Garrendenny Lane

Did you have a nice Mother’s Day? Ours turned out to be quite busy, we had decided not to go out for dinner (went last week instead) as everywhere would be packed and as it happened, Brian had a busy day. Kate and I did some baking and after dinner, we went for a walk. Brian had to sort out some cattle in the part of the farm off the Garrendenny Lane so Will brought his bike while Kate and I walked along the lane down to the church, a distance of about a mile and which would have been walked by many children years ago on their way to and from school and many people on Sundays as a route to Mass.

The lane connects the townslands of Kilgorey and Mayo and serves as a shortcut to going around the main road. As you can see from the grass in the centre, it isn’t travelled very often nowadays.

Years ago there were a few houses dotted along – Bolgers which is on the land we bought a few years ago (and I hanker about doing it up in years to come), this cottage owned by the Wades, Jimmy Lynup’s cottage which has now disappeared and other cottages. This lane would once have been a busy thoroughfare but is now rarely travelled.

Cottage on Garrendenny Lane

This cottage was lived in until the late 80s if my memory serves me right. An elderly couple who became increasingly isolated as the lane became less travelled, lived here for many years. It was probably pebbledashed in the 60s but is made of stone (can see the stone in the last photo below) It consisted of a main kitchen/living room with a bedroom either end. I wonder what tales this old house could tell.

The toilet was probably in an outhouse across from the house. The children wondered if it was the outhouse adjoining the end of the house but when we looked in, they reckoned these low wooden bars provided a trough for a couple of cattle.

We then went on down to the church at Mayo. It celebrates being 200 years in existence this year and there will be a celebratory church service in June. I’ve been asked to write a play that the children can perform. ?My idea for the play has been inspired by Dickens’ Christmas Carol when Scrooge is visited by the Ghost of Christmas past etc, in that I will have a couple of kids acting as disillusioned teenagers who are visited by ghosts of the people who formed the church, who paid for the fabulous stained glass windows, who prayed there every week,who were baptised or buried there, who moved into the area and of course, the teenagers might see into the future too :). I’ve asked various members to provide me with some information as to when their families came into the area and if they have any stories that they can pass on to me to perhaps include into the play in some way. I’ll also have to do some research into pre-1900 too.

I’ll include some detail about our family in another blog post 🙂

13 thoughts on “Garrendenny Lane

    • Lorna

      I know – there are two or three challenges in it all really – finding out the information and then writing about it in such a way to suit the ages of the children!

  • Marie Ennis-O'Connor (@JBBC)

    Lorna, I’ve become slightly obsessed with derelict houses lately and just have to explore once I come across them. This is fine when I’m out walking, but when I am driving past them, I have to resist the urge to stop the car and go in search of their hidden histories – mostly because I am on on the motorway at the time trying to make an appointment someplace. There’s also something very sad about neglected houses – the lives of people who once lived there – their joys, their sorrows, their hopes and dreams long crumbled into dust – it’s a really sobering reminder of our mortality. It was lovely to read Donna’s comment that she would love to restore them – I love that idea of a labour of love bringing life back to a house again. Great post – loved reading it today.

    • Lorna

      Thanks for your lovely comment Marie. I recently drove to New Ross via motorway but inadvertedly returned another way and it was such a lovely drive – winding roads through pretty villages and small towns and yes, an occasional house that looked derelict.
      I didn’t photograph all the stuff left in this house – but there are old beds, sofas, wardrobe, an old shoe etc. I must ask my mum but I think the old couple went into a home before they died and perhaps they thought they would go back someday.

  • M?na Wise

    Wow…what a very cool old cottage. I love taking walks like that with the kids. They always come up with great stories to fill in the blanks don’t they!
    It sounds like you had a lovely Mothering Sunday.

  • Donna OShaughnessy

    Lorna, each year that I visited Ireland I would see some of those derelict cottages and dream of being able to buy and restore them. I so want to live in Ireland 2-3 months of the year, preferably in the winter because even though I am one myslef, I can not stand all the tourists in the summer 🙂
    Thanks for the wonderful photos. We still have almost two months before Mothers day here.

    • Lorna

      I much prefer visiting places at off-peak times too even if the weather is cold and miserable – hate crowds. We used to do up houses when we lived in the UK, (our hobby) – loved it.

  • Colette

    Love your post, Lorna. I am always curious about the derelict cottages and houses too, and who may have lived in them. Hope you get lots of information about those whose names are inscribed on the windows and pews in the church. The Census is always a great place to start 🙂

    • Lorna

      Thanks Colette – wouldn’t it be lovely to have photos of some of these people. I brought a notebook with me and wrote down the names and dates from most of the headstones (although some were illegible)
      Blog post coming up on Lord Galmoy soon – he once owned the Castle which is now derelict on our farm (I lived in it until I was 5) and who had many illegitimate children – but am going to do some research first – once I get the time!



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