the builders of garinish island

Garinish Island GlengarriffWe are looking for the names of the Irish people, people from Glengarriff, who – between 1910 and 1920 – worked on Garinish Island to build and create the Bryce’s beautiful gardens with their own hands? Can you ask your own grandparents, would they know? After the the peat field (behind Casita) was drained in April 1911 a gravel tennis court was ready by August 1911. The first building action took only place in spring of 1912. Most of the structures were built during the next few months.

Robert Kelly (above), the building contractor, wrote to his niece on 10th December 1910 … I am just starting work on Garnish Island in Glengarriff Harbour for a Mr. Bryce, brother of the English Ambassador to America. He bought the Island from the War Department & is converting a round Tower on it into an Irish residence. I have 12 to 15 men on it at present & hope to have a good many during next Season. I go there two or three times a week in a […?..]. just an hours run from Bantry. So you can imagine I must have quite enough to do & keep things going & find money & pay all with the above number in Garnish Island, 10 to 12 men on Bere Island the Same number now only at the Church here & about 20 in Bantry at different jobs around there with no one to order any material for the different works except myself.

Garinish island Glengarriff


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