As mentioned we took the family down to the Faithlegg estate for a week. Unfortunately the weather sucked, so much for the sunny south-east. The current Faithlegg House Hotel & Golf Club in Waterford is a refurbished 18th century mansion with many great country estate’s, the historical aspect of Faithlegg Estate is a long and colorful one. The hotel is located just 9 km east of Waterford city centre, overlooking the estuary of the River, despite the stuffy old-fashioned hotel, its saving grace was the fantastic accommodation we stayed in. The Mews, a collection of spacious holiday homes built on the grounds of the estate right beside the golf course. Now anyone who knows me will tell you that I am not one for golf. However the swimming pool in the hotels leisure centre kept the kids entertained during the rain.
The area where Faithlegg Church stands was called Coolbunnia. Faithlegg Castle also stood there which was the seat of the Aylward Family for 500 years. The Aylward family, from Bristol, had been granted Faithlegg (originally covering over 7000 acres of pastureland) by King Henry 11 in 1177 and held it until the armies of Oliver Cromwell dispossessed them during the invasions of 1654.The property was then granted to William Bolton. Over a century later, in 1783, the present house was built by Cornelius Bolton, who had inherited the Faithlegg Estate from his father in 1779.Financial difficulties followed and in 1819 the Bolton Family sold the house to the Power Family. Nicholas Mahon Power married Margaret Mahon and her dowry enabled him to buy Faithlegg House and Estate. The Powers were a wealthy merchant family from Waterford City and they adorned the estate with the stags head and cross, which was the Power family crest. It remains the emblem of Faithlegg to this day.
On the death of Nicholas Power in 1873 his eldest son, Patrick Joseph (Pat) and his wife, Lady Olivia Nugent came to live in the house and commissioned Samuel Roberts to alter and enlarge the family mansion. The Power family also built the nearby Faithlegg Catholic Church on the ground where Faithlegg Castle originally stood. The house passed to Hubert Power, the only son of Pat and Lady Olivia, and in 1920 upon Hubert’s death, it passed to his daughter, Eily Power. In 1935 Eily and her husband sold the House to the De La Salle order of teaching Christian Brothers after which it acted as a novitiate until the 1980’s.The last remaining gap in history is from the 1980’s until 1998 when it was taken over by the FBD Hotel Group.