Past Windmill lane

Past Windmill lane

In Brief

In the first three sentences of Lotus Eaters Bloom walks eastward on Sir John Rogerson's Quay, "past Windmill Lane, Leask's the linseed crusher, the postal telegraph office. Could have given that address too. And past the sailors' home." As his interruption indicates, the post office holds some interest for him. The sailors' home stood on the corner of Rogerson's Quay and Lime Street, onto which Bloom turns right, away from the busy quayside and toward another post office farther south.

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"Windmill Lane" opens off the quay to the right, travels a single city block, turns right, and dead-ends at Creighton Street, forming a short "L." Today it is famous as the site of U2's former recording studio. Just past it Bloom sees the shopfront of "Leask's," which the 1904 Thom's directory identifies as "H. M. Leask & Co., linseed crushers, oil and linseed cake manufacturers, 14-15 Rogerson's Quay." The business is long gone, but the brick structure built in the 1890s remains, with the name of another business, Columbia Mills, visible at the top. It is the only building from Joyce's era remaining on Sir John Rogerson's Quay. In recent decades it too has become known for music. It appears in The Commitments (1991), because the band played one of its final concerts in the bar that then occupied the building. It was also once partially occupied by Clannad Music.

19 Rogerson's Quay held "the sailors' home," which according to Thom's was officially called The Sailors' Home and Shipwrecked Mariners' Society. Between Leask's and the old salts' home lay "the postal telegraph office," officially the Town Sub-Post Office, Savings Bank, and Money Order Office, at 18 Rogerson's Quay. Bloom reflects that he could have used this post office as a poste restante blind in addition to the one in Westland Row toward which he is circling. Unlike his wife, he is quite surreptitious about his adulterous correspondence.

JH 2014
Ian Gunn and Stephen Patterson's map of Bloom's wanderings in Lotus Eaters. Source: Gunn and Hart, A Topographical Guide.
Leask's building on the south bank of the Liffey, subsequently occupied by Columbia Mills. Source: Gareth Colllins.