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The Odells

Ardmore Memory and Story - The Landed Gentry

1. The Odells
The Odells had a long connection with Ardmore, the family having been in county Waterford for two centuries. The Ardmore property (until its sale in 1888) comprised Ballinamertina, Curragh, Duffcarrick, Dysert and Farrengarret.

A deed dated 20th February 1837 was made between the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for Ireland on the one hand and John Odell on the other part, whereby certain lands at Duffcarrick containing 135 acres, 3 roods and 25 perches, and certain lands at Ballinamertina containing 336 acres, 2 roods and 15 perches, and certain lands at the Curragh containing 291 acres, 35 perches situate in the Barony of Decies within Drum and County of Waterford, previously belonging to the ancient See of Lismore were conveyed by the said Ecclesiastical Commissioners to the said John Odell.

Note Dysert and Farrengarret are not mentioned in this deed, so seemingly the Odells were already in possession of those townlands. There was an Odell presence in Ardmore in 1829; John Odell was one of three present at a vestry meeting of the Protestant Church, which took place in the eastern section of the ancient Ardmore Cathedral. That section still had a roof at that time, and Divine Service took place there.

In the Griffith Valuation of the early 1850’s, the property which later became Odell Lodge, later still the property of Lady Clodagh Anson, still later St. Catherine’s Convent of Mercy, was then occupied by Nelson Foley with Edward Odell as Lessor.

The Odell family was well-established in the Dungarvan area around Ballintaylor and Carriglea. Carriglea was built after the marriage of John Odell in 1827. There was a close liaison between the Ardmore and Dungarvan sections. Loads of sand and gravel came from Ardmore to Carriglea, I’m told at 1½p a load. People were sent on messages from Ardmore to Carriglea quite often.

James Flynn of Dysert had to work there in Spring and harvest-time as part of his rent. He ploughed for about two weeks every year with no pay; left the horse in Carriglea overnight and walked up and down himself every day. He died in 1937 at the age of 97

The Odells who figured most in Ardmore were Catherine and her family, she was daughter of Edward Odell, and had eloped with her cousin Thomas Fitzgerald of Ballinparka, but the marriage didn’t turn out well and she returned to Carriglea with her two children. Edward Otto and Geraldine Agnes (who later married John Peddar Furlong of D’Loughtane). She then came to live at Melrose, Ardmore and changed the name to Odell Lodge.

Incidentally Catherine (Fitz) and Captain William Odell were sister and brother, daughter and son of Edward Odell and Harriet Nugent Humble. (Harriet was adept at managing the estate, Edward wasn’t.)

The story is told that when Edward Otto (later known in the village as Master Otto) was born, Declan was suggested as a name for him, but rejected as every tinker in the Co. Waterford was called Declan. This was recalled (or perhaps invented) later, when he became an associate of the tinkers and bought and sold donkeys and kept them in Ivy Lodge. He also went around “jolting herrings”. When he died in 1899 at the age of 29, his mother kept the grave open and guarded for days, in case he wasn’t really dead. An aunt of mine told me how she and other girls went up to the graveyard to investigate this, but were shooed away by the men on duty.

The Odells were responsible for laying out the village, probably in the second half of the 19th century and they are to be complimented on it.

It is said that a good many of the houses were built from the stone of Ardmore Castle.

John Peddar Furlong was estate agent for the Odells up to 1893, Cliff Row, Miles Row, Coffee Lane, Church St., Chapel Lane (also referred to as Chapel Row), Thomas Row are the addresses of the tenants in his Rent Book. There is no mention whatever of Sleepy Lane, was that Thomas Row?

The names are all the usual ones still in the district to-day. Some of the more unusual ones are.

