Alice Taylor in the frame in Innishannon
Getting ready for the Gardens and Galleries festival at Innishannon at the weekend are Alice Taylor with Jim Kilduff, Gerry Larkin, John Quinn, Peter Fehilly and Mary Nolan O’Brien.
A picturesque stone Market House dating from the 1700s — believed to be the only one of its kind in West Cork, if not in the country — is set to re-open in the picturesque village of Innishannon this month.
The iconic stone building with three arches, located across the road from the wellknown Rohu’s Country Market, was built around 1750 by descendants of Thomas Adderley — an army general gifted the village by Thomas Cromwell in recognition of his loyalty. The one-storey building was later used as a showhouse by a local carpenter, but has been closed for some 50 years.
However, Market House is now being re-opened by the present owner to showcase the paintings of local artist, Jerry Larkin, as part of the village’s Gardens & Galleries Festival, which takes place this weekend.
Alice Taylor, local resident, author and one of the organisers of the Garden & Galleries Festival, said: “It will very much be a focal point for our Gardens & Galleries festival — everyone knows the building, which has been closed for half a century and is now being revamped and opened up. A lot of people would be very interested in seeing this building. It’s the only single storey Market House in West Cork of its kind, and is possibly also the only one of its kind in Ireland.”
In the old days, says Ms Taylor, farmers would bring their produce — milk, homemade butter, eggs and other products — to sell at the Market House.
It’s expected that upwards of 1,000 gardening and art enthusiasts from all over the country will visit Innishannon for the weekend festival.
This is the third year of the popular event, which will this year showcase 10 spectacular gardens ranging from cottage, to urban and woodland gardens, while the work of many local artists will also be on show at several venues around the village. The weekend annually raises around €10,000 for two local community groups, while also bringing a significant economic spin-off for local businesses.
This year the festival features four very different village gardens including a townhouse garden, a communal garden, and the Garda Barracks Garden, as well as her own very long-established garden in the centre of the village. Enthusiasts can also visit the traditional Rose Garden at Innishannon Hotel, now nearly 50 years old, along with a lodge garden at Shippool Lodge, a highly creative garden in a housing estate, and a farm garden, which Ms Taylor describes as an “imaginative and spacious garden with many hidden corners”.
Meanwhile, from the galleries’ side of things, several hundred pieces of art — ranging from landscapes to textured fabric art pieces — from five solo exhibitors and two art groups, will be on display everywhere from the Parish Hall and the Found Out Café on Main Street to the local churches.
Innishannon main street will be lively, with a mini-vintage show in the forecourt of Bernard’s Car Sales and a gramophone recital at Rohu’s Country Market, while streetfacing windows of local houses will be specially decorated with interesting pictures, and artefacts.
A day-pass to all the gardens and galleries is €10 — this pass also includes access to a minibus to different venues. For more information find Innishannon Gardens & Galleries on Facebook
Getting ready for the Gardens and Galleries festival at Innishannon was Gerry Larkin who shall be exibiting at the Market House. Picture: Denis Boyle