Heritage

 

Eden Hall in County Kilkenny is the old ancestral home of Richenda’s family, the O’Brenan’s, and is set in eleven acres of woodland and gardens.

The house had been unoccupied for four decades when Richenda and her husband Michael set about restoring the house, gardens and orchard.  It is still a work in progress!

At the present time the old pond is being restored and the original orchard has been replanted with native Irish apple trees.

 

 

Eden Hall dates back to the 1750’ies when the O’Brenan’s moved here from Nicholastown Manor, nearby.  They had been in the Castlecomer area from the 12th century, and north of the Nore Valley became their stronghold and indeed the town of Castlecomer became associated with the O’Brenans.

They were one of the ancient Irish Clans and were styles Prices of Idough, descended from Braenan King of Ossory, who was slain by the Deisi AD 887.

 

 

“Idough of Ossory of the fertile land,

The fair wide plain of the Nore,

Throughout this plain rules most active

The rightful chief, O’Brenan”.

 

Prominent personalities to have stayed at Eden Hall include Charles Stewart Parnell. In 1891, whilst addressing a crowd in Castlecomer, quicklime was thrown at Parnell during his speech, injuring his eyes.  Parnell had to withdraw from public view and accepted Richenda’s grandfather, Richard the O’Brenan’s invite to recover at Eden Hall.

 

The last lineal chief of the Brenan Clan, Gerald, died in 1999.

 

 

In 2004 Richenda moved her cooking business from County Wicklow to Eden Hall.

Her demonstrations take place in the original old kitchen, which has recently been renovated.

Richenda is a qualified Cordon Bleu Cook, having trained at the Cordon Bleu School of Cooking in London.  She also has an international cooking qualification from Switzerland, followed by many years of teaching, demonstrating and freelance cooking for weddings and parties.  She has cooked for the well-known Ballykissangel T.V. Series as well as the King of Spain.
Richenda cooks with many of her own herbs, vegetables and fruit from the garden, when in season.