Dr Daphne Pochin Mould

r Daphne Pochin Mould was born on November 15, 1920, in Salisbury, England. She lived with her parents and her aunt and was mostly home-schooled by the latter. In the autumn of 1939 Daphne enrolled for the BSc course in Pure Science at Edinburgh University, from where she graduated in 1943. Due to ill health Daphne was not called up for full time war service. Instead, the Ministry of Labour allowed her to take up a research fellowship and she commenced work for a PhD in Geology. Her research concentrated on the Scottish Highlands and she lived for some years in a cottage overlooking Loch Ness.

In 1951, Daphne and her parents decided to move to Ireland. A year later they rented a house at Aherla, 13 miles west of Cork city. During the 1950s, Daphne learnt to fly in a small plane from Cork’s Farmer’s Cross Airfield. Flying became a very big part of her life and she was a very popular flying instructor in Ireland.

Daphne was aware of the importance of aerial photography in archaeological research – indeed she considered it the key to archaeology. While piloting the plane, she would simply open her side window and with two hands on her camera, she would photographically record the landscape below. Daphne bequeathed her photographic collections, which also include ground photographs as well as aerials, to the Trustees of Muckross House. Her photographic note books meticulously identify and date her work. They also record the camera and films she used, as well as her flight paths. Over time, it is hoped to make a large portion of her collections available here on line.

Daphne’s knowledge of the landscape, both natural and man-made, was encyclopaedic. Aside from being an avid photographer, geologist and pilot, she was also a broadcaster and a much published writer. Her first book, The Roads from the Isles: A Study of the North-west Highland Tracks, was published in 1950. Among her other books were: The Mountains of Ireland (1955); Irish Pilgrimage (1955); Ireland from the Air (1972); Valentia Island (1978) and Discovering Cork(1991).

Dr Daphne Pochin Mould died on April 29, 2014.