With the nagging thought still lurking in the back of my mind—that the unnamed family in the photo album I found might merely have posed for their pictures at a lovely spot discovered while touring Ireland—I continued following two parallel research tracks. One was to seek any record of the Mrs. P. Hawkes whose darling West Highland White Terrier had won so many ribbons at Cork dog shows. The other, of course, was to zero in on the specific parcel of land which would definitively identify the right location for the building dubbed Bride Park House.
It was that second task which was uppermost in my mind, once I discovered another home known as Bride Park in the same county in Ireland. I simply can't abide it when my pet hypotheses don't line up with reality.
Fortunately, using the Ireland-specific version of Google helped bring a few local resources into focus. While the Landed Estates Database we discussed yesterday seemed to lead us away from our target property, it nevertheless included some interesting detours which may turn out to be helpful in the second phase of our quest to learn more about the Hawkes family.
Keep in mind the NUI Landed Estates Database is organized to be searched in three different ways. One of those is to search by family name. Right away, I headed for the A to Z listings in the family category. There was plenty to wade through under the heading for H. If our mystery album's family was indeed part of the Hawkes line of County Cork, there was plenty to learn about their forebears in the 1800s in this overview of Hawkes holdings.
Though none of the entries mentioned the name Bride Park specifically, various entries on the Hawkes family confirmed some of the other discoveries I had been finding simply by Googling that name. What I had been sensing about a family name with quite a history turned out to be so.
That was not all to be found on Bride Park, as you may already have discovered for yourself if you chose to join in the research chase. While I couldn't find anything correlating "Hawkes" with "Bride Park" in any landed estates, I could find some more recent listings for properties.
One beautiful website discovery was that of the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage. There, among their entries, was one looking very much like the Bride Park House we had been musing over from the photograph album's pages. Except now, much like the Dorothy who was transported from Kansas to Oz, we weren't looking out the door to view a 1936 black and white life any longer; this photograph was in vivid color.
Detailing the house history for the very building we are seeking, the Architectural Heritage entry informs us that Bride Park House was likely built in the 1820s. In the townlands of Kilumney in County Cork, the property has undergone additions, all of which are catalogued in the Architectural Heritage description of the building's construction. Clicking on the web page's hyperlink for "additional images" reveals a close-up of the very doorway where I suspect "Grannie" stood in 1936 to have her picture snapped.
The location of the house, according to the map linked to its entry in the Architectural Heritage website, appears to be right next to a river. Whether that is the River Bride, I'm not yet sure, but it seems likely. Checking the property's location on Google maps not only confirms that location, but adds the ability to view it via "street view," revealing yet another iteration of what seems to be the very property we've been seeking.
Ruby and Iris, taken in the garden at Bride Park—July 1936