Supply and Demand

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Fermoy, County Cork owes its origins to Scottish entrepreneur John Anderson who settled in this part of the country in 1780. The following decade he bought land on the Blackwater river and there developed a town, its growth greatly helped by the presence of a military barracks which Anderson also built. The demand for better quality housing in turn led to the creation of St James’s Place on rising ground on the northern side of Fermoy. Begun in 1808 it was intended to have six residences but within ten years Anderson had suffered a series of financial reverses and so only five houses were built. In the last century these handsome redbrick buildings were allowed to deteriorate and by the start of the 1980s they had all been internally divided with 1 St James’s Place condemned as unfit for human habitation.
Subsequent restoration of this house and three of its neighbours demonstrates the nonsense of such official opprobrium and ensures that today the terrace of four surviving properties are among the finest in Fermoy, or indeed any other town in the region. Number 1 is particularly interesting because the middle bay curls around to meet the most northerly of the three, stepped back to allow more access to the fine doorcase with side and fan lights.

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11 comments on “Supply and Demand

  1. Penelope Bianchi says:

    What an exquisite treasure of a house! I love this blog! I am an American with Irish and Scottish ancestry. I have been to Scotland…..and LOVED it!

    Next trip, God willing…..to Ireland!

    Penelope

  2. Nicholas says:

    Another failure by the local authority, placing a street-lamp standard in _almost_ the worst possible position – why not bang in front of the door?

    • Thank you for getting in touch. Yes indeed, the street lamp is very inconsiderately sited, but you have no idea how difficult it was to take the picture because the whole area has been so dreadfully compromised by street furniture and so forth. It is clear that those responsible have no visual sense…

      • Penelope Bianchi says:

        There you go! You have completely nailed the problem!
        “those responsible have no visual sense!”

        Yes! That is the problem all over the world right now! And is up to those of us who do to try to help! IT IS AN EMERGENCY EVERYWHERE!!!!!

        BRAVO TO YOU!
        Penelope

  3. Pam Vaughan says:

    Was there any employment in the region? Where did the occupants work? This was during the Industrial Revolution times. So glad they saved this building; such a lovely curve. I also write about local history in the Eastern Sierra Nevada of California. My husband is from Kildare.

    • Thank you for your comment. Yes indeed there was employment in the area, not least thanks to the large military barracks built at Fermoy at the end of the 18th century, for which the residents of the town provided many services. This large group of buildings (the barracks) survived until burnt out during the Civil War in August 1922.

  4. What a wonderful surprise. My wife, Edna, and I live here.
    We love the house and its garden. In 1998, when we did some more renovations, we made some interesting discoveries.
    Our house once had connecting doors to next door. One architect said this was because the military officer class once lived there and the connecting doors were to facilitate escape in the event of a riot. A builder said that it was to facilitate access during the building stage.
    There was once a North facing window and door. This suggested that the section, where the existing front door is now, was an extension build at a later stage. I agree with this as there differences in floor levels internally.

    • Thank you for getting in touch. How interesting that you now live in this handsome house. Yes, it was clearly once two-bay like the others in the terrace, and with access on the north side, prior to an extension being added at some later date in the 19th century (there looks to be a difference in the brick between the two sections). I am not sure why there would be internal links between the houses, but most likely the builder rather than the architect was right: Fermoy was a garrison town, very dependent on the presence of soldiers to sustain the local economy (which suffered badly once the barracks were burned) and so one feels riots would have been unlikely…

      • Edna and I have now lived in this house for 27 years. Next door (No. 2) has been unoccupied for AT LEAST that amount of time. Thankfully it has now just been put on the market. Fortunately this house was never divided internally and many of the features in the ground and first floor are still intact. The top floor and the basement have been gutted due to weather damage. Hopefully we will soon have new neighbours. Let’s hope they are Georgian House lovers.

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