Saturday, August 20, 2016


Here at Nell’s Farm House Heritage Week is our favourite week of the year.   With the help of our family, friends and neighbours we try to come up with an original and hopefully an enjoyable event. In previous years we have been very fortunate to win awards for our efforts. In 2014, our traditional Irish wake won the overall award for the most interactive event during heritage week having been a finalist in 2013.

This year we are recreating ‘DANCING AT THE CROSSROADS’.  The crossroads dance was a type of social event popular in Ireland up to the mid-20th century, in which people would congregate at the large cleared space of a crossroads to dance. In contrast to the later ceili styles, crossroad dances were generally set dancing or solo dancing. These dances were usually held on Sunday evenings in summer when young people would gather at cross-roads.  The music was often performed by a fiddler seated on a three legged stool with his upturned hat beside him for a collection.  The fiddler began with a lively reel but he had to play it several times before dancers joined in.  The young men were reluctant to begin the dance but after some encouragement from the fiddler, the sets of eight filled up the dancing area.    People danced on specially erected timber platforms and enjoyed the open air, scenery, meeting friends, making new ones and enjoying the music.

The crossroads dance declined in popularity in the mid-20th century, due to rural depopulation, musical recordings, and pressure of the Catholic clergy. They had been campaigning for years claiming that house dancing led to sin and corruption.  Priests patrolled the ditches keeping an eye out for any courting couple who might be having a few quiet minutes together! So here now was a chance for the government to bring in legislation and tax the profits of regulated dance halls. This resulted in the Public Dance Halls Act of 1935 which restricted all dancing to licensed establishments. In the early 1930s the wooden platforms at crossroads became the focus of standoffs and faction fights between Fianna Fail and the Blue Shirts with some destroyed by arson.  The phrase "comely maidens dancing at the crossroads", a misquotation attributed  to Eamon De Valera's 1943 St Patricks Day radio broadcast has become shorthand for a maudlin yearning for a vanished Irish rural idyll.

Our event will recreate the crossroads dancing on a platform that was popular in Ireland long ago.  There will be music, dancing and storytelling and audience participation is encouraged.  Dressing in the style of the 1930’s is welcome, but is optional.  Light refreshments will be served.  The Child of Prague has been put on overtime for the next seven days in the hope of getting a dry evening for the event.

Nell’s Farm House, Feddens, Rathgormack, Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Waterford 
Saturday 27th August, 2015, 8pm – 10.30pm
Admission: Adults €10 Children €5.      
Full details 086 2206007 / 087 6803522

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 - Not a Good Year

No,  2015 wasn't a good year here at Nell's was the best year we've had in business to date!  Its great to be able to sit down and write that after what seems like the fastest year in the history of fast years.

On the 2nd of January last year we sat down and had a chat about the year ahead.  We decided to make a conscious effort to use social media to connect with existing and prospective customers.  The plan was to do one blog post per month.  So far we have only missed one.  We really appreciate everyone who takes the time to read what we write and hope you find it interesting.

This year we delved into the world of Twitter with the help of the Tweeting Goddess, Samantha Kelly.  We have built our twitter followers up to almost 500 followers in a short space of time. Twitter is great fun.  We have found the #Irishbizparty on Wednesday nights very beneficial for connecting with people all around the country.  This networking has definitely benefited our business in a positive way and in turn our occupancy has increased.

We had a lot of fun in 2015, we brought some local school kids on a journey back in time and showed them how people lived long ago.  We get a great kick out of the school visits.  The questions they the kids ask are fantastic.  They find it all fascinating that people had to go to a well to bring back water and that all the cooking was done over a fire.

In April we were invited to Dublin Castle to a training day for people who hold Heritage Week events.  After that we went on to Merrion Square to speak with the Irish Walled Towns Society about our award winning heritage event in 2014.  Subsequently we were invited to meet our President Michael D Higgins in the Heritage Councils head office in Kilkenny.  It was such an honour to meet President Higgins and listen to him speak at the event in June.

Our favorite week of the year rolled around very quickly, Heritage Week.  As a follow on from our award winning Traditional Irish Wake re-enactment in 2014 we decided to hold a Traditional Wedding set in 1950's Ireland.  We had so much fun putting this together with some fantastic people from our community getting involved.  Everybody went to great efforts to make sure that the event was a success.  All the guests came turned out in costumes appropriate to the 1950's.  The Bride and Groom were brought from the church in Clonea Power by horse and cart.  This attracted a lot of attention with people stopping to take pictures along the way.  There was the traditional fare of cold ham and hard boiled eggs, followed by trifle and wedding cake, There were some fine speeches from the bridal party.  Live Irish music was played in the kitchen by members of the local Comhaltas Ceolteoiri until the early hours with a few songs and stories thrown in along the way.  Everything went off really well as people got into the spirit of the occasion.  It was so good we are unsure how we will top it next year.