John Deacon, Rent of £6.6.0, a Protestant who had land near the coastguards station - landlord agent.
Dr. Poole, Church St., rent £6.12.0. Apparently he was the dispensary doctor, who lived in what is now Cashman’s house.
Miss Inchendun, Dysert, rent £1.0.0 (note she is referred to as “Miss”).
James Plunkett, Thomas Row, rent £1.2.6
Richard Weymouth, Ardmore, rent £1.15.0 - Protestants and living on the site of the hall.
Garret Keane, Main St., rent £1.5.0. He taught countesse de Freney’s father to sail and professed not to know any English.
Charles Thornton, Ardmore, rent £3.0.0
Lucy Davis, Ardmore, rent £2.5.0. She was a teacher in the local school.
William Scott, Curragh, rent £3.4.0, I remember a man named Scott, home from U.S? who in the early thirties stayed in Tigaluinn, a guest house run by my mother, he went over to Curragh every day, no matter what the weather and spent the whole day sitting on the site of his former home.
Captain Dawson, Ardmore, rent £2.0.0 The holding of Mrs Triphook is under the heads in the rental of Miss Lawlor.
Rev. J.B. Wallace, Thomas Row, Dysert.
Rev. J.B. Thirrill, £1.1.3.
Captain Triphook, Duffcarrick rent £2.6.0. This holding used to belong to Miss Lawlor.
Richard J Ussher, Dysert rent £8.5.0, ornithologist and archaeologist, was involved in the discovery of the crannóg. Countess de Freney says John Power used accompany him even on visits to the continent, where they climbed cliffs and explored caves in pursuit of bird's eggs and she says cases of these eggs are in the museum in Waterford.
James Plunkett, Miles Row, rent £1.2.6
Rev. A Power, Ardmore rent £6.10.0
Coastguard Station, Rent £5.10.0
Claude Bolliense, Cliff Row, rent £1.5.0
Capt. Odell, Monea, rent £75 (Ballinamertina - gave it up in 1885).
Capt. Odell, Farrengarret, rent £23.15.5
Co. Cotton, Dysert, rent £3.10.0.

Master Otty's sister Geraldine Agnes married John Peddar Furlong of D’Loughtane in 1884. He had been in the army, had land in D’Loughtane and became estate agent and collector of rents for the Odell estate.

When Thomas Fitzgerald died, John Peddar Furlong sold D’Loughtane (1907) and went to live in Ballinaparka. Their son Gerald Furlong also served in the army, Countesse de Freney is his daughter.

Catherine (of Odell Lodge, Ardmore) died in Ballinaparka in 1923 and left Odell Lodge to her grand-daughter who sold it the same year. Myrtleville and Ivy Lodge, two houses in Main St., she willed entailed to her grand-son Gerald Furlong.

My mother, Johann Hurley was a tenant of Catherine in Myrtleville in 1920 and kept an occasional paying guest. Mrs Fitzgerald asked her to give accommodation to a friend of hers but my mother declined very politely, as she knew it would be impossible for her to manage hot water in hip baths upstairs. Later on, she had another guest and Mrs Fitzgerald heard this and sent my mother a most irate letter, “How dare you put a common man sleeping in my good box-spring bed”.

The Strand Laws were strictly enforced by the Odell landlords. There were local agents; and one paid for removing sand or gravel. It was also forbidden to go on the strand if the Odell family were bathing. A relation of mine, a Morrissey of Crossford spent a period in jail for infringement of these laws.

Bagges were the landlords who lived in Monea House and there were one or two Bagge/Odell weddings. Capt. William Odell (1849-1916) married Emma Bagge. His son William was also in the army and killed in Mesopotamia in 1917 and his grandson Edward was killed in Cyprus in 1941, i.e. in World War 2. After the death of Emma, he married Isabel Ussher of Cappagh and had two daughters, Mary who died in 1976 and Ruth in 1974.

In 1917 Captain Odell and family moved from Cappagh (Ussher home) to Monea House (Coláiste Deaglán later), where they lived till 1914, quite a spartan life, judging by what Mary told me of her duties in the dairy there. It was she also who told me that the former Odell dwelling in Ardmore was in the complex of farm dwellings at Farrengarret, opposite the graveyard. It was evidently during their sojourn there that the rector was compelled by them to remove the top story from the rectory.

Note: The Gee family is also credited with having lived here.

The family moved to England for some years, but after Captain William Odell's death, Isabel and her daughter Mary returned to Ardmore and in the mid thirties, built Aisling on the Rocky Road opposite Melrose. Both Isabel and Mary were talented painters. Among the visitors to the house during this period were Norah McGuinness, the well-known painter, Nano Reid also a well-known painter, Arland Ussher (a cousin) the writer and philosopher and probably Samuel Becket.

Isabel is buried in Ardmore, but both Mary and Ruth died and were buried in Dublin. They were in rather straitened circumstances in their later years.

Much of the basic information contained above was condensed from James Quains’ article “The Odells of Carriglea” in the Ardmore Journal 1986.

Author: Siobhan Lincoln

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