By Dan Walsh
It is one of Enniscorthy’s most iconic architectural heritage sites. Passing Parnell Road one is struck by the urban appearance of the modern Garda Station while on the opposite side, a decorative display of iron railings supported by square concrete piers converge into a curved entrance leading onto an avenue where 1.087-acres of mature trees, hedges and shrubs in blossoming gardens transforms urban into the peace and tranquility of a remote rural experience.
Into view emerges the Victorian semi-detached period residence with an architecturally attractive porch entrance and the three-bay two-storey façade approached by a slight climb of granite steps. This is Mayfield House, built in 1870, and associated with influential commercial family names who contributed to the growth and prosperity of Enniscorthy over generations.
Step onto a beautiful mosaic floor on arrival, pass through the doors where a long spacious hallway offers a heritage welcome while an easy-to-climb stairs lead to ten bedrooms.
Mayfield House is large with well-appointed reception rooms and high ceilings embellishing the heritage of the surroundings while the marble fireplaces are fit for royalty. The east facing edifice is embellished by a three-side bow window beneath a flat roof and complementing the main building which has a low hipped roof. Local lore recalls that the roof timbers were cargo from a ship which was wrecked in Bannow Bay!
The house was built in 1870 by Peter Joseph O’Flaherty, who had a legal practice in the adjoining property and died December 27th 1895, and his wife, Annie departed on October 31st 1893.
The O’Flaherty’s were solicitors and Bernard J. O’Flaherty was one of the first directors of The Echo and South Leinster Advertiser newspaper first published on May 16th 1902 in Abbey Square, but moved to Mill Park Road in 1904.
In the 1901 Census, Bernard, Kate, Owen Kavanagh, Mary Keane and Margaret Keane occupied the O’Flaherty residence on Lemington (census spelling) Road.
In the 1911 Census, we have Bernard and Frances, Peter, Anne Dempsey, Margaret Kelly and Mary Harris and the O’Flaherty residence is returned as Parnell Road.
In Thom’s 1938 Commercial Directory of Enniscorthy the business traded under P.J. O’Flaherty & Son, Solicitors. The legal practice was active from 1830 until 1970.
Michael Phelan acquired Mayfield House from the O’Flaherty family in 1953, and in 1971 John and Marian Roche removed from Camolin to make it a family home up to the present day.
The property is being brought to the market by Sherry Fitzgerald O’Leary Kinsella and is being offered for sale by public auction on Thursday, May 26.
The auction will take place at 4 pm in the auctioneer’s offices in Gorey and also online. Those interested in registering for the auction are asked to do so before Tuesday, May 24th.