I was born at Summerseat (now known as Somerset) Drinagh, Co Wexford about 3 miles from Wexford town. The house was occupied by my maternal Grandfather and his wife, my step grandmother, Fanny who was also my grandaunt. Christopher Joyce (known as Christy) was a Commissioner for both the South Slob and North Slob and was also the Manager for both undertakings. This was a very large farming operation of over 2000 acres which raised beef cattle for the English meat market. In excess of 500 head of prime cattle were wintered in-doors. When he retired his son Paul took over, who also for a period of time lived on the 3rd floor with his family, it having been converted into a flat.
It is believed that the house was constructed in the early to mid-1700 as it was a place of refuge for the local Roman Catholic priest during the period leading up to the 1798 Rebellion. This would account for its rather austere façade. The original house, three stories, was demolished around 1965/66 and a new two story house built on the site. Currently occupied (2016) by James and Sally Nolan who have lived there for about 50 years.
According to Bassett's 'Wexford County Guide and Directory' it was occupied in 1885 by Thomas Newenham who was occupying it according to the 1901 and 1911 census. In the 1901 census he was described as farmer and land agent living with his wife and 2 children and he was named as the landholder. In 1911 he was living with his wife and 4 children and described as farmer.
|1911 Census Form A||Ireland||VIEW SOURCE|