The Casino Thatched Cottage
A landmark home
The Casino thatched cottage in Malahide is a landmark home, built c.1800 by the Talbot family, who lived in Malahide Castle. I have fond memories of walking past this cottage everyday on the way to school and feeding the two donkeys called Salt & Pepper, in the daffodil meadow.
The house was built in the Cottage Orné style, which was developed in England in the 1770s and later spread to Ireland. It’s not known why the cottage was called ‘Casino’, as it was used as a shooting lodge by the Talbot family for entertaining friends and family. An extension for a kitchen and bathroom was built in the 20th Century.
The Kirker family took over the cottage in 1923 and they resided there until 1999, when it was sold to a developer. As a result, numerous apartment buildings were constructed on the grounds, whilst the cottage lay derelict for almost twenty years.
A generous bequest
Thankfully a generous bequest of €1.5 million from a local farmer, Michael Gaffney, initiate the restoration of the cottage. Fingal County Council purchased the property and set about restoring the cottage and out buildings. They also built a large extension to the rear, which now houses the Fry Model Railway collection.
This collection of model trains and carriages were hand built by Cyril Fry throughout his lifetime. He was born in Dublin in 1905 and got his first model layout at the age of 14 and thus began his passion for model railways. The Fry family donated his collection to Fingal County Council, who have completed a superb restoration of the cottage and created a unique space to display this beautiful collection.
Peter Childs, master thatcher, who thatched the roof on Connell’s House, was responsible for re-thatching the roof on the Casino and what a stunning job he has done.
Perfect for Exploring
Malahide is a pretty a coastal town and really worth visiting if you’re staying in Connell’s House & Barn.
They are some beautiful walks through the ground of the castle, which also includes a super playground for kids. There are scheduled tours of the castle and gardens and a classic Irish cafe called AVOCA, where you can enjoy breakfast and lunch. It’s a short walk from the Castle into the village, where you’ll see the Casino cottage just before the railway bridge.
If you fancy a bracing coastal walk, there is footpath all the way from Malahide to Velvet Strand in Portmarnock with wonderful views towards Howth peninsula.