A Grand Jury map of 1818 does not show the Rocky Road or the road leading up from the middle of the village street towards what can be called the for convenience sake Tigaluinn Cross, and onwards to Cliff House. It does show 'telegraph' at Ram Head.
The Ordnance map of 1841 shows the Village Street and all the roads now in existence except the New Line and the road further south parallel to it. These were probably famine roads. Rock house, Glebe House, Ardmore House (later Coláiste Deuglán) were the only big houses, so there must have been a big building programme in the second half of the 19th century.
A post office is indicated in what has become known as Sleepy Lane. That, Coffee Lane and Chapel Row were all one-storey houses. Jimmie Rooney tells of the people living in the houses in Coffee Lane; nine Rooneys and parents at the end of the road (now Brison), four Gradys (i.e Fitzgeralds) in a one-roomed house with no back door, which is now the top room in Bryson; twelve Broodies in what is now Dunnes' work shop; fourteen Briens in the house above that; then Andys and the Guiry family in Tigaluinn. We remember Norry Brien, Matty's mother who lived in Coffee Lane. She was a tall stately women who wore very wide skirts (to the ground of course) and I can still visualise her coming around the corner like a ship in full sail. She worked at Dawsons and also spent whole days in her plot in Dysert (the present soccer field), bringing up paniers of seaweed on her back and also cold boiled potatoes to sustain her until the evening. As regards Jimmie's remarks 're' the Broodies in what is now Dunnes' workshop, I myself have no recollection of them but I do remember distinctly in the 30's and 40's, the hosue being occupied by Tom and Mrs Monsell, Paddy their son, Tom Foley (Mrs Monsells brother), and Bridg Donnell (no relation). Tom Foley and Paddy Monsell slept in the bedroom to the right; the back of the kitchen was curtained off for Tom and Mrs Monsell and Bridg Donnell occupied the room to the left above the kitchen. Mrs Monsell liked to lean on the half door and greet all and sundry going up and down the road.
Up to the 40's Chapel Row had people in all its four houses; each one had a different coloured wash and they presented a delightful picture viewed from the strand. The school was partly in front of them and on fine evenings, the gable end was used as a ball alley and it was quite a gathering place for young people.
Johnny and Mrs Mulcahy's house was recessed between the church wall and the boathouse. Mrs Mulcahy resented the ball going into her yard; this frequently happened at play-hour at school so there were several rows on that score. Below the boathouse, there were quite extensive ruins now incorporated in the roadway, and this place was known as Mr O's i.e. O'Shaughnessy. He had a butchers shop there.
The c. 1910 photograph of the end of the village street, shows Mrs Wolsey's house, now also incorporated in the roadway. Moloneys remained an L shaped house for some years, the section which made the L was really another house. The gap at its east end was the entrance to the forge, an unusual 2-storey building (behind Moloneys and not now visible) which was of course, one of the social centres in the village. The banding stone (for banding a wheel) is still in evidence on the ground but the familiar sound of the anvil is no more.
Opposity Harty's house, formerly The Hotel were the derelict buildings known as Harris' stables. These are evident in some photographs of the 1967/68 Pattern sports. They have now been replaced by new brightly painted houses.
The Barracks was in Ivy Lodge, at the corner, at the south side of the street and later on, in the lovely Georgian house which preceded White Horses restaurant. Another photograph shows the deplorable ruins of the Barracks, and these remained until the late 1930's, when Jim Quain bought them and built the modern shop which was replaced a few years ago by the restaurant.
It has been tantalisingly suggested that the space between O'Reillys (Tigh Beag) and Murphys' thatched house might have been the entrance to Ardmore Castle. If so the castle would have been much higher up on the hill, to the south. That remains a mystery.
Mrs Odell's painting shows a picturesque village street with no traffic problems. Two of the houses are still thatched.
Aird a Mhinistir has not changed too much. Looking down, Sunnyside (thatched ) is still in evidence in the photograph, with the plot at the side where my father put Ardmore's first petrol pumps in 1931. The view uphill shows the cottage at the Cross, now gone. The entrance to Monea Lodge (now occupied by the McCarthy family) is at the bottom of the hill on the west side. On the 1841 map, a dispensary is shown here. In our young days, we referred to the house as the old convent. The well-known Mrs Barry having bought it for the Cappoquin nuns, and finding it a bit small for the purpose purchased the house now known as Stella Maris. George Dwyer was an occupant for some time. Later on Miss Kathy Fitzgerald had a guest house there.
Recessed at the other side of the road with a nice garden, is the Grey House, property of John and Agnes Fitzgerald. At one stage, this functioned as a Protestant school and in our young days, Rev. Mr Warren, the rector, was the owner. Jack Fogarty, an old lady still lived there and my first visit to Waterford was when she moved with her belongings to a residence for elderly Protestant ladies there. I was thrilled to be ensconced in the middle of the luggage in the back of my father's lorry.
The Rocky is gradually getting built up, as is the New Line. There are about 12 private residences in the Crescent off Bóthar na Trínse. Farrengarret has become a suburb of Ardmore with more than 40 very well presented houses and many more to come.
Time marches on.
Author: Siobhan Lincoln