The path leading from Ranelagh Road to Mander’s Terrace looks a bit like an entrance in need of a destination. The gate, the light, the step up, and the sign begin to look quite strange when you go inside and see it in context of the adjacent road entrance and the terrace above. Looking at the historic Ordnance Survey maps, there isn’t a building appearing, though my search was fairly preliminary.
In the absence of context, the sign catches my eye all the time. It’s like the signage equivalent of a ruin, the fundamental elements still there but the life of the object long gone. The right-angled sign sits behind the wall, hanging the sign box out to the street, suspended on two hooks sitting into loops. The wires in are silhouetted like the tree branches nearby, and inside the box, two posts that were presumably light fittings sit bare and give it a slightly baleful expression.
I think it’s the location behind the wall that’s making the sign a positive point of interest – Dublin is plagued by excessive signposts, from redundancy and clutter in the road signs to erratic directional signage to those exasperating props and sandwich boards outside of shops, each one trying to shout louder than its neighbour. On this sparse stretch of Ranelagh Road between the Luas station and Ranelagh Multi-Denominational School, there’s relatively little clutter, and there’s space for this skeleton of a sign: an invitation that no longer exists, whether to a B&B or something else.