shop, Blackrock Market.

Royal Marine Hotel (today)

During the 1960s the hotel was re-roofed and the Victorian tower and French pavilions were removed. Gradually development continued all around the hotel, including shopping centres and car parks. Today the Victorian splendour of this building has well and truly disappeared.

Royal Marine Hotel (today) -

Blackrock Park

The Victorian Park was built around 1883 and has a very distinct design and structure with internal spaces and trees and plants at various intervals throughout. It features a band stand as this was a popular means of entertainment for people during the Victorian period.

Image acquired from the Collectors' Shop, Blackrock Market.

Blackrock Park - Image acquired from the Collectors' Shop, Blackrock Market.

Blackrock Park (current)

Blackrock Park is a unique design incorporating trees, plants, water, a playground as well as a sculpture and a band stand from the Victorian era. The band stand has been vandalised over the years and is no longer in use but the playground area certainly is. It features steps and sloping paths converging around the lake in the centre.

Blackrock Park (current) -

Images of Blackrock Park provide another good example of how the physical landscape can change considerably. Following the building of the railway in 1834 Blackrock did not have much to recommend it as a stop along the railway for people. The site of the current park was a swamp and did not smell particularly attractive.

In 1873 the sum of £3,000 was borrowed by the Blackrock Town Commissioners to develop a park in the area. This came to fruition about ten years later with the development of a Victorian Park. The design consisted of numerous trees and plants designed around distinct internal spaces and structures.

Since then the park has changed considerably as the images illustrate. It is a good example of how man can influence the physical landscape of an area in a negative way. The bandstand in Blackrock Park has been subjected to vandalism with graffiti daubed over it.

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