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Galty Cottage
 

This is Galty Cottage - built for the principal teacher in Skeheenarinky School in 1858.  This year (2008) Galty Cottage celebrates its 150th anniversary. Below is an article written by the present owners of the house which is now a listed building with South Tipperary County Council.

Galty Cottage Skeheenarinky

 Galty Cottage was built in 1858 on land that had been occupied by the Dwyer Family which had also given up some land for the building of the school..  Even though the house was built at the same time as the school, from similar material and in a similar style, the teacher’s residence was not vested in The National Commissioners of Education.  It seems to have been a project sponsored by the Irish Land Company under Alexander Brogden and probably funded by a loan from the commissioners in Dublin. When the Galtee Estate passed from Brogden to the Buckley family, they became owners of Galty Cottage. 

The charming, well-proportioned limestone house with a double-hipped slate roof is said to have been constructed by local stonemasons named Jackson.  Griffith’s Valuation of Ireland (1851) shows one Jackson family in Skeheenarinky – ancestors of Jacksons of the pub. Just as at the school, the cut limestone is the most striking characteristic of Galty Cottage. Around the door and windows the stone quoins are cut and dressed.  The door and windows are further enhanced by mouldings incorporated into the wall above them. In architectural terms these are hood mouldings.  Hood mouldings are also seen over the windows of the school and of Jacksons’ pub.  Cut limestone windowsills all around, and a ground level plinth – which adorns the front wall of the house – are features shared with the design of the school.  An interesting feature, that would be expected, is that the front of the house faces the school.  A path from the front door used to lead to a gate in the hedge through which the teacher walked each morning. 

Additional outdoor features of Galty Cottage are its double fascias and plaster soffits, adding architectural interest where the walls meet the roof.  Cast iron gutters have rested solidly for many decades on metal spikes – many original – probably made by a local blacksmith.  Two ‘smithies’ are shown on the 1908 Ordnance Survey Map – one at Creeds near Brackbawn Bridge, the other – the ruins of which can still be seen – between Skeheenarinky Pool and Tom Moloney’s house.  When some of the cast iron spikes and gutters had to be replaced, care was taken that they be identical to the originals.  Fortunately, the Victorian hoppers and downpipes are still serviceable.

The chimney appears to be out of proportion to the rest of the house.  This may well be an original feature, but there is some evidence that the chimney was raised in the years after the house was built. Recent work around the chimney - and that part of the roof - revealed that the Red Deal roof timbers – presumably from the local sawmill - are still as hard as modern day hardwoods, and during those repairs hand made nails were found in the floor of the attic.

Galty Cottage originally had has four rooms...each 32 feet by 32 feet, with cast iron fireplaces, brick lined chimneys, eighteen inch thick walls, and 9½ foot ceilings. One front room has the original cornice moulding on the walls and ceiling; the other front room has the original picture rail and hooks.  All of the interior doors are believed to be originals.  The window shutters are no longer at the windows, but some were converted to paneling in the current sitting room.  The extension housing the kitchen and bathroom at the rear was added in the 1950s, while a modern but sympathetic extension was added in 2006.

The garden, surrounded by stone walls and hedges, consists of just half an acre on which sit cobbled stone sheds also believed to have been built in 1858.  The original gate hangs on the original limestone piers that were recently rebuilt, having been knocked by a truck several years ago.  At this front gate on the castle road, a tall evergreen tree stands guard.  It was planted by Stephen Morrissey on 16 September 1951.  Outside the gate, on what is now County Council property, are the remains of the old pump where generations of Skeheenarinky people got their water in the days before houses had piped water. 

A hedge separates Galty Cottage from O’Gormans’ field.  There was once a gate in the hedge to provide access to a tap that stood in that field.  A saucepan hung by a chain from that tap; and at one time children from the school would run across for a drink of water. 

In 1949, Anthony Harold Buckley and Teresa Lyons sold Galty Cottage to John Leonard.  A year later, he sold it for £500 pounds to The Most Reverend Daniel Cohalan, The Reverend Thomas O’Gorman, The Reverend Thomas Cassidy and The Reverend Charles Lawn.  In 1951, teacher Mary Morrissey and her family moved into the house, and after almost fifty years of being resident at Galty Cottage, Mrs. Morrissey bought the freehold property from the only surviving owner, The Reverend Charles Lawn.

 

Ed@Galteemore.com           Mobile: 086 3840894

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