The Irish Pub Company team had reason to be in Ballitore this week. When we saw the shop front on E Butterfields pub we has to stop and take a look. Looking at the authenticity of the shopfront, we knew this pub had a story to tell so we took a quick photo… little did we know that this pub has received quite an amount of attention already!
E Butterfields, previously called The Harp features in a 2008 book called The Irish Pub, Turtle Bunbury & James Fennell (Thames & Hudson, 2008). It is a rare pub, run by three female generations of the same family. It is a one room pub with many features synonymous with old Irish Pubs; flagstone floors, white washed walls and farmyard doors. The pub is shop style with goods displayed on shelving, it operated as a village shop for a long time.
In the book, The Irish Pub, Bunbury and Fennell tell the fascinating story of this little pub:
“The Harp Bar has always been The Harp Bar but it has had other names too…Since 1936, the name above the door has been that of ‘E. Butterfield’. ‘E’ stands for Elizabeth Butterfield, grandmother of Lisa Creagh who runs the pub today. Indeed, it was Lisa’s mother Philomena who operated the pub during the last three decades of the 20th century, making it one of those rare pubs to have been run by three female generations of the same family in direct succession. Philomena was the youngest of the twelve Butterfield children, all raised in a large house near the pub. All the siblings left Ballitore save Philomena and two brothers, Gerry and Jim, both butcher-farmers.”
“Dating to 1780, the pub is a straightforward one-room affair, flagstone floors, rustic white-washed walls and rough hewn farmyard doors and arches with the wood peeling off. The bar is a solid piece of timber set upon a wall of old planks, reminiscent of some weather-beaten pirate’s ship. The shelves behind carry miscellaneous oddities, a harp, a hunting horn, an advertisement for Bendigo Plug Tobacco, a railway lantern, a Brownie camera. To the right are ten old grocery drawers, recalling a not so distant time when the pub operated as the village store. Customers sit in close proximity, on stools, chairs and old church benches….” (quoted from The Irish Pub, Turtle Bunbury & James Fennell (Thames & Hudson, 2008).
The E Butterfield pub in Ballitore is also featured in the documentary; the Irish Pub Film. The original flagstone floor in the pub from the 19th century in fact prompts one patron to declare: “You’re alright coming in, but you have to watch yourself going out!”
Authentic Irish Pubs stand the test of time and E Butterfields is testament to that!