A Field in The Park

Cricket in Dublin’s Phoenix Park, 1835, by Mr J Hardman Powell (pronounced ‘Pole’), who was much better-behaved than his name might suggest.  Love the top hats and fitted trousers on the cricketers.

For a photograph of the same spot today, click here.

One of the most extraordinary catches in the history of cricket was made at a match in the Phoenix Park in 1844 (some people say 1751, but this appears to be a mistake), when a Captain Adams jumped over an iron fence three feet ten inches in height, and while still in the air caught the ball in his left hand.   For this amazing feat Captain Adams (described in ‘Anecdotes of Cricket‘ as ‘an excellent field’) was made a life member of the Phoenix Park Cricket Club.

More images of the same cricket field, from the 1860s and 1930s (latter available for purchase from the Irish Historical Picture Company) below.

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The sibling of daedalus
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52 Responses to A Field in The Park

  1. Firepower says:

    Paintings and tintypes make those far removed by time, see things nostalgically, like a B & W movie. We think “look at that romantic art – painted just for us!” when, the artist never had such intent in his moment.

    Those 50 years on will look at pre-HD in the same way.

  2. sdaedalus says:

    That’s true as a generalisation. However paintings and tintypes, as you call them, have the advantage of being able to capture things that photos and film can’t, such as the smell and feel of the air and a particular quality of the light and so forth.

    I was in that very part of the Park yesterday evening and it was just like that picture (apart from the fact that the trees had grown up, and that the cricketers were bareheaded and wearing, sigh, baggier trousers).

    • Firepower says:

      yes dearie. a generalisssation. the smail of Ye Olde Coal Mill and dooblins million harses lent a charmin’ air to m’bonny breezes.

      50 years (yars) from now, THESE will be the good old days. pls understand: yanks like maurie n’ me look wistfully at you euros with your 200 year old monuments and playing greens because all our big cites are destroyed

      • sdaedalus says:

        smell of Guinness from down the river actually, and the deer nearby, now you’ll be even more jealous

        seriously, there’s nothing like the Phoenix Park anywhere, even Hyde Park doesn’t compare.

      • maurice says:

        Not even Central Park, or Griffith Park? Ouside urban areas, how about Yellowstone or Sequoia or Glacier Park or the Adirondacks? Come now, all these natural attractions are appealing in their own distinct ways. Cricket pitch or no..!

      • maurice says:

        p.s. smell of Guinness? That’s a softball for Firepower if ever there was one…

    • sdaedalus says:

      nothing like the Phoenix Park anywhere

      well, maybe a good pair of legs on a man, how do you Americans fare in that regard?

      • maurice says:

        Depends on the man. And just why, my love, would you be asking that question-? :-)

    • sdaedalus says:

      Oh, just looking for a generalisation, I was trying to make Firepower feel a bit better about your lack of old monuments and playing greens.

      *says she with an air of studied detachment*

      • Firepower says:

        pls notice
        maurice no longer speaks to me
        since I got my blog

        funny, no?

      • maurice says:

        huh? No, I usually address mainly SD On this blog. I have been reading your blog every morning, actually- just haven’t found the right occasion to leave a comment.

      • Firepower says:

        and here i thought you hated me because i’m black. well, “Cablanasian” as tiger called it

      • maurice says:

        Like Ali G said to Andy Rooney, eh? “Is it because I’z black?”

        The blog is a little angrier and race-ier than I thought it would be. I think your sharp and funny little koans are much more enjoyable in their way- wit goes a long way, and more is often less in effective communication. That said, of course I’ll keep reading.

      • Firepower says:

        Wit is, of course, suited to the structure of short posts.
        Diatribes, discourse – prophecy & polemics – need room to spread their black wings.
        Thick talons, clicking, clattering upon gnarled perches.

        I’m disgusted (more than you know) by Drudge Recycling Bloggers and those sifting through Mystery’s grave, looking for gold teeth.

        Why, yesterday, I saw a “game blogger” talk about “Dread Game”
        as if Ovid’s elegant phrase
        “let every lover be pale – for THAT is the color that suits them”
        needed “improvement” via 3400 words.
        Or that it hadn’t already been said in 50 A.D.

      • maurice says:

        Well the Manosphere could use a sort of ombudsman, I suppose- a sympathetic insider who calls bullshit on rehashed ideas, bad writing, poor arguments. As opposed to the usual opponents who attack the whole space and its premises.

