In October we did a Once Upon a Place school visit in Cross, Co. Mayo. Afterwards we visited Cong, famous as the village from The Quiet Man. There’s a lovely wee bookshop on the bridge and the owner noticed us looking at a book about the Irish stained-glass artist, Harry Clarke.
‘You should check out the church in Ballinrobe,’ he said. ‘There are a load of his windows there.’ We had to go through Ballinrobe town on our way back to our B&B so seeking them out was a no-brainer.
‘You know there are some of his windows here in Cong?’ the bookshop man said, almost as an afterthought. And there are. The Holy Family windows, now housed in the ultra modern church in front of the old abbey, where we’d never have thought of looking.
These are the Cong windows. You can walk right up and see this work in all its intricate detail. Click and scroll on the photos for larger images. Shots of the lovely Ballinrobe windows next week.
Footnote: Mayo claims to have no less than 17 churches with Harry Clarke windows. Windows classified as his can mean they are (a) his design and making (b) his design and he oversaw them being made, or (c) his design/studio. It seems that in the list of 17 Mayo churches there is also (d) – windows by his father, Joshua Clarke. Not sure where the Cong windows fall in the classification, either (b) or (c). They are not on a lot of ‘official’ lists of his work. Watch out for them next time you see The Quiet Man; they are in their original setting. Apparently the Duke was made slow down his walk so Ford could get a good shot of them in the background.