John Logan presents a saunter through Limerick marketplace histories, accompanied by soundscapes created by artist Miriam Lohan.
Check out the interactive map below with 5 selected Saunter Spots. Click on each number for more information, and a sample of the location audio tour. All text and research imagery provided by Dr John Logan. Audio readings below by Nigel Mercier.
At Home on the Farm City Walk
The line that links a farmer selling duck eggs from a basket, house-to-house in the fourteenth-century city and on to Mick from TESCO ringing me at 8.30 Tuesday mornings to say that he is five minutes from my flat with my weekly grocery delivery, is direct and unbroken. The line of supply – from producer, to processor, to market, and on to the table is a stirring example of continuity. But traditional ways are transformed too and while our Saturday Milk Market keeps many of us fed, it is somehow as much for tourism and entertainment now as for nourishment’ says Dr John Logan, historian and our guide for today’s virtual stroll.
John’s research reveals that in Limerick's one-thousand-year-history there may have been more than thirty distinct markets in the city, some official and 'licensed' but mostly informal, and spontaneous and sometimes illegal. And those are just the ones for which documentation survives; a full count of all the city's past shops and stalls, hawkers and pedlars, shopping centres and market yards would probably run into many thousands.
The tour will run in in a line roughly from Limerick City Gallery of Art, to Cleeve’s Factory on O Callaghan’s Strand, to the Potato and Milk Markets and over to the Pig Market on what is now Limerick Fire Station on Mulgrave St.
You can take the virtual walk yourself or Covid restrictions permitting , we will organise an actual walk, date to be determined. Watch this space for further updates. In the meantime, join us here and listen to a short piece about each of the stops on our journey.
How to create your own guided saunter:
Begin at Limerick City Gallery
and continue to each of the 4 other spots as marked, listening to the guide as you go along.
Tour by individual location Spots below.
More about Cleeves..
The site generally known as Cleeve’s takes its name from a family of that name, notably Thomas Henry Cleeve, a Canadian who came to Limerick in 1864 to work in his uncle’s agricultural machinery business, J.P. Evans and Company. Thomas’s brothers soon followed him to Limerick.
The family developed other interests including textile and flour milling and from 1882, milk processing. The Cleeve’s achievement was in commercial – monetised – milk processing, moving it away from farmhouse butter-making to large-scale production in creamery and factory.
Or browse the
All images above sourced by John Logan.
About Dr John Logan
Dr John Logan studied history at UCD and sociolinguistics at TCD and completed a doctorate in history at UCC.
He taught in the Department of History and the School of Architecture at the University of Limerick. He has written on the history of housing and architecture and the emergence of pedagogic space in eighteenth century Ireland.
He currently serves as chair of An Taisce Limerick.
About Miriam Lohan
"Miriam Lohan is a multidisciplinary artist with an interest in time and the natural world. Previous sound art pieces include Ringing Limerick, a concert of over 50 church bells in Limerick City (EV+A 2007), and Vertigo Smith, falling apples mapped as harp music (Arts Council Bursary 2008).
She is a founder member of the Irish Sound Science and Technology Association."
Miriam has contributed the following statement to accompany her collected soundworks below.
'My part in this project was at first to be a live engagement. I had hoped to bring participants for a walk in Park, Limerick's kitchen garden, the Shannon bank of the land of Corbally and Rhebogue that spoons King's Island from the East. Before the spread of the suburbs, vegetables and fruit were grown here for the people of the City.
Fowl were reared here, and cattle grazed for milk. We talked about devising a route that would immerse people in the sounds and smells of the area, which retains a rural character and has many traces of its agricultural past. We were thinking of sound maps, of local lore and piseógs, of treasure hunts for the first signs of Spring.
When it became clear that we had to stay at home a while longer, we were left with the sound map: a chart of Park in place and time, with moments and scenes in sound, to evoke memories and to celebrate the natural ambiance we hear so much clearer in the stillness of lockdown. It is fortunate that Park is within my 5km zone, but this was only good for the recording of late Winter sounds. All others, out of season or long out of time, would have to be drawn from elsewhere; my stock of past nature recordings (the hay was saved by Patrick Corcoran), the Meitheal of friends Mikeal Fernstrom and Ella Daly with their bees and hens, and the online communities who share sound recordings.
I also grew my own sounds in my shed before dawn - the quietest place and time, and the closest to farming.
So in the end the work has been drawn together like the fences in Park, made of old things and new rope; improvisations in a time of need, in imagination and in hope.'
You are encouraged to listen, download and enjoy the soundclips below. A full list of the works credits can be found here.
Image by Patrick Corcoran
Image by Miriam Lohan