Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cork Chapter visit to Fermoy

18th September, 2010
The visit to the Fermoy area by the Cork Chapter attracted one of the largest attendances of any event when over fifty members gathered at Christ Church on the morning of Saturday, 18th September. The rector, the Rev. Eileen Cremin, gave a warm welcome to the group and Bill Power outlined some of the fascinating history of this church which was completed in 1809. Built to the design of Abraham Hargrave, the church originally accommodated not only the parishioners but also the large number of military personnel at the nearby barracks.

Leaving Fermoy, the group travelled the short distance to Careysville House which has been used as a fishing lodge for many years. Owned by the Dukes of Devonshire since the 1930s, the house was built in 1812 on the site of Ballypatrick Castle. It is an attractive building located on a height overlooking the Blackwater River and is well equipped and comfortable for the fishing parties who use it. The group were greeted by Peter Bielski and several friendly dogs!

Having enjoyed their visit to Careysville, members of the group travelled back to Fermoy for lunch at La Bigoudenne restaurant. This is a piece of France in the centre of Fermoy and the delicious food was enjoyed by all present.

Suitably refreshed, the group set off for Ileclash House just three kilometres from Fermoy. The current owner, Michael Frazer, welcomed members and gave an overview of the history of the charming mid-eighteenth century house. the property has been occupied by many different owners, most notably by British political activist Sir Oswald Mosley who lived at Ileclash with his wife Diana Mitford. The house is in excellent condition and sumptuously furnished, with wonderful views over the surrounding countryside. Like Careysville, it stands on a height beside the River Blackwater. Members enjoyed viewing the house and walking in the pleasant grounds surrounding it.

The final visit of the day was to Ballinterry House near Rathcormac. Built in the early eighteenth century, like the other two houses it has had a succession of owners. Perhaps the most colourful was American actor Hurd Hatfield who lived at Ballinterry from 1974 until his death in 1998. The current owners have undertaken a sensitive restoration of the property and have created a home that is full of character. Michael Garvey and Ann O'Sullivan were most welcoming to the group and kindly provided refreshments at the end of the visit.

Each of the three houses had it own unique character and charm but were alike in the warm welcome provided to the Cork Chapter members. Grateful thanks to our hosts on the day and also to Kevin Hurley who organised the event.