Now were only six hours away from 2016 we would like to thank everyone for all their custom during the year and we look forward to welcoming you back in 2016.  A huge thanks must be said to our family, friends and neighbours throughout our community.  There really is a great community spirit in this area and we are very lucky to live around such great people.  Thanks you all!

Wishing you all a very healthy and Happy New Year.
Roll on 2016

Mary & Ger

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Five Things To Do With Your Extra Hour

The evenings may be drawing in, the mornings getting darker but the good news is it wont be long now until the shortest day of the year (December 21st)!  Its only a little over eight weeks to go and the days will be getting longer again, wohoo! I really love this time of year, the air is really crisp (great walking weather), the leaves are falling of the trees and you don't need an excuse to light the fire.  The even better news is that this weekend we gain an hour.  Nobody likes losing the hour early in the year but you wouldn't hear too many complaining about an extra hour in bed in October!  I was trying to think of how the extra hour could be spent this weekend and here's what I've come up with:

  1. The Imagine Festival is running until the 25th October in Waterford.  On Sunday, storyteller and Seanachai Eddie Lenihan, is doing two shows locally.  The first is fairy stories for kids and kicks off at 1 pm in St Patrick's Gateway Centre, Patrick St, Waterford.  At 10 pm his second show will start.  This one is aimed at the adults and is sure to be an entertaining evening.  Eddie is a friend of ours here at Nell's.  He told stories around our open fire in the past.  This is one not to be missed.
  2. Up the road in Kilkenny the Savour Festival is on.  We love our food around here at Nell's which means we love a good food festival.  The festival will be in full swing on Sunday.  The "Build The Ultimate Burger" event and "Yes Chef, War Stories from the Kitchen" are two events that take place on Sunday that have caught my eye.  
  3. Summer in Dublin may be over but Bagatelle are still on the go, but not for long...As part of their final tour they are playing this Sunday night in the Clonmel Park Hotel as part of the Tipptober Festival.  Tickets can be booked through the Clonmel Park Hotel
  4. Down the road and over the bridge in Wexford Loftus Hall the most haunted house in Ireland is the ideal stop if your into a bit of paranormal.  There's lots of tour options on Sunday for big and small kids.  If your there during the day spin down to Hook Lighthouse afterwards for tea and cake.  You might need something sweet after your Loftus tour!!
  5. The Suir Valley Railway are running the Spooky Express on Saturday 24th but will also be running trains on Sunday 25th and up until Sunday 1st November. The trains operate daily at 12pm, 1pm and 2pm. The prices are €8.50 for an adult, €7 for a golden years ticket and children (under 16) travel FREE for the entire week. This is a great way to see part of the new Greenway which will open next year. 
  6. My last suggestion, a bonus one, is to put the feet up, light the fire and enjoy a cup of tea and savour the extra hour on your own sofa :-)
However you decide to spend your bank holiday weekend we here at Nell's Farmhouse hope you have a good one. If you would like to spend some time (night/weekend/week) at Nell's Farmhouse please contact us on or 086-2206007 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Gone Wild!

Every morning we wake up and open the curtains to see the Comeraghs staring right back at us from a height.  I suppose when you look at it every day you begin to take it for granted how stunning the view actually is.  Visitors that comes into our yard are blown away by the sheer beauty of the mountains.  The Comeraghs Wild festival is a celebration of the mountains, the area and the local heritage and we were delighted to get involved.

On Thursday last the festival was launched in The Cotton Mill in Portlaw.  This was a lovely evening and a great start to the weekend.  Last night we went along to the Harvest Walk & "Crotty the Robber" the specially commissioned play written by Martina Collender up at Coumshingaun Lake.  The weather was ideal for the occasion.  A crowd in excess of 200 made the short hike up to the lake where we were greeted by Richie Walsh the MC for the evening.  The play itself was top class.  Afterwards there was "chai and chat" and then the walk back down the mountain.  We thoroughly enjoyed the evening and look forward to whats to come next year.

