The Moss-House and the Bridge Meadow
One of the famous landmarks of Bunclody was the
Moss-house in Carrhill. At the beginning of the twentieth
century another Moss-house stood on the banks of the Slaney at
The Carrhill Moss-house is marked on the 1840 Ordinance Survey
map as ‘the Lady’s Seat’, probably named after Lady Farnham who
was responsible for the laying out of walks through the woods
and other improvements on the estate. The Moss-house as it was
in the twentieth century was a rustic summer-house constructed
of branches of trees, roofed with heather and moss, sited high
up on the rock of Carrhill wood. Around inside was seating where
one could have a picnic or view the magnificent scenery, as the
Moss- house overlooked the Slaney as it flowed between the woods
of Cuilaphuca and the lands of Drumderry.
The ‘Moss-house’ is referred to in two songs —
‘The Streams of Bunclody’ and ‘The Pathway around by Carrhill’.
Adjoining Carrhill on the town side is the Bridge Meadow, so
named from a. metal bridge which spanned the river, giving
access from Newtownbarry House (Hall-Dare’s) to the woods on the
Carrigduff side. The Bridge Meadow was the favourite venue for
the people of the town for picnics or river-side walks,
especially on a Summer Sunday afternoon — the Bunclody
equivalent of the Phoenix Park in Dublin! — thanks to the
benevolence of the Hall-Dare family whose property it was. The
metal bridge was swept away by a flood in the winter of 1965/66.
There exists a ‘Mass-path’ through the meadow,
leading from Drumderry, across a stile near the entrance to
Carrhill Wood, and emerging at the bridge, where one ascended
the series of steps reaching the road level.
One of the features of the Bridge Meadow was the
Cricket ground and pavilion. A Cricket Club existed for many
years. It had been in existence before the publication of
in 1885 when R. W. Hall-Dare
was president, and Henry Lewis secretary and treasurer.
From the nineteen-forties GAA games were played
in the meadow — the ‘Bridge Meadow Grounds’. Previously games
were played in the ‘Football Field’ on Irish Street, officially
the ‘Gaelic Park’, but with the building of the technical school
in the Gaelic Park, an alternative venue had to be found. During
the Second World War, an athletic and sports meeting was held in
the meadow on at least two occasions.
On the banks of the Slaney in the Bridge Meadow
anglers would be seen in the season fishing for salmon. The
singer, John McCormack fished there. In summer time it was a
favourite swimming place but after two drownings had taken place
it was realised that a swimming pool was essential in Bunclody,
and this became a reality when the pool was opened at
Still to be seen in the meadow are the four huge trees:
according to local tradition, each of these trees was planted to
mark the birth of a member of the Hall-Dare family.