History

Cuskinny Court dates from around 1840 and was formally known as Bennett’s Court, it was the residence of John Charles Jackson Bennett a high ranking British army officer. Jackson secured his wealth through his adventures in the West Indies colonies, shipping insurance and a strategic marriage in which he became owner of the then 300 – 400 acre estate in Cuskinny. This estate once included, Ballymore House, Lodge, Villa and Cottage as well as The Priory. Fully self-sufficient, the estate had its own dairy, timber mill, windmill, wells, farm, and walled  gardens. With food being the display of your social status and wealth at the time, a range of fruit and vegetables were grown in the walled gardens. Bennett built cavity walls and heated glass houses to grow grapes for wine and even tropical fruit such as melons and oranges. There is also evidence of a fish pond where they would have kept a stock of fish. Cows, sheep, chickens and pigs were all nurtured on the estate for milk, meat and eggs.  The items the family needed to purchase from Cobh town included sugar, tea and salt, the main trading items of the British Empire.

Find the Tunnel!

Many stories surround the estate including that of Queen Victoria having tea on her visit to Queenstown, in the front room of the estate home.  Local legend also rumoured that a smuggler’s tunnel existed on the estate to smuggle alcohol, illegal at the time and more importantly to be used as a quick escape route should the local natives rebel! The tunnel runs from the main house down to Cuskinny bay and was blocked up for safety and, perhaps, superstition in the 1950′s.

A Family Estate

The house and estate remained a domestic dwelling and working farm until 1948 when it came into the ownership of the Alexian Brothers, a religious order who are known for their care of the poor and sick. In 1986, The O’Flynn family became residents of the estate and continue to renovate the estate one field and room at a time.

Tell us your Story!

Every year we enjoy the surprise visit of a past resident of the estate or a story to add to the history of the house. Overtime we hope to record these stories and secure the history of this treasure in Cuskinny. Tell us your story! Email us or write it on our Blog. We look forward to hearing from you…!