The Barrow River Head
The sculpture was the work of Edward Smyth for James Grandon’s Custom House Building in Dublin, and considered by many to be Ireland’s greatest architectural masterpiece of the 18th century. It is one of fourteen carvings on the keystones of the main doorways and windows, representing 13 of the most important rivers in Ireland and the Atlantic Ocean. The ornamentation on the heads represents either the folklore, industry or commerce associated with each river. The Barrow riverhead is sullen, the beard features many fish with a sheepskin on its head, and an urn with water flowing from them on each side of the head represents the river Nore and Suir making up the 3 sisters.