Daisybank house, was a derelict three story Georgian mansion when I was growing up. Its only saving grace to me with its shattered windows and crumbling brickwork was an old orchard at its rear, with some very flavorsome apples. A visit to those apple trees was one of the mainstays of our summer schedule.
There is a wonderful architectural description on the listing of the buildings of Ireland. There are additional images here. Its interesting to note that it considers the property to date between 1750-1780 and speculate that it may have been built as a harbour masters home or a constabulary barracks. Despite searching, I haven’t yet found any evidence of same.
|Photo from Buildings of Ireland (above)|
Daisybank opened as a Coaching Inn in 1793, serving the mail packet station at Cheekpoint which originated with the local landlord Cornelius Bolton. We know the date as the hotelier, J. Sly advertised his new Inn in the Waterford Herald. The advertisement is dated as January 21st 1793 By calling it a new Inn, I think it safe to assume that the old inn is what we now know as McAlpins, Suir Inn.
The next mention that we find is an advertisement from May 12th 1801, The lease is open to be filled immediately, and states that it was lately occupied by one William Jackson.
Jackson we learn elsewhere had only days previously “rose early, went down to the pier, threw himself in the river and was drowned”1
In 1808 James Howley was running the hotel and the venture was expanding. He was overseeing the erection of new stables for as many as ten horses. 2
I have read three accounts or reviews of those who stayed at the Hotel, none of them were very positive and one is blunt and to the point “It was dark before we reached Cheek Point – where there is a large dirty inn – for the reception of Packet Passengers”3
The mail Packet moved to Passage East in 1813 and with it the hotelier Howley.4 His reputation must not have been all bad as a hotelier!
Frustratingly there is no record to be found from 1813 to 1848, But in 1848 Patrick Tracy was leasing this property from the Power estate when it was valued at over £18. He was still there two years later, and interestingly, it was then being used as a hotel. We can only speculate that it remained so during this period.
Although you might think that there was not a lot of call for a hotel in the village at that time, accounts of shipping and other happenings on the river highlight a vibrant level of trade in and out of the harbour. A piece from the Waterford News 7th June 1850 gives an example of a Sunday afternoon in the village. We learn that the quay was “crowded with boats of all kinds and sizes” The monied class of the city were escaping downriver to spend a day boating, walking “beauteous walks”to the Minaun and there views that “could hardly be excelled” Tracey is running a table d’hote which on the day is “filled to overflowing” The entire piece is given below.
|The Waterford News 7/6/1850|
I could only find one other mention of the house, dated 1886. The Advertisement is below, but in brief a certain Captain Coffey is putting up the lease on his “charming residence”. The lease is for 8 years and the present owner (Patrick Power of Faithlegg House) has expended £500 on improvements. The rent is £29 per annum.
Aggie Power came to live in the house in 1888 according to her grandson Deaglán. she was four months old at the time. Wonder did the family move in as a result of the above add. Aggie lived to be a great age and had a lifetime of stories connected to the house. Alas I never knew the lady but Pat Murphy told me before of her remembering workers employed on the building of the Barrow Bridge staying as boarders in the house. The Bridge opened in 1906.
In the 70’s it was bought by a Londoner named Bert Almond, a gentleman, who had a holiday home on the road below beside the pub. Bert could see the potential that others could not, but in the early 1990’s he sold it to a developer named Pat Fitzgerald, who had the skills and the cash to turn it into what it is now, a fully restored and eye pleasing family home. It’s now the family residence of the Nevin McGuires and long may they happily reside there.
1,2,3&4 All references are taken from I was a day in Waterford edited by TN Fewer from a piece by Julian Walton called Cornelius Bolton and the Packet Service. pp49 – 53
My thanks to my cousin James Doherty for all the new paper clippings contained in this piece.
Thanks also to Deaglán De Paor and Susan Jacob for information on the Power family.