This week’s post is dedicated to some lesser known features and hidden treasures of the NUI Galway campus.
James Mitchell Museum
‘Galway’s Hidden Museum‘ is located on the first floor of the south-east corner of the Quadrangle. The museum, named after Professor James Mitchell, Chair of Geology 1921-1966, houses rocks, minerals and fossils, collected from the foundation of the college back in the 1840s to the present day.
Royal Coat Of Arms
A Royal Coat of Arms carving, featuring the lion and unicorn on either side of the great shield, is situated behind the Quadrangle. The carving was originally installed above the portico of the Galway Courthouse, when Ireland was part of the United Kingdom, but was removed for safe keeping during the Irish War of Independence (1919-21).
Marine and Zoology Museum
The Zoology and Marine Biology Museum, or ‘Dead Zoo’ is located in the Ryan Institute building. The recently refurbished museum houses an extensive collection of animal and plant specimens, including most notably a number of specimens once owned by Charles Darwin.
Galway Yellow, perhaps more affectionately known as the Big Yellow Thing by students, is the creation of artist Brian King. The sculpture, based on Celtic knot, was installed in 1976 and is today on the Galway City Council’s protected structure list.
Martin Tea- House Folly
A stroll along the banks of the River Corrib towards the University Sports Grounds reveals the curious remains of a small house. The Martin Tea House was built sometime in the 19th Century on the grounds of what was once the Dangan Estate of the Martin family.
Fisheries Field Lime Kiln
Finally, across the canal at the back of the Bailey Allen centre is another curious structure known as a Lime Kiln. According to Galway Civic Trust, such kilns became particularly common throughout Ireland in the 18th and 19th centuries when they were used to burn limestone down to a fine powdery substance which was then used as a fertilizer as well as mortar and white wash. The Lime from this particular kiln, restored by Galway Civic Trust, is believed to have been used to disinfect the nearby fever hospital, gaol and workhouse.