Now available for Weddings, Functions and Parties. Seating
upto 70/80 people. Superb car parking facility.
EDEN – according to dictionaries – means paradise, any particular delightful region of residence, a state of supreme happiness, or a garden. Now how could such a place be ordinary if we take the part of the townland name to be normal, usual or commonplace! There may be another explanation as to the origin of the name of Edenordinary, but we prefer to use the ‘Eden’ derivative.
Generally stretching from the Halfway House to near the residence of Alfie Magill on the left hand side of the dual carriageway between Banbridge and Dromore, the views from along the ridge of hills in the townland certainly live up to the meaning mentioned earlier – and judging by some of the activities elated to us we can also believe the happiness part.
The Halfway House
Now there’s another source of happiness – The Halfway house – licensed premises and a restaurant par excellence and it is aptly named due to its position between Banbridge and Dromore.
A centre of attraction for both locals and travellers alike, The Halfway was a thatched building nearly one hundred years ago and was renovated by its owner William Wilkinson in the 1890s and catered for the thirsty and the conversationalist – and there was always plenty of the latter around Edenordinary. With the addition of the restaurant in recent times it is now a rendezvous for those who enjoy a night out in pleasant surroundings.
At the beginning of the 1900’s – in April 1902 to be precise – the following notice appeared:
“Edenordinary Banbridge – Important sale of valuable freehold licensed premises and farm of land to be sold by public auction on Monday 21st April 1902 at the hour of Twelve O’ Clock noon.
All those valuable licensed premises together with farm or parcel of land containing 6 acres, 2 roods or thereabouts situated in the townland of Edenordinary, Parish of Dromore, Barony of lower Iveagh and County of Down, together with the tenement houses thereon and the fine dwelling house and business premises to which a publican’s license is attached as lately occupied by William Wilkinson. The entire premises are subject only to the proportionate yearly fee-farm rent of 18s 2d and a very small sum for proportion of tithe rent.
The licensed house and premises which up till recently were occupied by said Mr Wilkinson are situated on the leading road midway between Banbridge and Dromore, both good fair and market towns upon which road there is constant busy traffic. The house is very large and commodious: the bar is quite modern and only recently fitted up at a great deal of expense – there are sitting rooms, drinking rooms and every accommodation for the carrying on of the liquor business.
There are four two storey slated tenement houses upon this lot let to cottier tenants. There is also a very substantial dwelling house with a garden which is occupied by Miss Mackey, Postmistress of Edenordinary who has a life interest therein.”
Going on to describe the licensed premises the advertisement details its position and goes on to state that they have been licensed for very many years, have been well conducted and a regular business has been done therein. A good grocery trade has also been carried on and not being too closely situated to a town, the grocery and provision trade could be well developed.
The lands are of excellent quality and almost all adjoin the country road.
The license is a seven day one and the license duty is only £6 per year. Purchasers to pay 25 per cent deposit at the time of sale: for title and conditions of sale apply to Thomas B Wallace, Solicitor, Banbridge and Dromore or John Toman, Auctioneer, Rathfriland.
The Sale took place in the Imperial Hotel, Banbridge and a report of the bidding appeared in the local press. This bidding read as follows – Mr. Blakely, £800: Mr. McKnight, £700, £800, £920, £940, £955, £965: Miss Rooney, £705, £800, £900: Mr Guill (in trust), £700, £820, £910, £930, £950, £960, £970: Mr McKeown, £750, £850. Mr McGuill was declared the purchaser (in trust for Mr Francis Jordan) at £970.
Suffice to say Mr McGuill which can be seen from the bidding, seemed determined to secure the property – and he and his company were acting on behalf of none other than the late George Beggs who took over complete control of the premises in 1905.
The Beggs family have been in possession of the premises practically ever since, except for several years in the 1970s when George Bryson, Lisnabrague Lodge, Poyntzpass, was the owner.
The present owners are Mr and Mrs Richard Ferris– the latter
being well known as trading as Julianne Mulligan daughter of
Mr William and Mrs Anna (Beggs) Mulligan. William is well known,
especially in cattle breeding and judging circles having been
selected to judge Charolais cattle at the 1989 Royal Show at
Smithfield, London. THE BANBRIDGE CHRONICLE, SATURDAY, JANUARY
15 1883 “SPIRIT LICENSES” – The following is the list of notices
of applications for licenses to sell by retail, spirits, beer,
or cider, to be consumed on the premises, to be heard at the
Licensing Sessions, Newry, on the 25th inst.,:- Richard Hook,
Edenordinary transfer.” The following came from the LISTS OF
BUILDINGS OF SPECIAL ARCHITECTURAL OR HISTORIC INTEREST IN THE
DISTRICT OF BANBRIDGE: “Halfway house, Edenordinary. Date of
erection – mid-19th Century. Comment: A two-storey public house.
Recent modernisation. Bibliographic reference – ordnance map
survey of 1983