The Ferney area of Mahon, gets its name from Ferney House (now demolished) and Ferney Cottage, (now Oakgrove Leisure Centre).
The original Ferney House was built in 1785 and was eventually demolished in the 1970s. Ferney House, was a substantial house, that overlooked, Lough Mahon, and it’s 25 acre estate took in much of the land currently occupied by the Ferney Parks, the Eden Parks, Castle Close and Crescent and Lakeview as well as St. Luke’s Home. The front door of the house, itself, stood approximately, at the corner of Eden Court and Ferney Place and its lands stretched eastwards, as far as the shoreline of Ringmahon Strand.
Green Point nearby was once a popular strand used by local residents. Ferney Cottage was located in the walled garden of the house and the gardener lived in the cottage.
Richard Henchion, (East to Mahon, Dahadore Publications 2005) believes Ferney House and Cottage, in turn were named after Francoise-Marie Arouet known as Voltaire, the French philosopher, writer and playwright, who named his mansion after the nearby town of Ferney, which is located close to the French border with Switzerland.
A Mrs Coote was living in Ferney House in Mahon in 1814. In 1832 William Crawford was listed as the resident, and the house was later occupied by the Manley family. A Henrietta Manley married Sir Thomas Deane (of Dundanion House on the Blackrock Road) and the third Thomas Deane was born in Ferney House in 1851.
Various residents came and went including the Kinmonth family from 1908 to 1940s. William Kinmonth was president of the Lee Rowing Club. He ran a poultry and egg business at Woods Lane off Lancaster Quay in Cork City. William passed away in 1926, his wife Sarah, continued to live in the house, until she died in 1936. Their daughter Isobel sold the house about 1940.
Later, Timothy Quill, who was a Labour Party TD for North Cork for 3 months in 1927, lived there in the 1940s. He was a member of Cork Corporation and County Council. Quill was heavily involved in the Co-op movement, and he grew fields of vegetables and raised Holstein Friesian cattle, in the grounds where the parks, above now stand.
With the arrival of the new Mahon Development in the late 1970s, and early 80s, the house was demolished, and the entire estate was built on. The general area of Ferney Road, and the parks leading off it, are still known to this day as Ferney.
Intriguingly, Henchion in his book, East to Mahon, mentions that the original stone tablet that bore the Ferney name “was removed to Lovers Walk”.
Does anyone know about the present location of this stone tablet? Perhaps if the stone tablet is available, it should be relocated at home in the Ferney area!
We are especially fortunate to be able to show the old photographs of the house due to the generosity of Michael Foley from Dublin. Michael very kindly supplied these rare photos of the Kinmonth era in Ferney, and he has permitted the Mahon Community Centre Facebook page, to publish them. Michael is married to Aileen O’Mahony, who is the great grand daughter of William Kinmonth, who lived in Ferney House from 1908 to his death in 1926. We wish to thank Michael for his assistance and kindness .
3 thoughts on “Ferney House, A History.”
Hard to imagine that a huge house and farm existed in the middle of Ferney.
It is a great article. I work in Ferney Rd. And often wondered where the name came from Well done Ferdis
I have a distant memory of that house very run down old shabby yellow painted. My mother used to speak to a lady who had a very country accent
She was originally from Mitchelstown
I lived in Dunaloca. I remember well the Henry family who lived in Ferney Cottage.