Odellville’s Valuation for Transfer 1918

by Robyn O’Hanlon, BA History Student

This typescript valuation was created in December 1918, and it offers a remarkable insight into the various items that were stored at Odellville, Ballingarry, Co. Limerick. The Allott Papers are available at UL’s Special Collections and Archives, containing 292 files dating from 1782 – 1998. These files relate to the various families that owned Odellville house and property, which was built in the 1770s by John Fitzcharles Odell. The object that is featured in this blog post relates specifically to the Morony family. Odellville was transferred to the Morony family when Helen Mary Odell married Edmund Morony in 1860. Their elder daughter, Eliza Helena, married in 1884 her cousin, Henry Vereker Lloyd Morony, while the younger daughter, Geraldine, married Henry Molony in 1889.


Front cover of the 1918 Odelville valuation typed booklet (P27/54)


The 1918 valuation report is a thin portrait booklet containing 39 pages. The booklet has a front cover that has become a faded grey colour and a back page that keeps these 39 pages together. The booklet has measurements that are close to that of an A4 size sheet of paper, measuring 20.5 cm by 32.5 cm. The cover page of this document shows that this valuation for transfer is related to Odellville, Ballingarry. The date, December 1918, is also displayed along with the details of the auctioneer, who was Wm. B. Fitt of 46 O’Connell Street, Limerick.

Evidently, the families at Odellville continued to correspond with Wm. B. Fitt auctioneers, as documents from a more recent time show contact between the Allott family and the auctioneers. Contained within the Allott Papers, there is a letter sent from Wm. B. Fitt auctioneers to Helen Lucia Allott, dated 26 March 1971, detailing a meeting with the Irish Land Commission regarding the sale of an unidentified portion of land (P27/110).


A letter from Wm. B. Fitt auctioneers to Helen Lucia Allott (P27/110)


On the third page of this booklet, a typed page reveals that the 1918 valuation was created under arrangement made between H. V. Morony and H. Molony. These names refer to the husbands of Eliza and Geraldine Molony. This valuation of Odelville was arranged following the death of their father, Edmund Morony, who died on 11 November 1918. The valuation report records this date of death in the details of the third page, and explains why one of the rooms listed in the valuation report is named the ‘Late Mr Morony’s room’.


Agriculture at Odelville

There are four separate parts to the valuation provided within the booklet. The first is dated to 9 and 10 December 1918 and it consists of 8 pages. It records the prices and numbers regarding livestock, crops, hay, agricultural implements, and other agricultural items. On page 8, there is a summary of how much each section of agricultural items is worth. The most expensive section of agricultural goods is listed as hay, straw, roots etc, which was valued at £979 17s. 0d.

This reveals that the main agricultural priority was food stock, such as feed for the animals, but also crop vegetables such as ‘6 tons’ of potatoes, carrots from the ‘garden pit’, ‘140 tons’ of turnips and ‘20 tons’ of mangels, which is a beet that is grown mainly to feed cattle. This cattle feed would have been necessary, as cows were the largest number of animals recorded, with 24 cows in total, along with 10 calves and 5 ‘in-calf’ heifers that were pregnant. Furthermore, cattle were the most expensive animals recorded, valued at £628 10s. 0d.



This valuation report shows the agricultural side of Odellville, particularly the priority placed on their cattle. It points to the origins of the dairy farm that operated on the estate by the Allott family who came into ownership of Odellville in 1963. The Allott family were the founders of the Munster Herd of British Friesians in 1945. They were also active members of the National Farmers Association (later the Irish Farmers Association), their local co-operative creamery committee at Glenwilliam, and later the Golden Vale Cooperative Creamery Ltd.


The reception rooms at Odelville

The second part of valuation report is dated on 12 and 13 December 1918 and it covers the rooms in the house at Odelville, attributing monetary values to household and other items. This section is the longest part of the valuation, amounting to 24 pages. Each room at Odelville is given a title and the list of objects within each room and the value of these items are listed below these subheadings, for example: The Nursery, Servant’s Room, late Mr Morony’s room, Dining room and Drawing room. Most bedrooms contain items that would be expected such as dressing tables, mahogany drawers, and wardrobes.


The list of items in Mrs Molony’s room at Odellville (P27/54)


Significantly, the three most expensive rooms are the reception rooms that would have been visible to guests at Odellville. The drawing room is valued as the most expensive at £63 13s. 6d., followed by the dining room and the spare bedroom. This shows how much the family valued the appearance of their home and that they were interested in creating an attractive presentation of these rooms for any guests that visited the house. The artwork within the house is mostly located in these three public rooms, such as ‘Cat in maple frame’ in the spare bedroom, ‘6 family portraits in oil, gilt frames’ in the dining room and ‘2 coloured prints in gilt frames’ in the drawing room.

This focus on the presentation of these reception rooms makes sense, as decorative items in a country house were ‘elite signifiers’ and contributed to the ’enhancement of elite houses’ like Odelville. 1. The ‘telescope dining table, sliding, extending to 12 ft’ shows that the Morony family would have entertained guests and required a large dining table to accommodate visitors.


A summary of how expensive each room was, based on the room’s contents (P27/54)


The 1918 valuation report and its constituent parts provide crucial insights into the agricultural parts of Odellville estate, and the personal and social aspects of Morony family life. Furthermore, the recorded detail of each location allows the reader to imagine how each room looked at this time.


  1. Elizabeth Lowry, ‘Household textiles 1660-1850: hidden items of material culture from the country house’ in Family & Community History, 23 (2020) p. 95; p. 96, accessed 23 October 2022, https://doi-org.proxy.lib.ul.ie/10.1080/14631180.2020.1820717[]