You never really ‘own’ a house like Bryansford Cottage, you’re just looking after it for whoever is coming along next. We are the latest in a long line of custodians. The house has been here for about 200 years – we don’t have the exact date it was built but it appears on the Ordinance Survey Map of 1834 so we know it predates that.
On this map, the details of the valuation survey are missing so we don’t know the exact dimensions of the building, who occupied it at the time or how old the valuers believed the house was. By the time of the revised map in 1859, the building is shown and looks very much like it does today.
A photograph of Bryansford Cottage appears in the Lawrence Collection, a photographic record of Ireland consisting of 40,000 glass plate negatives from 1870-1914. Described as a “comfortable-looking house”, this photograph in particular is a great reminder that you never ‘own’ a house like this, you simply look after it for the next residents.
The house had formed part of the Roden Estate until the 1920s. Since then it has changed hands many times with every owner putting their own stamp on it. We became the current custodians in 2016.
Thanks to Ivor Fitzpatrick whose History of Newcastle page gave us lots of information about the house. And all credit to the late Tom Walsh (Mary’s dad) whose encyclopedic knowledge of local history unearthed old photos and details of the property.