Tonight were heading to Curraghmore House to see Mary Black who will be supported by Kila and Rue De La Coup.  The weather is holding up well so it promises to be a great night.

Tomorrow the festival comes to  close with a treasure hunt in Stradbally, circle dance workshop in Kilrossanty, eco fairy tales in Kilmacthomas, a flora walk at Harneys Cross and the gala finale in the Copper Coast Geo Park.

There really is something for everyone at the Comeragh Wild festival.  For more info check out

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Introducing The Bride & Groom

Only three more sleeps until the much anticipated wedding in Feddens!  Here's a snap of the happy couple.  They are really excited for their big day, cant you are we!

This event is currently fully booked.  We are looking forward to welcoming all our guests in their Sunday best to the wedding breakfast.  Here's hoping it goes without a hitch, no pun intended :-)

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Traditional Wedding Customs

We are very excited about our Traditional Irish Wedding Re-enactment event for Heritage week this year.  The scene will be set back in the 1950’s.  The save the date cards have been sent (not really they didn’t have them in the 50’s) and the priest has been booked.  The following are a few actual traditional customs and traditions from the era…

The Child of Prague
Many Irish wedding traditions which have been handed down through the generations survive in Ireland today. Probably the most popular being the placing of a ‘Child of Prague’ statue outdoors under a hedge to ensure a fine day for the wedding.

Bonfires were lit at the crossroads lining the route from the church to the wedding reception especially near the brides house and they still are today in rural Ireland.

The Dowry
Long ago in Ireland as in many other cultures around the world marriages were ‘arranged’ between families by a matchmaker usually for the betterment of all concerned as a dowry, fortune or spre was usually required of the bride. This could be money or a cow or household goods. This money was the property of the husband or his father and was often used to give a dowry to an unmarried sister.
The bride would bring the dowry with her as often the bride would be expected to move into her husband’s family home thereby automatically usurping the position of ‘woman of the house’ from her mother-in-law. This was signified by the handing over of the ‘fire tongs’ which donated the change in authority. Sometimes the mother in law would break a cake of bread over her head as a token that she would  henceforth be the mistress of the baking and other domestic chores. The mother-in-law who only received inheritance rights in the 1960s previously only been entitled to a space by the fire?
 No wonder there was such ill-feeling between many a new bride and her mother-in-law also bearing in mind that Irish Mammy’s of yesterday idolised their sons...Many still do of course, but in those days the ‘men of the house’ were a revered species who were waited on hand and foot by their sisters.....

Age Gaps
Huge age gaps were customary up until the late 1950’s when much older men (having saved themselves) got married to young girls in the their twenties which was a recipe for disaster considering they had often nothing in common. Furthermore there was no such thing as contraception so large families of 16 and more were quite common even though infant mortality was quite high. 

To book your seat for the wedding breakfast contact us on the details below and stay tuned to our blog for more details.  

Date: Sat 29th August
Time: 20:00 to 23:00
Location: Nell's Farmhouse
Cost: €20
Booking: Essential
Contact: 051-646102 / 086-2206007

Traditional Irish Wedding Re-enactment - Heritage Week 22nd - 30th August 2015

It doesn't seem like twelve months ago since our traditional Irish Wake for Heritage Week last year.  We really enjoyed putting on the interactive evening and now we are excited about this years event.  The wheels are in motion already and it is set to be another great evening.  Us Irish love a good wedding and we decided in keeping with the theme of Heritage Week for 2015 which is "Discover the past. Build the future", we are going to hold a Traditional Irish Wedding Re-Enactment.  Like last year it will be an interactive event where we will be encouraging the wedding guests to get involved. 

The wedding is set in the era of the 1950's when the wedding breakfasts were traditionally held in the home of the bride.  The customs, traditions and fashions of the day will be portrayed.    Space is limited to 28 guests in total so booking is essential.  To get your name on the table plan for the occasion call or email on the details below.  You wont be disappointed.  

Heritage week is the largest cultural event in Ireland.  It is expected that 400,000 people will attend the events scheduled across the country.  For details on all the events taking place in Co. Waterford and in Ireland go to 

To book your place at our Irish Wedding Re-enactment contact Mary on 051-646102 or 086-2206007 or email Mary on and stay tuned to our blog for further updates.

Date: Sat 29th August
Time: 20:00 to 23:00
Location: Nell's Farmhouse
Cost: €20
Booking: Essential
Contact: 051-646102 / 086-2206007