Hydro Farm opens doors

Hydro Farm Allotments were delighted to be asked by the Blarney Library to run a heritage event on the history of St. Ann’s Hydro in conjunction with World Heritage Week celebrations. Local historian Joe O’Leary delivered two fascinating presentations on the history of the Barter family, the building of the Hydro and the magnificent Turkish Bath, starting at the arrival of Dr. Richard Barter in 1843. It was a fascinating presentation that opened the door into the world of the Hydro which survived two world wars and the great Irish famine, accommodating British soldiers during the first world war and a refuge for many seeking treatments for cholera and TB. Sinead McSweeney shared the guest list of people who frequented the Hydro before 1900, telling stories about their stays along with some scandalous stories that gripped and amused the audience! Douglas and Olwen Venn presented a wonderful glimpse of Ardcaien House, Sir Richard Barter’s residence, now Maranatha B&B Country House from the time they took it over from Olwen’s parents Dr. & Mrs. Hugh Quigley, and The Village Deli, Ravenscourt, Kerry Pike were in attendance with delicious refreshments. The event was a triumph and people came from near and far, several from as far away as Dublin, and included local historians from the Muskerry Golf Course, Inniscarra and Blarney historical societies. The Barter family were represented by Dr. Charlene Barter, her mother Patricia and son Gabriel, who had travelled from the UK and who stayed for the weekend and retraced their steps through the presentations. An exhibition of items from the Hydro was on display including farm machinery, medical instruments and items from the Oratory, and the east face of the refurbished clock tower was on view as were original sleepers and tracks from the old Muskerry railway. The Studio was full to capacity, and those unable to hear the talks walked around the beautiful Hydro Farm Allotments admiring the different plots and chatting with the members on what was a wonderful day at the Hydro.bab3e554-2368-4f15-a61f-e32e7d3b30b1