Connemara South

Connecting Community, Business, Activities, People & Culture in the Connemara Gaeltacht

Connemara South, Avalon, Bryan Ferry, Roxy Music and Crumlin Lodge.


I came across the story of a large lodge, mistakenly built by the British Army in the bog, bought by an eccentric English man, frequented by Bryan Ferry, his kids and wife, used as a rehearsal studio for the album Avalon and used for the photo shoot of Avalon, before tragically burning down and leaving many, many memories. 

But, the location remains in a stunning, remote inlet, surrounded by lakes. Crumlin Lodge, Indreabhán, Conamara, Avalon.

Crumlin Lodge was built by the British Army as a retreat for officers, The Lodge was completed in 1912 and, although the Lodge was built in the Connemara bog, it was mostly made from wood. It seems this lodge was destined to create a story. The British engineers were also building a similar lodge in India, also as a recreational stop for Officers. However, the stone material destined for Connemara was mixed-up with the wooden structure allocated for India and the wooden material landed in Rosmuc, Connemara. The engineers ploughed on and built Crumlin Lodge, from wood, in the middle of the bog.
Well, there quite a bit more to this story. Soon to be filled in. The house was purchased by Mr Patrick Helmore in the 1960's. From 1980 Mr Helmores daughter, Lucy, often visited with her husband, Bryan Ferry. They fell in love with Crumlin Lodge. Ferry eventually brought Roxy Music. They recorded at the lodge, they frequented the local public houses and they developed the concept for Avalon, the Album. The Album cover was shot at Crumlin Lodge...................................... over the years, Lucy and Bryan Ferry brought their children to Avalon. 

Crumlin Lodge Fire  -  The Irish Times November 13, 1997

A retired insurance broker living in Connemara died when fire engulfed his home, a lakeside fishing lodge, early yesterday morning. Mr Patrick Helmore (73) had lived alone in the two-storey house, Crumlin Lodge, near Inverin. The blaze destroyed the building.

Mr Helmore had been semi-invalid. His daughter Lucy was married to the singer Bryan Ferry, a regular visitor to the wooden lodge during the early 1980s.

Mr Ferry featured the lodge on the cover of his 1982 Avalon album, which reached number one in the British charts. He composed some of his music there and was a regular visitor to some of the local pubs during his visits to Connemara.

The cause of the fire has not yet been established. A loud bang at 7 a.m. yesterday awoke the caretaker, Mr Martin Costello, who lives in a gate lodge on the grounds. Mr Costello raised the alarm and ran to the house, which was ablaze. He broke a window in an attempt to get inside, but was forced back by the flames.

Two units of Galway Fire Brigade spent four hours damping down the building.

Mr Helmore had been twice married. He is survived by six children.

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