Boyle (Roscommon)

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Fairyhill House (4a) and Old Brewery c.1839
Fairyhill House (4a) and Old Brewery c.1839

Teach Chnoc na Sí aka Fairyhill aka Fairy-hill was, in the late 18th-century, the newly established residence and brewery of John Fry Esq. (1743-1796) in Boyle.

In 1796, John Fry Esq. died, leaving a young family. This resulted in his home and brewery promptly being advertised TO LET by his half-brother Henry Fry II (1757-1847):

TO be LET, from the first November next, for such terms may be agreed upon, the Dwelling-house, Offices and Brewery of FAIRY-HILL, near Boyle, lately occupied by John Fry, Esq. with about 40 acres of choice Ground, and an excellent Kitchen-garden well planted with wall fruit-trees, enclosed with an eight feet wall coped and dashed.—Also a good Malt-house in the town of Boyle to be let. 

To be SOLD by public cant, the household furniture of the said John Fry, Esq. deceased, the first of November next, when the tenant will be declared. Every utensil appertaining to the brewery to be given -at valuation.—The house, offices and brewery are new and in thorough repair. Proposals to be received by Henry Fry, Esq. Fry-brook, Boyle, Mrs Fry, Fairy-hill. N. B. No preference to be given to any but the highest and best bidder. Fairy-hill, Sept. 17, 1796. [Dublin Evening Post - 8 November 1796 ].

In 1829, John's son Henry Fry Esq (1790-1874) of Fairy Hill registered a freehold of £20 with lands in Knocknashee.  He married Abigail Knott in 1830. 

In 1833, Tithe Applotments for "Knockashee & Abbeyview" were recorded the property under "Reps. John Fry Esq." i.e. representatives of the deceased. (Their neighbour at Abbeyview was Morgan Crofton at that time).

Both Henry Fry Jr. Esq. of Frybrooke (1757-1847) and Henry Fry Esq. of Fairyhill (Knockashee) were founding members of Boyle Agricultural and Commercial Bank in 1835.  

The "Old Brewery" marked on the first OS map of 1837 matches the description of Fairyhill as having planted trees and a kitchen garden. In 1840, the house, offices and yard at Fairy hill, Knockashee were valued at 6 pounds and 8 pounds (to include lease with land) in the name of Henry Fry Esq. (1790-1874).  

The 1840  birth announcement announced the birth of a "son and heir" John Fry (July 19th 1840-1858) at "her seat, Fairy-hill, Boyle, the Lady of H. Fry Esq...".  In all, 8 children of Henry & Abigail Fry were born at Fairy Hill:

Matilda Fry  bap. 20-Mar-1832 died at Knockvicar, age 28 bur. 22-May-1858 BOYLE 

Hannah Elizabeth  aka Honor Fry (bap. 5-Jul-1832) 

Jane Fry bap. 20-Mar-1832 died at Knockvicar, age 28 bur. 22-May-1858 BOYLE 

Elizabeth Fry (1837-1855) died at "Androsna" age 18, bur. 26-Aug-1855 BOYLE

Miss Mary Fry of Knockananima registers a dog licence in 1868 and later marries in 1868

Anne Fry of Knockananima, dau. of Henry Fry Gent. married William Tilson RIC on 3 July 1876.

7. John Fry 25-Jul-1840  (newspaper announced he was the first son, joining 6 sisters) died at Knockvicar bur. 04-Sep-1865 BOYLE

8. Julia Fry 24-Oct-1842 (1843-1915) married Edward McDonagh (1837-1915) interred at Old Killummod Cemetery.


DIED  At Weedon, Capt. Fry [Rifle Brigade] brother of Henry Fry Esq. of Fairy-hill, near this town. He was a Peninsular and Waterloo Veteran and was severely wounded at St. Sebastian.  [Roscommon & Leitrim Gazette - 1 August 1840]


Sometime in the early 1850s, as the family story goes, Henry Fry lost his house in a card game. In 1852, his niece, Elizabeth Margaret Fry  (b. 1826 m. Robert F. Carter) of Frybrook wrote some beautiful poetry recollecting Fairyhill and "... the garden we had, of fruit trees, and roses so bright and so red..." and lamenting that "... it must soon be a wild".  

By 1855 the Fry's of Fairyhill were residing at Andresna, Co. Sligo (see Castlefield House) when Henry's wife, Abigail (Knott), died age 46. By the time of Griffith's Valuation, Henry Fry of Fairyhill had moved to Errironagh, Knockvicar where he can be found farming at GV#2ab. Henry Fry Esq (1790-1874) of Fairy Hill was farming in Knockananima, Carrick-on-Shannon when he died. 

In 1857, Fairyhill House [GV4a Knocknashee] was occupied by James Hamilton Esq. who was renting from Caleb Robertson who controlled much of Knocknashee on behalf of Rockingham's Viscount Lorton. Hamilton was a Boyle merchant and "agent of the Government Free Emigration to Australia Company for Single Girls and Young Couples" as well as the Canadian Mail Steamers. His premises on Bridge Street became "Messers Ross & Scott" in 1868.


By the end of the 19th century Fairyhill was no longer extant. 





Fairyhill at Knocknashee ORIENTATION Ireland VIEW SOURCE
Fairyhill at Knocknashee PLACENAME Ireland VIEW SOURCE


  • Of course, Fairy Hill is Cnoc na Sidhe, in Irish, anglicised as Knocknashee.

    D P Hanley

    Friday 15th April 2022 11:23AM

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