The Fuchsia Lane Farm Story
Stories can be personal, public, private or shared. Stories can be about beginnings, middles or endings. They can be linear, circular, predictable or unpredictable. Our story is about family and place. The land and space that we call home has been in the family since the late 1800s. Our Granary and Stables cottages are from that era and can be seen on the First Edition OS maps of 1840, just before the Great Famine. We are conscious that we became the custodians at that time and the land welcomed us. The land itself holds evidence of life from times long before that. Perhaps the land doesn’t think too much about who the custodians are. However, what happens to the land does matter. Fuchsia Lane Farm is part of the landscape, and provides the vista that we all wake to here each morning. Our farm has been the constant over the years, and if previous generations of Heenans could walk this land again, they would recognise fields, trees, hedgerows, streams and soil, that are all part of our story, and show evidence of many generations of life and love in this place. The same land, where in the early 1900s, our ancestor Mary Heenan, found a Bronze Age artefact, which was donated to the National Museum of Ireland.
Our place in time
Our landscape here on Fuchsia Lane farm can be traced back to over 25 million years ago when the land was covered by a shallow, warm ocean that teemed with life. Over millennia this changed to the resultant limestone ground which is now a fertile source of life containing fossilised evidence of this temperate ocean.
Ten thousand years ago the retreating glaciers at the end of the last ice age deposited boulders, shaped fields and soil types that we can still see today. Then Man started to make an impact and in time, Celtic tribes made their mark as they farmed the land in common with protective ring forts for their valuable cattle and harvests. New arrivals and new traditions from other countries arrived and field enclosures were created as an Anglo Saxon model became the norm. The landscape changed but the fundamentals were the same. Those who cared for the land were sustained. We have maintained this connection in continuing to use the old field names and also in the names of our cottages. Some of the field names include: the Ring Fort field, Starrs’ Garden, Sugar Garden, Hacketts’ field, Cows field, Callow, Lawn field, Hurling Field, Blackstick Field, Hollow field, Long Road, McLoughney’s, Round field. Our self catering cottages, which are available as holiday rentals, are the Granary, Lime Kiln, Stables and Lodge.
When we stand in our place, we are conscious of the previous generations who have cared for this piece of the earth, and when we stop for longer, we are conscious of those who will care when we are gone.
Today the landscape and earth are changing at a more rapid pace, and we need to consider the next chapter of the story. How will future generations document what we did in order to sustain and be sustained by this same land? This is now the story to be considered and explored. Our planet is now at a juncture. We look to the needs of the next generation and how best to begin this chapter.