This week we are looking at the effects of the Great Famine on our hometown Kanturk. St Mary's Lodge hosted a Soup Kitchen in a later famine. Patrick wrote about this as St Mary's Lodge is in his garden.
During the famine Kanturk suffered greatly and lost one third of its population.On Percival Street there is a big olive coloured house and at the very back of the house's garden is a red brick building known as St. Mary's Lodge or chapel.
This building used to be an alms house or Soup Kitchen set up by the Convent of Mercy.It was not an alms during the great famine but it was later set up as an alms house in the 1870 era during another famine .My parents bought this red brick building off the Convent of Mercy and we were told it was also used to store the convents' apples.
There also used to be a lane-way from Percival St. to the alms house. Inside the building is actually quite large since it stretches itself out at the back and is quite long.I also think that there was a door from the shed to the convent because when we bought it there was a door like frame covered by a modern wall and what led me to believe that this was a door was that the wall that goes across my garden and behind the shed is a very old mortar wall.This building was also a house because of its fireplace.