The Nire Valley Walking Festival based in the heart of the Comeragh Mountains, Waterford, Ireland.

Praying in a Teapot

In 1847 Clonmel Architect William Tinsley designed a house in Ballymacarbry, for mill manager and landlord's agent, Abraham Coates. Tinsley is also credited with designing the Protestant church that was built near Deerpark Bridge about a mile from Ballymacarbry village. I have not been able to find any documentary evidence of this, nor can I see his trademark “palmette” on the building, but that may have been over the main door, which was demolished, but there is strong indications that Tinsley designed the Church as his daughter Ellen was married to Charles Fry rector of Kilronan (Fourmilewater).

The church, the teapot, as it was locally called, was for the landlord and his staff, it is a small chapel that seated only about 30 people. Local lore tells of a young boy, who was crippled, was abandoned in the locality, he was taken in by locals and became a gifted stone-mason, and he supposedly was the mason who built the Church. Another piece of lore is that a Downey family lived on the land and they were evicted, a number of years ago a Ballymacarbry woman met a Downey who told her that their family had a story of them being evicted so the landlord could build a Church.

William Tinsley was an important architect and he built and designed many "Great Houses" including what is now the Minella Hotel, White Memorial Theater, extensions to Curraghmore (stable etc) and several great houses in and around Fethard like Grove. He later emigrated to Indiana USA.

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