      • Firepower says:

        you do a good idea catching roissy whenever he makes his occasional lapse
        so, i thought you sympatico

        et tu, brute?

        i meant no harm when I called lilgrls ass “big”
        i like big asian ass – honeslty

      • maurice says:

        I do try to be a voice of reason, which is sometimes why I get a little put off by language or arguments that come across as excessively unreasonable. But good writing- which includes flair and passion- is really the key.

      • maurice says:

        p.s. in case it wasn’t clear, i am sympathetic, supportive, etc. didn’t mean to imply otherwise.

      • Firepower says:

        maurice says:
        May 25, 2012 at 11:57 am

        huh? No, I usually address mainly SD On this blog. I have been reading your blog every morning, actually- just haven’t found the right occasion to leave a comment.

        hmm. Then I’ll have to write less movie reviews and pop culture stuff and appease your penchant for daedealian whimsy and focus on Our Great Country’s Victorian Era Putting Greens.

        It’ll be difficult: There’s not much Victorian Stuff left in Our Big Cities, for some “odd” reason…

      • maurice says:

        “appease”? Sheesh, I would never confuse you for Neville Chamberlain. that is to say: write whatever you like- I’ll read and comment when the spirit moves me. Congrats on starting it up, btw- a worthy addition to the ‘sphere.

        There are a number of Victorian aspects to many east coast cities (and SF)- architecture mainly, some remnants of the physical infrastructure.

      • Firepower says:

        so WHERE IS the daedie?
        don’t tell me the Irish even get
        hungover after OUR
        Memorial day holiday…

      • maurice says:

        Maybe she’s in Phoenix Park, ogling the strong legs of the cricket players? Why blog when there are such distractions in the spring-?? :-)

      • Firepower says:

        I never knew
        Irish made sausage

    • sdaedalus says:

      Never mind your color, what are your legs like?

  3. maurice says:

    Paintings and tintypes capture the “smell and feel of the air”? Hm, you may have a unique neurological condition. (kidding- I know what you mean.)

    Cricket? Jiminy. I’ve never really understood it myself, but as it has many fanatics throughout the former Empire, I’ll grant the appeal. One of the Flashman books (the one in which the Borneo pirate kidnaps his wife) centers around a wager over a bowling contest. And one of the “Hitchhiker’s Guide” trilogy has a central role for cricket (er, Krikkit).

    Finally- you, who constantly write of the increased obesity in Ireland, might have been grateful for the baggier pants- given than the legs they concealed might have been less shapely and muscular than those depicted in earlier times. :-)

  4. sdaedalus says:

    Correction: genetically, Irishmen do not put weight on on their legs. It’s mostly belly and moobs.

    Anyway, if they wore tight trousers, they wouldn’t be as inclined to get fat as much.

    Bring back the narrow pants and non-elasticated waists I say. Nothing like a good pair of legs on a man.

  5. maurice says:

    Nothing-? :-)

  6. maurice says:


    “No, never.”


    “Well, hardly ever!”

  7. sdaedalus says:

    Thanks Sid, I have put in my tuppence’worth.

  8. Firepower says:

    why dont you two girls post on broadsheet? i’m learning this tedious blog thing – and broadsheet seems to be the Popular Place with lots of eyeballs.

    red, bloodshot eyeballs…still

  9. El Sido says:

    I say steady on there Firepower.

    • sdaedalus says:

      He’s so miffed, the poor pet. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him like this before.

      You’d better go over and leave a comment too.

      • El Sido says:

        I couldn’t think of a comment except – I thought the young lady in the picture with the banana, had a rally nice tan. And that seemed – well a bit superficial and shallow.

      • sdaedalus says:

        Just put it up anyway. The content of your comment doesn’t matter, what he wants is a vehicle that allows him to show off with his black-bracketed replies.

        Also, to increase the quotient of ‘girl’ commenters on his blog lol.

      • El Sido says:

        Now you are being naughty.

      • El Sido says:

        He does seem to be on a bit of a rant though.

    • sdaedalus says:

      I’m always naughty, it’s just usually people don’t notice.

      *to the sound of dropping pennies*
      I think what he really wants is to get us talking about him over here. Fiendishly clever he is indeed.

  10. That Guy says:

    @Maurice, @Firepower,

    Methinks Sibby likes a lad with a large leg…

    …and is pulling yer legs to boot!

  11. maurice says:

    I have my doubts that legs are the most important feature a woman can appreciate in a man…

    • Lily says:

      I notice shapely hands. However, there is something about good legs on a man. It’s not something I’d usually think about, but that’s because it’s rare to notice them.

  12. Blue Blazer says:

    @SD…..As an Established Blogger,which do you find more dull? American men making penis-related innuendo comments? Or English women mocking the physical characteristics of English men?

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